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“Full cost of attendance” is a recruiting disadvantage for UK

Tim Sullivan over at the Courier-Journal points out a big disadvantage in recruiting that hasn’t really been discussed since a change in legislation early this year.

Now, after putting it to a vote in January, the Power 5 conferences can increase the value of athletic scholarships to the full cost of attendance, meaning student-athletes on a cost-of-attendance scholarship will receive an additional stipend for personal expenses. That stipend varies from school to school depending on what the scholarship covers and what it actually costs to attend the university. The difference at Kentucky (the amount the student-athlete will receive for expenses) is substantially lower than other schools around the SEC, which could play a big role in the recruitment of a blue chip prospect.

As Sullivan writes, “If the University of Kentucky is to remain competitive in recruiting athletes, it may need the merchants of Lexington to raise their prices.”

Here are a few examples from around the league:

School, Old Scholarship/New Scholarship (Difference)
Kentucky, $21,464/$23,748 ($2,284)
Mississippi, $18,204/$22,704 ($4,500)
Mississippi State, $17,294/$22,420 ($5,126)
South Carolina, $21,414/$25,565 ($4,151)
Tennessee, $23,710/$29,376 ($5,666)

For a complete list of schools from the ACC and SEC, and a good quote from Oscar Combs, check out the Courier-Journal here.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

15 Comments for “Full cost of attendance” is a recruiting disadvantage for UK



  1. Al B. Frank
    11:03 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Hopefully the millions more that the players will make when they move on to the NBA thanks to the exposure they get for playing for Cal & UK will outweigh the couple of grand extra they might get while playing in college somewhere else.



    • JoeMoney333
      11:09 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      It’s not an issue with basketball.



  2. 90bigguns
    11:07 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    This is a bigger problem for Football recruiting, as well as other sports than it is for Basketball. As long as Cal is here I’m not worried about recruiting.

    Interesting to see the Louisville is one of the big winners in this. However, I assume they will still shout on about how UK is cheating, paying players, etc… Looks like they will be paying more in extra benefits by far.



  3. LordEgg
    11:34 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    you telling me its just over a thousand dollars more a year to live in lexington than starkville?



    • J-Dub421
      12:08 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      How is there such a huge gap for the Mississippi schools?

      Also, wouldn’t this hurt most SEC schools, since southern states tend to be poorer than the states where the Big 10 are?



  4. djangel
    12:06 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Don’t think it will be a big problem. The more the school has to give, the more the student will have to spend to buy the same product. So a $5 hamburger in Lexington will cost $8 in another city. So the players won’t actual make more money because they will need to spend more in other cities. Of course, the coaching staffs will need to explain that very well to the players in order to neutralize the possible negative effects of giving less money.



    • satcheluk
      5:28 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      What you say seems logical, but how can you explain why Boston College has the lowest stipend? Boston is one of the most expensive cities in America.



  5. RealCatsFan
    12:10 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    That just doesn’t make sense. So if the cost of living at a particular school is actually higher, why not just have the students submit an expense report and receipts just like you would at a job in the real world? Sounds like it’s just an opportunity for more corruption to me. So if the local merchants in Lexington raise their prices, that will only hurt the average non-scholarship students.



  6. eyebleedblue
    12:15 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    That’s dumb. Why not a universal rate for athletes in the power 5 conferences? Goal is to take care of the kids not create the MLB way of recruiting. But leave it to the ncaa or whoever to screw up a simple thing.



    • J-Dub421
      12:24 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Seriously. I also have a hard time believing that the cost of living is that high in places like Starkville, MS and Fayetteville, AR. The population of Lexington is about 308,000 according to wikipedia, Fayetteville – 78,000, and Starkville – 24,000, yet all three are within about $1,000 on “full cost of attendance”????? How is that possible???



    • sylvar
      3:32 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      J-Dub, You have to factor in the gas it costs to get from Starkville to a place where you can actually spend money on something nice.



    • J-Dub421
      3:39 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      So, all the way out of Mississippi then???



  7. CuriousCat
    12:27 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Could someone go into further detail with me on this?

    It shouldn’t be a disadvantage to have a lower cost of living/cost of attendance than other SEC and Power 5 Conference schools considering that this scale is supposed to balance everything out.

    If anything we should have had an advantage on other schools before this takes effect. If food and gas are more expensive at other schools then yes student athletes deserve more money to get these basic things. In the end, the cost of attendance should be a balance and the school is paying for these basic things outside of Meal Plans and Lab Fees.

    I am curious to know how exactly this cost of attendance is determined, is it a mix of cost of living on campus(buying food on campus) vs. cost of living off-campus(buying food at Kroger), Or is it just what the school says, which can be seen as a recruiting advantage. (I also don’t see how Starkville, MS has a higher cost of living than Lexington, KY.)



    • djangel
      12:33 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      That’s how I see it as well. They would only have more money in theory, but never in practice given the amount of money the will need to spend to meet basic needs.



  8. catdaddyd
    7:15 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    The cost of a scholarship for a student coming from out of state is much higher. So it would seem to me that the states of Florida, Ohio, and Texas would be hurt the most. The players would earn more by going to a school out of their home state.