North Dakota State to offer more scholarship money for student athletes

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North Dakota State University will provide student-athletes with more money because of a change the school is making in how it offers scholarships.

Starting in 2016-17, NDSU says it will offer full cost-of-attendance to all of its scholarship athletes.

Bison athletic director Matt Larsen said the change is estimated to cost the department between $600,000 and $700,000 a year and will be covered through external fundraising.

In January, the NCAA approved cost-of-attendance-based scholarships. They are full scholarships that pay for student-athlete expenses beyond tuition, fees, room, board and books. NDSU says athletes will receive $3,400 a year to do with as they wish.

While the power conferences pushed the measure, it hasn't been as popular for many of the "mid-major" colleges. Yahoo Sports notes the issue hasn't even been really discussed at the Football Championship Series level yet.

Liberty University (VA) is the only other FCS level school to offer the cost-of-attendance-based scholarships.

But NDSU isn't an average FCS level school – the Bison have won four straight FCS national football championships.

"For us it was about who you recruit against," Larsen said during the press conference announcing the news. "We're recruiting against programs that are going to offer this. We thought it was important to give our coaches the tools to be apples to apples with those programs."

The Bison have 192 student-athletes on athletic scholarships this year, not all of them have a full ride though.

The Fargo Forum notes that in cases where students are on a half scholarship, the they would get half the amount (so, $1,700) to cover their cost of attendance.

Because the school is offering the funding across the board for both male and female athletic scholars, the newspaper says there is no danger of the school falling foul of Title IX discrimination laws.

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