Cost of Attendance, the new normal, and telling your story

In the new normal for major college athletics, which begins next school year, “cost of attendance” is a term you’ll hear a lot.

It’s the modern lingo for “pay the players.”

College athletics generates a lot of cash. Now the players are going to see more of that.

At Ole Miss next school year, each student-athlete who is on full scholarship will receive an additional $4,900.

That figure is not the same at each school, and Ole Miss’ is the fourth-highest in the SEC, Ross Bjork says.

The number comes through the schools’ financial aid office – not the athletic department — and has federal oversight.

Cost of attendance (COA) will be a big part of discussion at next week’s SEC business meetings in Destin.

The figure may or may not become uniform in the future. Part of that will depend on what happens with some unresolved litigation that’s out there now.

While the difference won’t be much in most cases – Mississippi State’s is $5,154 – some recruits will no doubt look simply at the bottom line. If that becomes more than a few recruits, a recruiting advantage is born.

Bjork doesn’t believe that will be a big problem if Ole Miss and other schools communicate clearly.

“Our approach is that your campus has a formula identified by the federal government, and you’re allowed to pay those categories. When you look at it from the standpoint of our number, we’ll pay your scholarship and other areas so there’s great value there. Some will use that as a recruiting advantage. It’s our job to educate young folks on what this means,” Bjork said.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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