Most Division II independent schools give financial aid

Most Division II independent schools give financial aid

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Most Division II independent schools give financial aid

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Tennessee’s high school athletic association will vote later this month on a potential complete public-private split.

Tennessee’s high school athletic association will vote later this month on a potential complete public-private split.

Nineteen years after the TSSAA created a second division specifically for schools that provide need-based financial aid, the state’s high school athletic association will vote later this month on a potential complete public-private split.

This past school year, 47 independent schools competed in Division II, with all but two of those schools — Bowie Reading & Learning Center in Memphis and McClain Christian Academy in Lebanon — offering need-based aid to at least one athlete.

McClain Christian, a small private school, co-ops with Mt. Juliet Christian Academy in athletics.

In Middle Tennessee, 19 Division II schools offered need-based financial aid to students during the 2014-15 school year.

Private schools have no vote in potential TSSAA split

How much total money is provided to students is not known. While the amount was once included in an annual report, the TSSAA’s Division II committee decided a few years ago that the information no longer served a purpose because of the large difference in tuition figures, TSSAA assistant director Matthew Gillespie wrote in an email.

Athletes that ask for need-based financial aid must have their parents or guardians submit their financial information to a TSSAA-approved agency. That agency determines the amount a family can afford to pay. A Division II school can then offset the rest of their tuition through monetary endowments or by lowering the cost of tuition.

However, TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress said Division II schools rarely give a student-athlete the total monetary amount allowed.

Public-private fight nearly 30 years old

He said it’s often about 50 percent of what they qualify for.

“Schools want them to have a vested interest in them,” he said.

It should be no surprise — considering their roster size — that football traditionally has more athletes on need-based aid than any other sport.

This past school year, McCallie, a private school in Chattanooga, had the most football players receiving need-based aid with 42. Chattanooga Baylor and Montgomery Bell Academy — the 2014 Division II-AA state champion — had 41 each. Brentwood Academy had 36, and Ensworth had 32 football players receiving aid.

2014-15 Division II Financial Aid

There are 19 Division II schools in Middle Tennessee. Here is a breakdown of the students who received need-based aid in football, boys basketball and girls basketball for the 2014-15 school year. There can be overlap in basketball and football if athletes receiving aid played both sports.

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School Football Boys bball Girls bball Enrollment Students receiving aid Athletes receiving aid % of athletes among students receiving aid
BGA 17 8 1 329 52 38 73.1
Brentwood Acad. 36 16 12 482 137 98 71.5
Davidson Acad. 10 3 5 227 43 28 65.1
DCA 11 3 1 216 59 26 44.1
Ensworth 32 9 5 459 90 67 74.4
Ezell-Harding 10 10 3 181 57 32 56.1
Father Ryan 12 0 2 950 115 40 34.8
FRA 12 8 3 244 61 50 82
Friendship Chr. 10 3 2 229 30 22 73.3
Harpeth Hall N/A N/A 6 404 71 20 28.2
Hendersonville Chr. 0 2 5 82 14 9 64.3
MBA 41 5 N/A 506 118 68 57.6
Mt. Juliet Chr. 10 5 2 142 36 19 52.8
Pope John Paul II 27 7 4 572 156 96 61.5
St. Andrews 0 6 5 167 67 45 67.2
St. Cecilia N/A N/A 2 252 118 24 20.3
USN 0 2 6 388 66 35 53
Webb School 0 7 5 213 83 29 34.9
Zion Chr. 4 2 0 132 15 10 66.7

Note: Harpeth Hall and St. Cecilia are all-girls schools. MBA is an all-boys school. List does not include McClain Christian Academy as it did not offer need-base aid to any student-athletes during the 2014-15 school year. Also, note that Hendersonville Christian, St. Andrews and Webb do not play football in the TSSAA.

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