Question: My son is going into 12th grade and is interested in swimming in college. He is good enough to be on a Division 3 team and he isn't looking for an athletic scholarship because he knows that the NCAA doesn't allow Div. 3 colleges to give scholarships. But recently he met a girl whose brother goes to a college that he is considering. The brother is on the swim team, and the sister claims that her family didn't qualify for financial aid and that her brother wouldn't have been able to afford to attend this college without his athletic scholarship. Is that possible?
The most likely reason that Division 3 athletes receive money from colleges is that it's “need-based" aid, based on the family's income and assets. Even middle-class parents who may assume that they're too “rich" to get financial aid (but too “poor" to pay high tuition bills without it) are often surprised to find out that they qualify for at least some need-based assistance.