All data in this database were obtained from public reports filed by NCAA Division I institutions.
The athletic financial data are based on revenue and expense reports from more than 230 public schools in NCAA's Division I that have a legal obligation to release the data (the NCAA does not release the data publicly). Limited demographic information is included for more than 100 Division I institutions that did not share data and are private or are public institutions covered under a state exemption to open records laws. Beginning with the 2016 fiscal year, data were collected by the Knight Commission in partnership with Jodi Upton, Knight Chair in Data and Explanatory Journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and USA TODAY. Data prior to fiscal year 2016 were collected by Jodi Upton at USA Today Sports and are used with permission.
Comparisons between institutions are possible, but some institutions interpret the NCAA financial reporting rules slightly differently despite efforts by the NCAA staff working with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) to standardize the definitions and reporting. For some institutions, significant changes in spending trends may represent a change in reporting rather than actual spending. NCAA legislation requires that the financial reports be subject to agreed-upon procedures conducted by a "qualified independent accountant who is not a staff member of the institution." Each institution's president or chancellor is required to certify the financial report before it is submitted to the NCAA.
Institutions that reported $0 or missing ("-") data to the NCAA are excluded from growth rate calculations for individual institutions, conferences, and subdivisions. They are also eliminated from peer-group growth calculations in the Custom Reporting feature.
The number of total athletes participating in varsity athletics was obtained from Equity in Athletics Data (EADA) filed with the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education. Financial data from Equity in Athletics reports are not used in this database because more complete financial data are reported in the NCAA financial reports.
Academic spending data in this database use Education & General spending data for each institution in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). IPEDS is constructed from publicly available data that institutions are required to report to the U.S. Department of Education through IPEDS surveys. For a more detailed description of academic spending, see the definition of academic spending below.
The categories used to explain Where the Money Comes From (revenues) and Where the Money Goes (expenses) were identified by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Many categories include multiple line items from the NCAA Financial Reports. Definitions for all line items are provided below. Since 2005, the NCAA has changed definitions to several categories, and added several categories, and the Knight Commission has pooled some line items together to mitigate some of these changes. The line identification number from the NCAA Financial Report is listed with the category definition to verify the category from which the data is drawn.
The spending database is organized by Division I subdivision due to the differing levels of financial commitment required to participate in each subdivision.
The default screen for all financial data reflects current dollars. Inflationary adjustments can be made by checking the "adjust for cost inflation" box in the user view tool at the top of each display or by using the custom reporting tool.
Data Definitions and Methodology
Definitions are shown in italics and methodology or other special notes are explained below the definition.
- Academic spending:
Definition: Total expenditures for the direct role and mission activities of an institution. It includes functional classifications of expenditures for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, operations and maintenance, and scholarships and fellowships.
Explanation: Academic spending refers to expenditures in support of an institution's mission. The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) has created a definition, called Education & General (E&G) spending, which tracks each institution's total expenditures relating to an institution's mission. E&G spending includes spending on instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, operations and maintenance, and scholarships and fellowships. E&G spending excludes auxiliaries and independent operations. This information is reported each year by each institution to the U.S. Department of Education in its IPEDS database. The survey form used to collect IPEDS financial data changed during the period covered by the database, specifically, with respect to the treatment of operation and maintenance and interest expenditures. Under FASB standards and on the Aligned Form (optional for GASB-reporting institutions in FY2008 and FY2009, and required in FY2010), operation and maintenance expenditures were allocated across functions (e.g., such as instruction, research, public service, academic support), but remain a distinct expense category under GASB reporting prior to FY2010. Starting with the FY2016, FASB- and GASB-reporting schools no longer report functional expenses by natural classification. Calculations for E&G have been adjusted to account for reporting differences and facilitate comparisons over time.
Until 2012-2013, the NCAA did not require member institutions to report E&G data on its NCAA Financial Report forms. The E&G data reported to the NCAA may differ from the amounts in this database, which is pulled from data the institutions reported to IPEDS. The difference may be due to NCAA definitional differences with the official definition used in the IPEDS database (mentioned above). To be consistent over time, the Knight Commission is using the commonly agreed-upon NACUBO definition to collect and report the data in this database. (Data from IPEDS/methodology from American Institutes for Research and NACUBO).
- Athletic conference:
Explanation: Athletic conferences listed on the profile pages show each institution’s NCAA athletic conference affiliation as of the most recent year in the dataset. Subdivision and athletic conference grouping are determined by their football affiliation. If an institution is not yet an FBS member for football but is affiliated with a FBS conference in other sports, that institution’s data would not be calculated with the FBS football conference until its football team is affiliated. Data from institutions that switched conferences during the database reporting period are included with the conference in which they participated during each relevant reporting year. For example, the institutional profile for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln shows it as a member of the Big Ten Conference but prior to the 2012 reporting year (academic year 2011-12), Nebraska was a member of the Big 12 Conference and its data would be considered in the conference median calculation for those years in which it was a member.
- Athletic Scholarship:
Explanation: See athletic student aid
- Athletic student aid:
Definition: Total expenses for athletic student aid, including tuition and fees, room and board, books, summer school, tuition discounts, waivers, and cost of attendance, including aid given to student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility or who are inactive due to medical reasons.
Explanation: These data are reported on line 20 on the NCAA financial report form. (From NCAA financial reports). Beginning in 2018-2019, the NCAA included "other expenses related to attendance (also known as gap money or cost of attendance)." Increases in this category may reflect additional allowed funds for athletes compared to previous years.
- Athletic spending:
Definition: Total athletic operating expenses.
Explanation: Total athletic operating expenses reported on the NCAA financial report form (line 40) divided by the total number of athletes on a headcount basis. All athletic spending data represent spending on intercollegiate athletics only; intramural and club sports are not included on institution's NCAA financial reports. (From NCAA financial reports).
- Carnegie Classification:
Definition: The Carnegie Foundation’s classification system distinguishes institutions per their degree programs and institutional mission.
Explanation: This database groups the Carnegie Classifications into four basic categories:
- Research Universities: These institutions awarded at least 20 doctorates. Professional practice degrees such as M.D., J.D., D.P.T., etc. did not count towards an institution’s total doctorates awarded.
- Master's Colleges and Universities: These institutions awarded at least 50 master’s degrees in 2008-09, but fewer than 20 doctorates.
- Baccalaureate Colleges: At these institutions, in 2008-09, bachelor’s degrees accounted for more than half of all undergraduate degrees, and less than 50 master’s degrees were awarded.
- Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges (Bac/Assoc): At these institutions, in 2008-09, bachelor’s degrees accounted for at least 10 percent but less than half of all undergraduate degrees awarded and less than 50 master’s degrees were awarded.
The categories have been substantially revised and updated several times over the years. The most recent version was released in 2010 and uses the same classification as the 2005 version, though some institutions have moved into new categories. More information about the Carnegie Classification system can be found here. (From IPEDS/College Results Online)
- Coaches compensation:
Definition: Coaches compensation includes bonuses and benefits, but not severance payments. This category includes direct payment and bonuses to coaches from the institution and from a third party.
Explanation: Coaches compensation, bonuses and benefits paid to all coaches reportable on the university or related entities W-2 and 1099 forms including: Gross wages and bonuses, and Benefits including allowances, speaking fees, retirement, stipends, memberships, media income, tuition reimbursement and earned deferred compensation, including those funded by the state. (Line 22). In addition, this category includes compensation, bonuses and benefits paid to all coaches by a third party and contractually guaranteed by the institution, but not included on the institution's W-2, such as: car stipend, country club membership, allowances for clothing, housing, and entertainment, speaking fees, camps compensation, media income, and shoe and apparel income. (Line 23). In 2017-2018, this category included bonuses for football bowl appearances noted on a separate line item (Line 41A). Note: from 2015-2017, the NCAA reported coaching bonuses relating to participation in a post-season bowl game in a separate category (Line 41) with all post-season expenses, and was not included in this category because of the inability to disaggregate salaries from other bowl game expenses. The NCAA also reports severance payments for coaches with all athletics employees in a separate category (Line 26). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- COMPETITION GUARANTEES (REVENUE):
Definition: Revenue received from participation in away or neutral-site games.
Explanation: Revenue received from participation in away or neutral-site games. (Line 7). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- COMPETITION GUARANTEES (EXPENSES):
Definition: Amounts paid to visiting participating institutions, including per diems and/or travel and meals.
Explanation: Amounts paid to visiting participating institutions, including per diems and/or travel and meal expenses (Line 21). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP, ADVERTISING, LICENSING:
Definition: Revenue generated by the institution from royalties, licensing, advertisements and sponsorships.
Explanation: The category of corporate sponsorship, advertising, and licensing revenue includes funds received by the institution directly from: sponsorships, licensing agreements, advertisement, royalties, and in-kind products and services as part of sponsorship agreement. (Line 15). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- Delta Cost Project:
Explanation: The Delta Cost Project at the American Institutes for Research provides data and tools to help higher education administrators and policymakers improve college affordability by controlling institutional costs and increasing productivity. See Data Sources for link.
Established in 1946, AIR is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts and applies behavioral and social science research both domestically and internationally in the areas of education, health, and workforce productivity.
- Division I – No Football:
Explanation: Formerly known as Division I-AAA, this group of institutions does not sponsor football. Other requirements are identical to Division I institutions classified in the Football Championships Subdivision in that they must sponsor a minimum of 14 varsity sports teams and meet Division I financial aid requirements, unless granted a temporary waiver from such provisions by the NCAA.
- DONOR CONTRIBUTIONS:
Definition: Funds contributed from individuals, corporations, associations, foundations, clubs or other organizations external to the athletics program above the face value for tickets.
Explanation: Donor contributions are funds provided in the reporting year from individuals, corporations, associations, foundations, clubs or other organizations and designated for the operations of the athletics program. This includes funds donated by outside contributors for the payment of debt service, lease payments or rental fee expenses for athletic facilities in the reporting year. All donor contributions are amounts received above face value for tickets, including cash and marketable securities but not pledges or contributions to be used in other reporting years. (Line 8). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
Explanation: EADA is the acronym used to describe the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act filed with the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education. The data is available via a web-based database and consists of athletics data that are submitted annually as required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) by all co-educational postsecondary institutions that receive Title IV funding (i.e., those that participate in federal student aid programs) and that have an intercollegiate athletics program. See Data Sources for link.
- EXCESS TRANSFERS BACK:
Definition: Positive net revenues generated by athletics and transferred to the institution for non-athletics purposes. These funds are in excess of the transfers subtracted from the institutional and governmental funds allocated to athletics.
Explanation: The amount of total athletic transfers to the institution appears on two lines of the NCAA financial report form (Line 5, "Less Transfers to Institution," and Line 50, “Excess Transfers to Institution” from the “Other Reporting Items” section). To calculate “Excess Transfers to the Institution” in this database, these two amounts are subtracted from the sum total of Institutional/Government Support, Student Fees, Direct Institutional Support, and Indirect Institutional Support with the remainder allocated to athletics and the balance is reported as “excess transfers.” The amount of excess transfers to the institution is not included in the calculation of total athletics operating expenses since the funding is not spent on athletics purposes. Transfers to the institutions were not collected on the NCAA financial report form until the 2011-12 fiscal year. The 2014-15 NCAA financial report changed the way it collects transfers and excess transfers to the institution. Transfers reported in prior fiscal years have been recalculated in this database to align with the current reporting and calculation standards. Note: The amount of “Excess Transfers to the Institution” reported on this database may differ from the institution’s report since this database includes state and government support as well as direct and indirect institutional support in the calculation of institutional funding for athletics, an amount from which the transfers are subtracted. (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT:
Definition: Facility expenses include debt service, leases, and rental fees for athletic facilities. This includes overhead and administrative expenses. Equipment expenses includes spending for items provided to teams, including in-kind equipment.
Explanation: Facility expenses are debt service payments (principal and interest, including internal loan programs), leases and rental fees for athletics facilities for the reporting year regardless of entity paying (athletics, institution or other) (Line 34). This category also includes direct overhead and administrative expenses and indirect institutional support. Direct overhead expenses are: administrative/overhead fees charged by the institution to athletics, facilities maintenance, security, risk management, utilities, equipment repair, telephone, and other administrative expenses (Line 35). Indirect institutional support includes overhead and administrative expenses not paid or charged directly to athletics including: administrative/overhead fees not charged by the institution to athletics, facilities maintenance, security, risk management, utilities, equipment repair, telephone, and other administrative expenses (Line 36).
Equipment expenses include items that are provided only to teams, and amounts are those expended from current or operating funds. This includes the value of in-kind equipment. Depreciation of equipment is not included. Expenses related to post-season bowls are not included in this category. (Line 29). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- FBS spending quartile:
Explanation: Football Bowl Subdivision institutions are ranked by total athletic spending in each year of the database and divided into quartiles. Quartile 1 schools have the largest athletics expense budgets in each year and Quartile 4 schools have the smallest budgets.
- Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS):
Explanation: Formerly known as Division I-A, this group must sponsor a minimum of 16 varsity sports teams, including football. The institutions must play at least 60 percent of their regular-season football games against other FBS institutions and meet home football attendance requirements. Additionally, FBS institutions must meet stricter requirements for financial aid distribution than the institutions that classify in the FCS or Division I without football.
- Football Championship Subdivision (FCS):
Explanation: Formerly known as Division I-AA, these institutions must sponsor 14 varsity sports and meet Division I financial aid requirements. The football teams must play more than 50 percent of their regular-season football games against FBS or FCS institutions.
- Football coaching salaries:
Definition: Total compensation reported for all football coaches, including salaries, benefits and bonuses paid by the university, and contractually-guaranteed amounts paid by third parties. [Note: The football coach compensation figures are from the NCAA reports, which uses a different methodology than the one used by USA TODAY in its annual survey.]
Explanation: This calculation includes the following from the NCAA financial report for total coaching salaries. Line 22: "Includes compensation, bonus and benefits paid to all coaches reportable on the university or related entities W-2 and 1099 forms inclusive of gross wages, bonuses and benefits including allowances, speaking fees, retirement, stipends, memberships, media income, tuition reimbursement and earned deferred compensation." Line 23: "Includes all compensation, bonus and benefits paid to all coaches by a third party and contractually guaranteed by the institution, but not included on the institution’s W-2 including: car stipend, country club membership, allowances for clothing, housing and entertainment, speaking fees, camps compensation, media income, shoe and apparel income." Any payments made to previous coaches to satisfy contractual agreements for coaching are placed elsewhere in the financial report form (Line 26-Severance Payments) and are not included in this calculation. This calculation differs from that of USA TODAY, which includes external sports-related income directly contracted with a coach. Due to a change in the NCAA Financial Reports, post-season football bowl bonuses paid to coaches were not reported in this line for 2015-2017. In 2017-2018, this category included bonuses for football bowl appearances noted on a separate line item (Line 41A). (From NCAA Financial Reports)
- Football spending:
Definition: Total football operating expenses, including the cost of athletics student aid.
Explanation: Amount of total football operating expenses (reported on line 42 by sport on the NCAA financial report form). (NCAA financial reports)
- FTE student:
Definition: The full-time equivalent (FTE) of full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate (including first-year professional students). This differs from undergraduate enrollments used as a demographic variable in this database.
Explanation: The 12-month full-time-equivalent (FTE) enrollments are derived from the 12-month instructional activity portion of the Enrollment component. FTE are calculated using the 12-month instructional activity reported for credit and/or contact hours, with calculation factors. First-year professional FTE is estimated by applying an equating ratio to the 12-month unduplicated headcount of first-year professional students. (From IPEDS/American Institutes for Research)
- GAME EXPENSES AND TRAVEL:
Definition: Game expenses relate to competition expenses other than travel. Travel relates to spending on transportation, lodging, meals, and incidentals related to preseason and regular season competition.
Explanation: Travel expenses (Line 28) are air and ground travel, lodging, meals and incidentals (including housing costs incurred during school break period) for competition related to preseason, regular season and non-bowl postseason. Amounts incurred for food and lodging for housing the team before a home game are also included. Travel expenses include use of the institution's own vehicles or airplanes as well as in-kind value of donor-provided transportation. Game-day expenses (Line 30) are competition expenses other than travel which are necessary for intercollegiate athletics competition, including officials, security, event staff, ambulance, etc. Also included are payments back to the NCAA for hosting a championship or conference for hosting a tournament. Expenses related to football post-season bowls (Line 41) are also included in this category. (From NCAA Financial Reports).
Explanation: See athletic student aid
- Please see definition for Unduplicated athlete (Headcount).
- Institutional government support:
Definition: Revenue received from governments, direct funds from the institution for athletics operations, and costs covered and services provided by the institution to athletics (and for athletics debt) but not charged to athletics.
Explanation:Several categories are added together to provide information about revenue that is allocated to athletics. This revenue is not generated by athletics. The following categories are combined:
- Direct State or Other Government Support - State, municipal, federal and other appropriations made in support of athletics. This amount includes funding specifically earmarked for the athletics department by government agencies for which the institution cannot reallocate. This amount includes state-funded employee benefits. (Line 2).
- Direct Institutional Support - Funds provided by the institution to athletics for the operations of intercollegiate athletics including Unrestricted funds allocated to the athletics department by the university (e.g. state funds, tuition, tuition discounts/waivers, transfers), Federal work study support for student workers employed by athletics, and Endowment unrestricted income, spending policy distributions and other investment income distributed to athletics in the reporting year to support athletic operations. This does not include athletics restricted endowment income. (Line 4).
- Indirect Institutional Support - The value of costs covered and services provided by the institution to athletics but not charged to athletics. These costs are Administrative services provided by the university to athletics but not charged such as HR, Accounting and IT, Facilities maintenance. Security, Risk Management, and Utilities but not depreciation. (Line 6).
- Indirect Institutional Support for Athletics Facilities Debt Service, Lease, and Rental Fees - Debt service payments (principal and interest, including internal loan programs), leases and rental fees for athletics facilities for the reporting year provided by the institution to athletics but not charged to athletics. Depreciation is not reported. (Line 6A). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
The acronym for the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. All higher education institutions that participate in the Title IV financial aid programs are required to report financial and other information to this federal database making it the primary source for data on colleges, universities and technical and vocational postsecondary institutions in the United States. See Data Sources for link.
- Less Transfers Back:
Definition: Money returned to the institution to reimburse student fees and direct institutional support.
Explanation: See definition for Excess Transfers Back.
- Medical Expenses:
Definition: Medical expenses and medical insurance premiums.
Explanation: Expenses paid by the institution for student-athletes’ medical expenses and medical insurance premiums (Line 37). This line does not include salaries for medical personnel as those expenses are accounted for in administrative compensation. (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- NCAA/CONFERENCE DISTRIBUTIONS, MEDIA RIGHTS, AND POST-SEASON FOOTBALL:
Definition: Revenue received from the NCAA (including championships) and athletics conferences, media rights, and post-season football bowl games.
Explanation: This category includes groups revenue from the following categories: media rights, NCAA distributions, conference distributions, and bowl revenues:
- Media Rights - Revenue received for radio, television, internet, digital and e-commerce rights, and the portion of conference distributions related to media rights, if applicable (Line 11).
- NCAA Distributions - Revenues received from all NCAA distributions including NCAA championships reimbursements and payments received from the NCAA for hosting a championship (Line 12).
- Conference Distributions - All revenues received by conference distribution, excluding portions of distribution relating to media rights (Line 13). Beginning in 2018-2019, the NCAA itemized conference distributions for football bowl games in a new category (Line 13A), included in this total.
- Bowl Revenues - All amounts received related to participation in a post-season football bowl game, including expense reimbursements and ticket sales (Line 19). Post-season football bowl revenues were collected by the NCAA as a separate line item beginning in 2015-2016. Prior to 2015-2016, post season football bowl revenues were not reported on NCAA Financial Report Forms. (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- NCAA Subdivision:
Definition: NCAA Division I subdivision based on the football team’s competitive classification or sponsorship as of the last reporting year in the spending database.
Explanation: The NCAA subdivision reported on profile pages is the most recent level of competition within the NCAA Division I, either: FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision), FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), or Division I - No Football. For institutions that switched subdivisions during the period covered in this database, raw data are included in the subdivision in which an institution participated during each fiscal year. For example, the institutional profile for the University of South Dakota (USD) shows it as a member of FCS. However, data are not reported for the USD prior to the 2009 (academic/fiscal year 2008-09) when USD was a member of NCAA Division II.
FBS and FCS subdivisions have different scholarship, scheduling, and sports sponsorship requirements. An FBS institution must sponsor 16 varsity intercollegiate sports while other Division I institutions must sponsor only 14 sports. FBS institutions must award greater amounts of athletic student aid and meet stricter home football attendance benchmarks than FCS programs.
- Number of Sports Teams:
Definition: Teams recognized by the institution as varsity intercollegiate sports teams and by the NCAA through its sponsorship of a championship in that sport or as an emerging sport for women.
Explanation: These data were provided by the NCAA as reported by each institution on the NCAA’s sports sponsorship reporting form.
- OTHER EXPENSES:
Definition: Expenses related to the following categories: College athlete cash academic awards, sports equipment, uniforms and supplies, fundraising, marketing and promotion, sports camps, spirit groups, membership and dues, student-athlete meals, team banquets and awards, and other operating expenses.
Explanation: Other expenses related to spending that are not otherwise listed in a specific spending category in "Where the Money Goes." This category does not include expenses for post-season football bowl games beginning in 2015-2016, which is included in Game Expenses and Travel. Post-season football bowl expenses were collected by the NCAA as a separate line item beginning in 2015-2016. Prior to 2015-2016, post season football bowl expenses were not reported on NCAA Financial Report Forms. This category combines several separate expense lines listed in NCAA Financial Reports and that by themselves make up a tiny percentage of overall expenses:
- Sports Equipment, Uniforms and Supplies. Items that are provided to the teams only. Equipment amounts are those expended from current or operating funds. This includes in-kind equipment provided. (Line 29).
- Fundraising, Marketing and Promotion - Costs associated with fundraising, marketing and promotions for sport programs, such as media guides, brochures, recruiting publications. (Line 31).
- Sports Camps - Expenses paid by the athletics department, with non-athletics personnel salaries and benefits, from hosting sports camps and clinics. (Line 32).
- Spirit Groups - Support for spirit groups like bands, cheerleaders, mascots, and dancers. (Line 33).
- Membership and Dues - All memberships, conference and association dues. (Line 38).
- Student-Athlete Meals - Meal allowance and food/snacks provided to student-athletes but not meals provided during team travel (Line 39).
- Other Operating Expenses - Any operating expenses paid by athletics in the report year that cannot be classified into another category, such as college athlete cash academic awards, non-team travel (athlete participation in conferences or meetings), team banquets and awards (e.g., trophies, rings). (Line 40). (From NCAA Financial Reports). [Note: Beginning in FY22, many DI institutions began providing cash academic awards of up to $5,980 per athlete as a result of the June 2021 Supreme Court ruling in NCAA v. Alston, which allowed for such cash awards as part of its broader decision.]
- OTHER REVENUE:
Definition: Revenue from the following categories: Compensation and benefits provided by a third party; game program, novelty, parking and concession sales; sports camps and clinics; athletics restricted endowment and investments income; and, other operating revenue.
Explanation: The “Other Revenue” category combines a number of separate revenue lines from the NCAA Financial Reports. These separate categories amount to a tiny percentage of overall revenue. This category includes revenue from categories that are not otherwise listed in "Where the Money Comes From." These revenue line items are:
- Compensation and Benefits From a Third Party – Compensation and Benefits provided by a third party and contractually guaranteed by the institution, but not included on the institution's W-2. Such compensation may include: car stipend, country club membership, allowances for clothing, housing, and entertainment, speaking fees, camps compensation, media income, and shoe and apparel income. (Line 10).
- Game Programs, Novelties, Food and Concessions, and Parking – Revenue from these activities. (Line 14).
- Sports Camps and Clinics – Revenue received by the institution for sports camps and clinics. (Line 16).
- Athletics Restricted Endowment and Investments Income –Distributions from athletics restricted endowments and investment income used for athletics operations in the reporting year. This includes restricted investment and endowment income used for the operations of intercollegiate athletics. This does not include institutional allocations of income from unrestricted endowments. Endowment income reported is only up to the amount of expenses covered by the endowment for the reporting year. (Line 17).
- Other Operating Revenue includes any other operating revenues received by athletics not classified into any other category. (From NCAA Financial Reports).
Definition: Spending on transportation, lodging, meals, and other personnel and administrative expenses relating to recruitment of prospective student-athletes.
Explanation: Transportation, lodging and meals for prospective student-athletes and institutional personnel on official and unofficial visits, telephone call charges, postage and such. Include value of use of institution's own vehicles or airplanes as well as in-kind value of loaned or contributed transportation. (Line 27). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
Explanation: One of nine geographic regions in the United States as defined by IPEDS. The regions are: Far West, Great Lakes, Mid East, New England, Plains, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Southwest, and US Service Schools. (From IPEDS).
- Student Fees:
Definition: Fees paid by student and allocated for the restricted use of the athletics department.
Explanation: Student athletic fees are considered an allocated revenue. The amounts represent the total student fees assessed to the student body and restricted for support of intercollegiate athletics. (Line 3). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- SUPPORT AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMPENSATION WITH SEVERANCE:
Definition: Support and administrative staff compensation includes bonuses and benefits paid to all administrative and support staff. This category includes direct payment from the institution and payment from a third party. Severance payments for former coaches and administrators are also included.
Explanation: Support and administrative staff compensation includes bonuses and benefits paid to all administrative and support staff reportable on the university or related entities (e.g. foundations or booster clubs) W-2 and 1099 forms inclusive of: gross wages and bonuses and benefits including allowances, speaking fees, retirement, stipends, memberships, media income, tuition reimbursement and earned deferred compensation, including those funded by the state. (Line 24). In addition, this category includes compensation, bonuses and benefits paid to administrative and support staff by a third party and contractually guaranteed by the institution, but not included on the institutions W-2, such as: car stipend, country club membership, allowances for clothing, housing, and entertainment, speaking fees, camp compensation, media income, and shoe and apparel income. (Line 25). Severance payments and applicable benefits recognized for past coaching and administrative personnel are included in this category. (Line 26). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- Ticket Sales:
Definition: Revenue received from ticket sales for all NCAA-sponsored sports at an institution.
Explanation: Revenue received for sales of admissions to athletic events, including: public and faculty sales, student sales, shipping and handling fees. Any amount paid in excess of a ticket's face value to obtain preferential seating or priority is considered a “Donor Contribution.” (Line 1). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- Total annual debt service, leases and rental fees on athletic facilities:
Definition: Payment of principal and interest on athletic facilities debt, leases and rental fees in the reporting year. NOTE: NCAA definitional changes increased, for some institutions, the amounts reported in this area beginning in 2014-15.
Explanation: The NCAA financial report requires debt service, leases and rental fees to be included in the total amount of operating expenses to be reported on Line 34 (Athletic facilities debt service, leases, and rental fees). These amounts are verified through agreed-upon procedures. Beginning with 2014-2015 reporting changes to NCAA Financial Report Forms, the Knight Commission does not make comparisons to prior year amounts. (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- Total athletics related debt:
Definition: Total athletic debt balances owed by the athletic department. NOTE: NCAA definitional changes increased, for some institutions, the amounts reported in this area beginning in 2014-15.
Explanation: This amount is reported under "Other Reporting Items" and includes all debt owed by the athletic department regardless of the purpose for which the debt was issued (i.e., facilities, equipment, etc.). Beginning with 2014-2015 reporting changes to NCAA Report Forms, comparisons were not made to prior year amounts. (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- Total debt outstanding on university facilities:
Definition: Total institutional debt balances owed by the university. Depending on the institution's structure, some institutions include athletic facilities debt in this total and some institutions do not. Institutions with branch campuses or that operate hospitals may also include outstanding debt related to those campuses or facilities. NOTE: NCAA definitional changes increased, for some institutions, the amounts reported in this area beginning in 2014-15.
Explanation: This amount is reported under "Other Reporting Items". Institutions that have a separate athletics foundation or operating entity for athletics may not include athletics debt in the total institutional debt outstanding. There is no way to make this distinction when assessing the data reported on NCAA financial report forms. In addition, institutions with branch campuses or that operate hospitals may also include outstanding debt related to those campuses or facilities. Due to the significant reporting differences for this category, conference and subdivision medians are not generated and institutional comparisons are not provided in the custom reporting tool. Beginning with 2014-2015 reporting changes to NCAA Report Forms, comparisons were not made to prior year amounts. (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- TOTAL ATHLETIC EXPENSES:
Definition: All expenses for the athletics program plus "Excess Transfers to the Institution."
Explanation: All expenses for the athletics program (Lines 20-41), plus Excess Transfers to the Institution as calculated by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics (see Excess Transfers Back). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- TOTAL ATHLETIC REVENUES:
Definition: Total revenues for the athletics program minus "Less Transfers to the Institution."
Explanation: The total amount of revenue received by an athletics program in any given year. This includes all revenues for the athletics program (Lines 1-4, 6-19), minus Less Transfers to the Institution (Line 5). (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- TOTAL INSTITUTIONAL/GOVERNMENT SUPPORT AND STUDENT FEES:
Definition: Combination of Institutional/Government Support and Student Fees.
Explanation: Also known as a "subsidy", this is the sum of two categories as reported in the CAFI database: Institutional/Government Support and Student Fees. Those categories are in turn condensed from multiple categories of allocated revenue for athletics operations and debt – including direct and indirect institutional support, direct government support and student fees. (From NCAA Financial Reports).
- Undergraduate size:
- Definition: The number of total undergraduate students enrolled in an institution. This differs from FTE students used in calculations in this database. (From IPEDS).
- Unduplicated athlete (headcount):
Definition: All athletic scholarship or non-scholarship students listed as participants on a varsity athletic team as of the first scheduled contest (with multi-sport athletes counted once).
Explanation: A head count of students who, as of the day of a varsity team's first scheduled contest: (a) are listed by the institution on the varsity team's roster; (b) receive athletic student aid; or (c) practice with the varsity team and receive coaching from one or more varsity coaches. A student who satisfies one or more of these criteria is a participant, including a student on a team the institution designates or defines as junior varsity, freshman, or novice, or a student withheld from competition to preserve eligibility (i.e., a redshirt), or for academic, medical, or other reasons. This includes fifth-year team members who have already received a bachelor's degree. Participants who participate in multiple sports during the same academic year are counted only once (e.g., an individual participating in indoor track and cross country). (From EADA; From NCAA Financial Reports for U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy, when made publicly available.)
- Definition: The year designation represents the end of the academic and fiscal years (e.g., "2011" is the "2010-2011" academic and fiscal year).
Data Sources and Links
Below is a list of hyperlinks to external databases used to help define the variables in this database.
- Revenues and Expenses of NCAA Division I Intercollegiate Athletics Programs Report - http://www.ncaapublications.com/p-4443-division-i-revenues-and-expenses-2004-2015.aspx
- College Results Online (from IPEDS) - http://www.collegeresults.org/aboutthedata.aspx#aboutdata
- Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research (AIR) – https://www.air.org/project/delta-cost-project
- EADA (US Department of Education Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool Website) - https://ope.ed.gov/athletics/#/
- IPEDS (National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) - http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/Home/UseTheData
- NCAA Agreed Upon Financial Reporting Procedures - http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/finances/ncaa-membership-financial-reporting-system
- USA TODAY NCAA Athletics Finance Database - http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/schools/finances
COVID Impact On 2020 And 2021 Data
Please note there may be a significant variance when including FY 2021 data (and to a lesser extent, FY 2020). The COVID pandemic’s impact varied by school and state, but revenues were especially hard hit at schools where state law limited events so fewer games were played; some schools in the Pac-12, for example, had a 50% drop in revenues. Expenses may also have been impacted by less travel and onsite recruiting, or increases in COVID-mitigation efforts, for example.