NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients

Central Michigan University (CMU) supports, encourages, and promotes its student-athletes and their respective teams for honors and awards which go beyond statistics alone. These types of accolades – which are also highly valued by future employers and graduate schools – are offered to some degree for every sport in which CMU fields a team.  There are also honors and awards presented annually by the Mid American Conference (MAC) and CMU athletics. While some of these awards are based on individual terms, others take one’s entire career into consideration.

RHODES SCHOLAR:  Rhodes Scholarships are awarded for a period of one to three years of study at Oxford University. The scholarship pays all tuition fees in addition to a maintenance stipend. The Rhodes scholarship is normally for two years but the scholarship may be held from one to three years, depending on the degree program pursued by the scholar. The scholarship may be held for three years for students who pursue a doctoral degree. For information about courses of study, refer to the Oxford Graduate and Undergraduate Prospectuses. For the U.S. competition, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen, between the ages of 18 and 24 on October 1 of the year of application, and have received a bachelor's degree before commencing study at Oxford.

The 32 Rhodes scholarships awarded each year to U.S. citizens are distributed according to a system of 16 geographical districts. Rhodes scholarships are available to citizens of 20 countries besides the U.S. in separate competitions. At present, several constituencies regard their citizens who study at universities in the U.S. as eligible to apply for their own competition. Citizens of Canada, Bermuda, Jamaica, the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, Singapore, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are eligible to apply to the Rhodes competitions for these countries on the basis of degrees from American universities.

Selection criteria are proven intellectual and academic achievement, integrity of character, interest in and respect for others, the ability to lead, and the energy to use their talents to the full. These criteria were established by the Will of Cecil Rhodes, the founder of the scholarships, which specified the following four standards:
1. Literary and scholastic attainments;
2. Energy to use one’s talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports;
3. Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship;
4. Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow beings.

Underlying these standards is the aim that Scholars be physically, intellectually and morally capable of leadership. Cecil Rhodes hoped that scholars would “esteem the performance of public duties as [their] highest aim.” The Rhodes Trust hopes that scholars will play an influential part in the betterment of society, wherever their careers might take them.

The criteria are interpreted broadly. Academic attainment of a very high standard is essential but not sufficient. Rhodes wanted scholars who were not “mere bookworms” but combined intellectual talents with a concern for others. While it was once the case that most Rhodes Scholars were athletes, the second standard is now interpreted as the vigor that will enable someone to make an effective contribution to the world around them. The third criterion is intangible, but they are looking for a rooted passion and commitment. The fourth item is demonstrated by taking an interest in others and does not presuppose an interest in politics as a career. Not all strong candidates are “campus politicians” or “student leaders,” though some are. Work in theoretical physics could be an example of “fighting the world’s fight,” another of Rhodes’ aspirations for Rhodes Scholars.

The durable yet outmoded stereotype of the Rhodes Scholar as student-athlete-politician presents the obstacle that potential strong candidates who do not consider themselves the “Rhodes type” may not apply for the scholarship. The variety of winners in recent years suggests that there is no uniform “Rhodes type.”

The standard of academic achievement expected is higher than the older stereotype. A memorandum from the Rhodes Trust recently stated: “While we continue to select Scholars based on all the criteria in Mr. Rhodes’ Will—seeking well-rounded excellence—candidates must, obviously, be extremely able academically. Unless they would likely be admitted to one of the handful of most selective graduate schools in the United States in their area of primary interest, they are not likely to be successful as Rhodes Scholars at Oxford. Of course, we look for far more than such intellectual distinction, but it remains the essential prerequisite.”

ESPN THE MAGAZINE ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA:  Selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), these awards honor excellence in the classroom, in competition and in campus/community involvement. To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his/her current institution.  Nominated athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s games at the position listed on the nomination form (where applicable). In baseball and softball, pitchers must have at least 10.0 innings pitched. Athletes who have not participated in at least 50 percent of their team’s contests are not eligible. No student-athlete is eligible until he/she has completed one full calendar year at his/her current institution and has reached sophomore athletic eligibility. In the cases of transfers, graduate students and two-year college graduates, the student-athlete must have completed one full calendar year at the nominating institution to be eligible. Nominees in graduate school must have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or better both as an undergrad and in grad school. Student-Athletes are selected on the district level, with all first team Academic All-District selections advancing to the Academic All-America national ballot for consideration. All intercollegiate sports sponsored by Mercer University also have a corresponding Academic All-America program, meaning every student-athlete for the Bears has the opportunity to gain recognition from this widely-respected program.

NCAA POST-GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS:  The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.

The one-time grants of $7,500 each are awarded for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports. Each sports season (fall, winter and spring), there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships available for women. The scholarships are one-time, non-renewable grants.

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the Association's most accomplished student-athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports. Athletics and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership, are evaluated.  An equitable approach is employed in reviewing each applicant's nomination form to provide opportunity to all student-athlete nominees to receive the postgraduate award, regardless of sport, division, gender or race.  In maintaining the highest broad-based standards in the selection process, the program aims to reward those individuals whose dedication and effort are reflective of those characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.
LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD:  The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is presented each year to the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across nine different sports. The acronym “CLASS” stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School™.

The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award celebrates the loyalty of seniors that honor a four-year commitment to their university. The Senior CLASS Award™ recognizes these student-athletes for great achievement during competition and in their community while staying in school.

Award winners are determined by a selection process that includes, NCAA Division I college coaches in each respective sport, national media, and fans. The voting process determines the winner in addition to a Senior CLASS All-America Team.

Public fan voting via text messaging, and on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award web site, takes place each year during the month leading up to the NCAA Championship.

NATIONAL COLLEGE ATHLETE HONOR SOCIETY - CHI ALPHA SIGMA: Chi Alpha Sigma is a nonprofit organization established to recognize college student-athletes who earn a varsity letter in at least one sport while maintaining a 3.4 or higher cumulative GPA throughout their junior and senior years. Chi Alpha Sigma's purposes are as follows: To encourage and reward high academic scholarship of college athletes at four-year accredited colleges and universities; To recognize outstanding academic achievement by intercollegiate varsity letter winners; To encourage good citizenship, moral character, and friendship among the high academic achievers in college athletics; To recognize and honor the individual athlete, his/her team, sport, athletic department, and college or university; To mentor and to provide leadership to other athletes.

MAC COMMISSIONER’S AWARD:  The MAC Commissioner’s Award recognizes those student-athletes who have achieved a 3.5 minimum accumulative grade-point average at the end of two semesters or three quarters.  Student-athletes will be nominated using the grades from the most recent academic term.  First year and graduating seniors are not eligible for this award.  Transfer students must complete one full academic year prior to being eligible.

MAC PRESIDENTIAL AWARD:  The MAC Presidential Award recognizes graduating senior student-athletes who have achieved a 3.5 minimum accumulative grade-point average.  Those student-athletes who eligibility is exhausted would also be eligible for this award.  It may only be awarded once in the career of a student-athlete.

MAC HONOR ROLL:  Student-athletes who achieve a minimum accumulative 3.000 GPA (on a 4.0 rating basis) and earned a varsity letter in that particular sport will be named MAC Honor Roll.  All conference sports shall have a MAC Honor Roll.  Freshman and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award.

MAC BOB JAMES MEMORIAL AWARD (certificate and $5,000 postgraduate scholarship):  The MAC Bob James Memorial Award recognizes one male and one female student-athlete who have achieved a 3.5 minimum accumulative grade-point average, as well as shown evidence of good character, leadership and citizenship.  Students shall be nominated during the academic year in which they complete their final season of competitive eligibility in their sport(s) of choice.  Student-athletes will be nominated using the cumulative grades from the most recent semester.  Each institution may nominate one male and one female student-athlete, who must submit a written commitment to pursue graduate studies at an accredited institution and enroll within five years.  Selection of award recipients will be made by the Faculty Athletics Representatives.  The scholarship will be awarded upon enrollment.  Should delay be desired in the use of the award (later than the opening fall semester or term following notice of selection), approval from the Commissioner shall be sought prior to that time through a letter to the conference office.

MAC INSTITUTIONAL ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:  This award shall be presented annually to the MAC institution which achieves the highest grade-point average of all student-athletes participating in all school sponsored sports.

MAC MEN’S AND WOMEN’S FACULTY ATHLETICS REPRESENTATIVE AWARD:  This award shall be presented annually to the member institution with the highest average number of points based on the overall GPA of men’s and women’s teams at that institution.  Only MAC sponsored sports are used in the calculations for the FAR Awards.

MAC CARTWRIGHT AWARD:  The MAC Cartwright Award shall be presented annually to the MAC institution which achieves overall program excellence based upon academic excellence, athletic excellence, and citizenship. 

MAC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK AWARD:  The MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week Award shall be presented weekly to one male and one female student-athlete who has over a 3.0 GPA and has displayed outstanding athletic achievement in their respective sport. 

CMU STATE FARM SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK:  This award, given by CMU Athletics, recognizes one student-athlete per week for excellence both as a student and athlete.  Award recipients must have completed at least one academic semester, have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA, and achieve a high level of athletic success during the week. 

NABC HONORS COURT (Men's Basketball): The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) recognizes those collegiate men's basketball student-athletes who excel in academics. The NABC Honors Court recognizes the talents and gifts that these men possess off the court, and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom. In order to be named to the Honors Court, an athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The qualifications are as follows: 1. Academically a junior or senior and a varsity player; 2. Cumulative G.P.A. of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the academic year; 3. Students must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution; 4. Member of an NCAA Division I, II, III, or NAIA Institution.
WBCA ACADEMIC TOP 25 TEAM HONOR ROLL (Women’s Basketball): Since 1996, the WBCA has recognized outstanding academic performance through its Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll. The top teams in each of the five WBCA collegiate divisions, NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JC/CC, are recognized through this award.

NFHCA NATIONAL ACADEMIC SQUAD (Field Hockey):  The NFHCA hands out the team academic award to all programs that achieve an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher during the first semester of an academic year.  The national academic squad consists of players who maintain a 3.30 grade-point average or higher through the first semester of an academic year.

NFF HAMPSHIRE HONOR SOCIETY (Football): The National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society recognizes seniors who are starters or significant substitutes and maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or better.

NACGC/W Scholar-Athlete Team (Gymnastics):  The National Academic Team Champion is determined by using a standardized scale based on a maximum of 4.0 GPA and applied to all schools.  Every student-athlete listed on the official NCAA squad list as of January 1st is required to be on the nomination form to qualify for the Academic Team award.  In order to be considered as an individual scholar athlete, the student-athlete must post a current year or cumulative GPA of 3.50 or better.  The individual GPAs are based on each institutional GPA scale and not the standardized scale used for determining the Academic Team awards.

NSCAA SCHOLAR ALL-AMERICA & TEAM ACADEMIC AWARDS (Women’s Soccer):  To be nominated for consideration, student-athletes must have at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) throughout their career; start more than 50 percent of all games and be a significant contributor to the team; be nominated by an institution that is a current NSCAA College Services member; be a junior or above in academic standing at the current institution and either be in their second year at the current school if a transfer student. The Academic Team Award award honors squads with 3.0 cumulative GPA for academic year.

NFCA SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AND TOP 10 TEAMS (Softball):  Athletes who achieve a 3.5 or better GPA on a 4.0 scale are recognized as National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar Athletes and these awards are based solely on GPA. The NFCA recognizes the top ten academic teams (by overall GPA) each fall through its Academic Top Ten program.

USTFCCCA ALL-ACADEMIC AWARDS (Track & Field and Cross Country): Recognition by the nation’s cross country coaches is given to both teams and individuals. Team honors are based upon grade point average and participation in the NCAA south Regional. Individuals are selected based on both GPA and a top-15 finish in the Regional.

AVCA TEAM ACADEMIC AWARDS (Volleyball): The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award honors volleyball teams at the high school and college level that are successful in the classroom. Nominees include high school or college teams that have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.30 (on a 4.00 scale) or 4.10 (on a 5.00 scale) during the full academic year (both semesters or all quarters), and include all varsity athletes who competed in volleyball with the institution for any portion of the academic year.

NWCA SCHOLAR ALL-AMERICAN AND DIVISION-I ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM (Wrestling): To qualify for the scholar All-American honor, individuals are required to maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or better and win 67 percent or more of their matches, place at their conference tournament, or qualify for the national championships. For teams to be eligible for Division I All-Academic Team consideration, the team GPA is comprised of 12 student athletes, including the 10 wrestlers that were the entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier. If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifier, they may fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual during the season.

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