AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas Austin announced it will pay some of its student-athletes beginning in the spring 2022 semester.
Eligible Longhorn student-athletes on scholarship can receive an academic achievement award worth $2,990 per semester or $5,980 per academic year, UT announced Wednesday. Benefits will be awarded after review and confirmation of academic progress and program engagement, the school says.
“We’re excited to be able to provide our student-athletes with additional support, but as importantly, to continue to initiate programs that focus on their academic commitment and success,” said UT Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. “Our student‐athletes have a wonderful opportunity to engage in a world‐class academic experience while pursuing athletic excellence at the highest level.”
The announcement comes following a September Supreme Court decision which allowed universities to provide student-athletes with additional education-related benefits and direct financial support in the form of academic achievement awards.
“It really makes me feel super valued as a student athlete at Texas,” said Lauren Burke, a UT Softball player. “It just shows how much they care about the athletes and they care about our academics as well.”
UT officials did not answer questions about how much they anticipate the student-athlete payouts costing the school. It’s not clear if there are any GPA requirements for the program.
Burke says it’s a step in the right direction, and Texas is at the forefront of it.
“It just takes some pressure off of financial situations people may be in, whether it’s their car payment, whether it’s rent,” she said.