National STUDENT-Athlete Day is generally recognized on April 6 nationwide, but can be celebrated throughout the months of March and April at NCAA colleges and universities. The day recognizes the accomplishments of student-athletes who excel in the classroom, on the playing fields and who give back to their community through service projects.
National STUDENT-Athlete Day was created by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and the Northeastern University Center for the Study of Sport in Society, with partnership from the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations. NCAA involvement began in 1994.
The NCAA provides financial assistance and administrative support to the NCAS by providing colleges and universities with nomination forms for the Giant Steps awards and other pertinent materials to promote National STUDENT-Athlete Day. NCAA member institutions are encouraged to recognize outstanding student-athletes and to make National STUDENT-Athlete Day a meaningful experience by placing posters around their campuses and participating in community activities.
NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAACs) have created a variety of programs for National STUDENT-Athlete Day. Some SAACs do community outreach by visiting patients at local hospitals, while other SAACs speak to elementary or middle school students about the importance of education. Some SAACs have hosted luncheons to recognize the accomplishments of their peers, while other SAACs have hosted interactive assemblies at their campuses for local students.