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Championships per diem to increase

Change effective this year for DI, National Collegiate championships

To address rising costs and continue to support student-athletes, the NCAA is increasing reimbursements for travel to Division I and National Collegiate championships.

Starting this fall, students, coaches and others in official travel parties attending these championships will receive an additional $20 in travel per diem. Several NCAA sports, such as men’s and women’s gymnastics and women’s bowling, offer National Collegiate Championships in which student-athletes from all three divisions compete.

New daily reimbursement base rates will be:

  • Division I and National Collegiate championships (all rounds), $150.
  • NIT preliminary rounds, $150.
  • NIT finals, $205.
  • Division I men’s and women’s basketball preliminary rounds, $205.
  • Division I men’s and women’s basketball finals, $245.

“Attending championships can be a costly endeavor for our schools whose teams earn the right to play at the pinnacle of college sports,” said Mark Lewis, executive vice president for championships and alliances. “The membership has expressed significant concern about the rising costs. These concerns are valid and we hope this increase helps students have a better experience.”

Per diem rates for Division I and National Collegiate championships have not changed since 2012. The Association is investing an additional $3.4 million annually to fund a restructured per diem model.

In addition, there has been a recognition that in many major cities, costs are generally higher by about 40 percent. Therefore, a national travel index has been created to incorporate further increases for the 16 most expensive cities in the United States. The model will be reviewed every three years to determine any further rate increases or changes in the high-cost cities list.

More than half of the money needed to support this initiative will come from the annual inflationary increase for Division I championship programming and internal reallocations. The Association-wide annual budget increase is providing the remainder of the funds.

The NCAA spends more than $33 million on per diem annually. Per diem allowances vary from division to division and are paid directly to the competing schools and not to the individuals. Per diem is not intended to cover 100 percent of expenses associated with championships participation. Instead, it is designed to assist in covering a portion of those expenses, such as food, hotel and ground transportation in the championship city.

The increase was approved as part of the NCAA budget and endorsed by the Division I Council, which oversees all sport oversight committees.

The current high-costs cities are: San Francisco; New York; Boston; Honolulu; Washington, D.C.; White Plains, New York; Philadelphia; Minneapolis; Hartford, Connecticut; Chicago; Seattle; Miami; and the California cities of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Oakland and San Jose.

Per Diem FAQ

Who receives per diem?

Student-athletes, coaches and other members of the official traveling party, whose members can differ according to division and sport.

How is it distributed?

The NCAA travel and insurance department manages the distribution of per diem, which is paid on a reimbursement basis after a championship occurs.

How much does the NCAA spend on per diem, Association-wide and by division?

The Association spends slightly more than $33 million annually on per diem. Of that total, about $20 million is earmarked for Division I and National Collegiate championships participants. Division II championship participants receive about $7 million annually, while Division III championship participants get about $6.3 million a year. Division III considered increasing its per diem amount recently, but budget woes caused the plan to be delayed.