Each year the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is required to reimburse the university for the cost of its athletic scholarships. This is the primary function of the I FUND. In the 2007-2008 academic year, the scholarship aid bill was $8,000,000. Due in part to an outstanding year of development, the I FUND fully covered the scholarship expenses as well as a portion of the operating expenses of the Irwin Academic Center and its staff.
With the constant increase in tuition, the cost of providing athletic scholarships continues to escalate (tuition inflation chart). Next year, the I FUND faces yet another challenge as the DIA is projected to pay well over $8 million for athletic scholarships. Since 1996, with only modest adjustments, in-state tuition has increased 151% while non-resident tuition has risen to over 139%. The university’s strategic plan calls for a much more aggressive approach to tuition increases placing a higher burden on the I FUND.