Cats Forever Program
UA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Former Student-Athlete Education Assistance Program
As a part of the UA’s Commitment to an Athlete's Total Success (C.A.T.S), the mission of the CATS Forever program is to assist former Arizona student-athletes in fulfilling the goal of graduation for those who left school before receiving their undergraduate degree.
In 2014, the Athletics Department evaluated the program and was able to expand it based on the deregulation of the NCAA policies. Now the CATS Forever Program can help former student-athletes with financial assistance based on available funding.
There are three components to the CATS Forever Program:
The Athletics Department can provide academic assistance to former student-athletes with regards to admission, registration, transcripts, degree-check, academic support, and course evaluation in respect to the individual’s graduation status. Former student-athletes who are unable to attend the UA and enroll at another local college or university may also request academic assistance with academic transcripts, course evaluations, etc.
Personal Development Assistance
The Athletics Department has CATS support staff who can assist former student-athletes in developing the skills necessary to be successful in the classroom and after graduation. The program focuses on the three main areas:
- To expand the range of available coping skills to insure former student-athletes are better prepared for returning to school.
- Provide social and emotional support during the academic, employment, and transitional periods.
- Provide counselling for former student-athletes who may be having difficulty with the transition from playing their sport.
- Former student-athletes who previously received athletic aid may be given financial support through the CATS Forever Program.
- Financial aid provided by the Athletics Department is available now for the fall and spring semesters.
- A limited amount of aid will be available for the summer and winter sessions beginning in 2015-16 academic year.
- Due to the limited amount of aid available, financial aid is not guaranteed, but the Athletics Department may assist in securing advice on other financial opportunities outside of the department (i.e. loans, grants, other scholarship opportunities, etc.)
- CATS Forever financial aid is available on a case by case basis.
- Former student-athletes must be in good academic standing.
- If a class is dropped or failed, the Athletics Department has the right to deny any future funding provided to the former student-athlete. For example, a former student-athlete may ask to pay the tuition and fees first and upon successful completion of class be reimbursed.
- This program will be a supplement to any professionally negotiated contract that covers the cost of educational expenses (e.g. Major League Baseball, National Football League, etc.)
- Application form is required and available on-line at www.azaclub.com
- The UA Intercollegiate Athletics Department does not financially assist those individuals who are taking classes at an institution other than UA.
- Recommended submission deadline for consideration into the CATS Forever Program is:
- Fall Semester: March 15
- Spring Semester: September 15
If a former student athlete has not completed 50% of their course requirements, the following information would pertain to them:
- FAFSA: To be initially eligible for the scholarship aid, students most complete the FAFSA (fafsa.ed.gov) and must demonstrate “a need for assistance” to be eligible for the CATS Forever tuition waver.
- If FAFSA determines the student is not needy, the student-athlete will be asked to pay first and be reimbursed if the classes are successfully completed.
- A student whose application is approved and meets the ABOR requirements can apply for financial aid through the CATS Forever Program for up to tuition and fees (no living expenses or books). [tuition waver]. If a student does not meet the ABOR eligibility requirements, they must reapply for financial aid through the CATS Forever Program when they bring their academic records up to the eligibility requirements. On a case by case basis, these students may be approved based upon mitigating circumstances.
Steps to Apply for CATS Forever Program
- All applicants must complete the CATS Forever Interest Form and submit it to the A-Club for review. If a computer is not available a printed form can be provided.
- Once an application is submitted, applicant must submit all non-University of Arizona academic transcripts to C.A.T.S. Academics for unofficial evaluation.
- Former student-athletes must complete the necessary paperwork for readmission to the UA by Spring and Fall deadlines.
- Once an applicant has been accepted by their college he/she must contact the C.A.T.S. academic office to set up a meeting with a college advisor who will help them register for classes.
This program serves as an excellent way for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to better serve former student-athletes and assist them in obtaining their degrees. For more information, please contact the A-Club office at 520-621-9272 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Gayle Hopkins A-Club Finish Line Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded annually to student-athletes that have finished their eligibility and are within one year of completing their degree. These scholarships are made possible by donations made to the Arizona A-Club Endowment by former Arizona letterwinners.
Michael Wright Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded annually to a former student-athlete who best exemplifies the drive and determination required to complete their degree post eligibility at the University of Arizona. The scholarship was established by former basketball teammates of Michael Wright, an all-time great Wildcat.
Discipline, Dedication, and Desire Scholarship (D.D.D)
This scholarship was created by alumni letterwinner David Dobler. David lettered in both Cross Country and Track & Field at Arizona. He believes all student-athletes should value their time on campus and make sure they leave with a degree. The D.D.D Scholarship was a perfect avenue for David to ensure he would help contribute to fellow Wildcats completing their degrees. The D.D.D Scholarship helps student-athletes continue pursuing their education after they have completed their athletic eligibility. One male and one female student-athlete are chosen each school year.
NCAA Scholarship and Grant Information
For more information on scholarships and grants that NCAA provides, please visit http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/ncaa-scholarships-and-grants