Kent State Athletics Launches Ready FLASH Program
Many Kent State University student-athletes will qualify for additional preparation for success after graduation under a benefits program slated to launch in fall 2023.
The Ready FLASH (For Life After Sport Holistically) program, announced today by Kent State Director of Athletics Randale L. Richmond, follows the 2021 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened the door for colleges and universities to offer education-related benefits on top of scholarships. Richmond noted that the Ready FLASH program will help student-athletes to be successful as they transition into life after sports.
“Kent State puts students first, and this program will inspire retention and degree completion,” Richmond said. “The academic and student development focus of Ready FLASH will be a valuable tool to help our student-athletes maintain a high level of success in the classroom as well as personally and professionally.”
Kent State’s overall student-athlete academic performance is consistently among the highest in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Last spring, 70% of Kent State student-athletes recorded GPAs of a 3.0 or higher, with 51 at a perfect 4.0.
Ready FLASH will follow requirements of both the NCAA and the MAC. The latter has stipulated a focus on the conference’s four “core sports,” which are football, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball. Kent State’s plan will encompass additional sports in keeping with the university’s commitment to gender equity.
Details of the Kent State plan include:
- For headcount scholarship student-athletes, a total annual award of $5,980 in educational benefits will be possible as determined by the NCAA v. Alston U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
- These funds are intended for education-related benefits, such as laptops, class projects, science equipment, education-abroad opportunities and career preparation.
- The university will withhold half of each annual award and will release those funds to the student-athlete upon completion of their Kent State undergraduate degree.
- One quarter of the award will be available in both the fall and spring semesters, and distribution is contingent upon the student-athlete’s completion of a series of career, leadership and personal development programs while maintaining a required level of academic performance.
The additional funding needed for the program will come from adjusting Kent State Athletics’ portion of existing student fee support to pre-pandemic level, which is approximately a 4 percentage point difference.