About Finance

Sixty percent of NCAA revenue is distributed directly to Division I conferences, which pass most of that money along to their member institutions to support their athletics programs. Another major use of NCAA revenue is the support of 89 national championships in 23 sports, including coverage of travel expenses for all participants. Other student-athlete benefits include catastrophic-injury insurance coverage for all student-athletes; year-round and championship drug-testing programs; and various scholarship programs, among others.


NCAA expenses for 2011-12 were $800 million, about 63 percent of which were direct distributions to Division I conferences and institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The NCAA sends $503 million to Division I conferences and institutions. Does that cover most of their operating expenses?

No. At a typical Division I institution, the NCAA distribution will cover less than 5 percent of expenses.

The NCAA spends more than $100 million annually on championships. Why are they so expensive?

The NCAA pays for travel expenses for student-athletes competing in all 88 NCAA championships in all three divisions. That includes transportation costs and also per diem allowances (the per diems vary by division).

A total of $503 million was distributed to Division I members through the provisions of the Division I Revenue-Distribution Plan. See the distributions section for more information.

Of the remainder, $80 million supported Division I championships and programs, while $32.5 million went to Division II and $25.3 million to Division III. See the championships section for more information.

Another $104.5 million was directed at Association-wide programs, including injury insurance, postgraduate scholarships and committee support, among other things.


Last Updated: Feb 13, 2013