N-Vest Program pays athletes for better grades

The Huskers are one of the first to adopt a program that allows scholarship athletes to make up to $25,000 during their college career for success off the field
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -In the age of Name, Image and Likeness, student athletes are cashing in on performance on the field. Now the Huskers are one of the first to adopt a program that allows scholarship athletes to make up to $25,000 during their college career for success off the field.

It’s known as the N-Vest Program. Through it, athletes who are on scholarship will be able to earn up to about $6,000 a year for meeting academic requirements set by the NCAA.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is one of the first to do so, and offering the maximum payouts allowed.

For student-athletes like Passmore Mudundulu succeeding on the track is just as important as succeeding in the classroom. Something he can now be rewarded for in dollars.

“We’re really excited,” Mudundulu said. “It’s a brand new program that the school is implementing this year, and it’s pretty much equates to about $6,000 split up each semester. "

Mudundulu said the money can be used for pursuing ventures outside of athletics. According to the NCAA, fewer than 2% of college athletes at the Division One Level go pro.

“To branch out and do opportunities, like entrepreneurship things or help pay for grad school applications,” Mudundulu said.

Right now, the Athletic Department said they have hundreds of scholarship athletes that will at least qualify to be part of the program.

“Our development staff, our ticket sales, our fan donations, that’s where it comes from. its a part of the budget and we’ve budgeted for it in a way that if every single athlete hits the mark we’re covered,” said Jamie Vaughn, Executive Athletic Director in charge of compliance.

Vaughn said the grade requirements are similar to ones that are already in place to be able to compete, and it’s likely almost all Huskers on scholarship will have a chance to earn that $5,980 in cash.

“Our goal is always to maximize what we can do for our student athletes so they can be successful athletically but also academically and in life,” Vaughn said. “It’s just part of what we do, its part of our culture.”

“Allows athletes to think more and be more intentional about our lives after track or whatever sport we compete in,” Mudundulu said.

Right now, the program is only offered to student-athletes that are on scholarship, but the Athletic Department said conversations of expanding that to non-scholarship athletes as well is already underway.