Maryland Uses Scholarships To Help Boost Student Football Attendance
The Univ. of Maryland this football season "paid a total of $28,000 in scholarship money to students for attending games and staying until the fourth quarter" in an attempt to"boost student turnout," according to Jay Cannon of USA TODAY. For several seasons, UMD has "struggled to fill the student section at Maryland Stadium." Prior to this season, one "motivated" donor, whose identity remains anonymous, "approached the school with an idea to incentivize students to not only attend games but also stay at them." As a result of the donor’s funding, one student was "randomly selected to win a scholarship of at least $5,000 in the fourth quarter of every home game this season." The catch was that he or she "had to enter the stadium prior to kickoff and stay until the fourth quarter to be eligible for the prize." Another donor, "inspired by the original giveaway idea, offered to give a $1,000 scholarship in the third quarter of every home game, starting with the Terrapins’ Sept. 22 home date with Minnesota" (USATODAY.com, 11/23).