COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — A real, full ride to college. The University of Maryland will guarantee scholarships to student athletes until they graduate, regardless of injury or performance.

Rick Ritter explains this goes for all student-athletes, not just stars in big money sports.

In the past, as a student athlete, you’ve had to worry about losing your scholarship due to an injury or lack of performance—but now, Maryland is guaranteeing those scholarships to all student-athletes in all sports until they graduate.

Thousands of victories and more than 30 national championships. One of the premier athletic universities in the country stepped up its game for student-athletes.

“Oh yeah, I’m so ready,” said Yousef Naved.

Starting in November, for the first time at the University of Maryland, student athletes are guaranteed to keep scholarships regardless of career-ending injuries or a lack of performance.

“They feel like once they get injured, they’re not going to be able to pursue their careers and with this, they don’t have to worry about anything,” he said.

And even if student-athletes leave school early to go professional and come back years later to finish up a degree…

“That opens up doors for a couple other students who get the opportunity but need to finish their degrees,” said Jenna Caraher.

Currently, NCAA rules allow scholarships to be renewed on a year-to-year basis and reduce or cancel for any reason—meaning there’s no guarantee the scholarship lasts four years.

Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson says this shows how committed the university is to student-athletes and their pursuit of a degree.

“We want to show our student athletes that we’re committed for a lifetime,” said Coach Kevin Anderson.

Officials say the guarantee has nothing to do with joining the Big 10—but it’s hard to imagine the move won’t give them an edge in recruiting.

“Not a lot of people know which school they’re going to go to or get recruited to, but after this scholarship, I feel like a lot more people are going to try to come to Maryland,” said Naved.

Regardless, in the end, the move is a win-win for the university, providing student-athletes with a sense of relief and stability.

“When they go out there, they can just have fun. They’ll probably play better,” said one student.

Other schools have extended this guarantee to sports that generate the most revenue. Maryland is one of the few schools to offer it to all sports.

Student athletes must leave the university in good academic standing in order to return and complete their degree.

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