Like most other schools in NCAA Division I, Radford relies on student fees to help support ever-expanding athletics budgets. Many schools, including Radford, do not itemize where those fees go for those who pay the tuition bills, USA TODAY found in an ongoing examination of college athletics finances. The amounts going to athletics are soaring, and account for as much as 23% of the required annual bill for in-state students.
Students were charged more than $795 million to support sports programs at 222 Division I public schools during the 2008-09 school year, according to an analysis of thousands of pages of financial documents. Adjusting for inflation, that’s an 18% jump since 2005, making athletics funding at public schools a key force in the rapidly escalating cost of higher education.