Maryland is set to become one of the first Division I schools to guarantee lifetime athletic scholarships for all sports, the school announced Tuesday morning.

The new program will be implemented in November for incoming scholarship athletes, according to a statement by the school. Aid will be guaranteed through graduation for athletes who exhaust their eligibility before graduating, as well as those who are unable to compete because of injury. The program will also provide tuition, books and fees for athletes who leave the university in good academic standing and return to finish their degree.

Maryland athletes currently are offered one-year financial agreements that are examined for renewal each year.

"Our vision is to be the best intercollegiate athletic program while producing graduates who are prepared to serve as leaders in the local, state and global communities," Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said in the statement. "We are confident 'The Maryland Way Guarantee' will further demonstrate our commitment to our student-athletes' pursuit of a college degree."

The Big Ten Conference endorsed guaranteed four-year scholarships in late July in a statement signed by each of the league's 14 presidents and chancellors. The Pacific-12 called for similar assurances as part of a sweeping set of proposals sent in a May letter to the presidents of schools in the other four major FBC conferences. Earlier this summer, Indiana announced its commitment to four-year scholarships for all full-scholarship athletes, and Southern California it would offer them to all athletes in football and men's and women's basketball.



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