Alma, Mich. – Senior Kaitlyn Arnold (Jackson, Mich./Northwest), a member of the Alma College women’s cross country and track and field teams, has been awarded the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, it was announced recently by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Arnold, an integrative physiology and health science major with a 4.0 grade-point average, was one of 29 recipients for the 2016 women’s fall sports season and will receive a one-time, non-renewable scholarship of $7,500. She plans to use the funds to pursue a Doctor of Optometry degree at the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University.
“I was really overjoyed when I received it,” Arnold said. “This is the largest scholarship I’ve ever received and it was a very rewarding feeling.
“As a Division III student-athlete, we participate in athletics because we love it, not because we get monetary incentives to do so. I’m pleased the NCAA has a program like this to reward hard-working student-athletes from all divisions pursing higher education. This has definitely made all of the hard work and sacrifices to be a student-athlete competing at a high level worth it.”
Arnold qualified for the NCAA III Championships in her final season with the cross country team after finishing sixth at the NCAA III Great Lakes Regional and was named the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award winner as the student-athlete with the highest GPA at the championships. A member of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division III All-Great Lakes Region Team, Arnold was also the runner-up at the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Cross Country Championship and won four of the eight races she competed in during the 2016 campaign.
Arnold finished her cross country career after being named to the All-MIAA Team in every season, earning Second Team honors as a freshman in 2013 and receiving First Team recognition in her final three years. In addition, she is a three-time recipient of All-Academic honors from the USTFCCCA and earned Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as a sophomore and junior.
Arnold is the 12th student-athlete from Alma College to receive the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, and the first since Josh Brehm ’07 received the award in 2007. She is also one of three student-athletes from the MIAA to earn the scholarship for the 2016 fall sports season, joining Hope College’s Aaron O’Meara and Kalamazoo College’s Grace Smith.
The NCAA awards up to 174 Postgraduate Scholarships annually. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.