INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Clayton State’s Bena Hanyard and Samantha Walling are among 80 recipients of the NCAA Degree Completion Scholarship, the organization announced this week. Hanyard and Walling are among four Peach Belt Conference student-athletes who will receive financial assistance to help them finish their degrees.
The NCAA established the Division II Degree Completion Award Program in 2001 to provide deserving student-athletes financial assistance for them to complete their first baccalaureate degree. Candidates are students who have exhausted their athletics eligibility and have received athletics financial aid.
The selection process for the national award emphasizes the academic performance of the student-athlete. Other factors considered are financial circumstances, athletic achievement and involvement in campus and community activities.
Of those student-athletes who have received the award since its inception, 94 percent have earned their undergraduate degree using this program.
Hanyard started in 24 games for the basketball Lakers this past season. A Health and Fitness Management major from Marietta, GA., she averaged 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Hanyard scored in double figures 19 times during the season, including a season-high 29 points against Lander in the PBC Tournament. She also produced three double-doubles and was named to the PBC All-Tournament team.
Walling is a three-time selection to the PBC Women's Cross Country All-Academic Team and was named for the second time this spring to the PBC All-Academic team in track & field. She completed her four-year career at Clayton State running a career-best this season of 2:19.68 in the 800m. During her cross country career, Walling was a two-time All-PBC selection and helped the Lakers’ win the 2012 PBC Cross Country title with a sixth place finish in the championship meet. The Galt, Calif. native is carrying a 3.68 GPA and will graduate in December with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
See the complete list of NCAA Degree Completion Award Recipients here.