I didn’t watch the movie or read his bio, so I don’t know his financial situation. I do know that there are opportunities for lower-income students in the way of grants and loans. I find it difficult to believe that he could not have gotten a college loan or grant in some form if was an adequate student. Since he managed to do two years at Holy Cross College before he entered Notre Dame, I would guess that answers the question. He was a military vet who was already attending an accredited college before he got into Notre Dame. Whether he could have afforded Notre Dame without an athletic scholarship is separate from whether he could afford college period.