Leveraging Sports for Scholarships
Is your child seriously considering playing sports in college? Are you hoping the school will provide a “full ride” scholarship? With a few exceptions for certain sports (football, men's and women's basketball, and women's volleyball), the “full ride” is a myth. As a matter of fact, the average athletic scholarship at Division I and Division II schools is a little over $8,000 per year. That is a drop in the bucket when average college tuition with room and board in the US is now at almost $35,000. Division III schools do not award athletic scholarships at all per the NCAA rules.
So why would a kid want to run track, play lacrosse, play soccer, swim, or take part in any other NCAA sport if they get so little money in return for the hours and hours they will dedicate to collegiate level sports? College athletics provides incredible support for students, especially those just making the leap from high school into the world of being on their own. Being part of a team gives new students a place to “belong” with an instant group of like-minded people. It provides positive structure and expectations that are familiar to these new budding adults. It often gives them a place to “learn the ropes” of their new life before new student orientation and classes start. According to the NCAA, students who play college sports graduate today at higher rates (80% of athletes graduate in 4 years) than many of their peers (57% of non-athletes 4 year graduation rate).
Most colleges and universities recognize that athletic scholarships are but a small part of the financial package students need to attend their school. Schools are looking for academically sound and competitive student athletes so more money could be available to your student based on their test scores, academic history, and family financial need. If your student wants to play sports and is being actively recruited by a program and the school is a good fit, let the coach and financial aid officers know your EFC and let them help you figure out a way to fund your child’s education.
College sports are a great way to leverage a student’s skills to get some money for college but it is so much more! It helps them grow outside the classroom as they are part of something bigger than themselves. It not only is a place to make new friends and create memoires, it is also the perfect place to foster skills like time management, focus, and work/school/life balance.
Still not sure if college sports are for your high school athlete and want to find more scholarship grants and opportunities? Let’s chat! Book a 20 minute call and we will explore the myriad of sports and non-sport options available to your student!