Athletic Scholarships - The Truth Behind The Fantasies

The Elusive Athletic Scholarships and the Story Behind The Stats.

What parent wouldn’t want to see their little Sally or Billy be the star athlete in the sport that they love. Then even move on to play Division I sports at the university of their choice with scholarships to help pay for those bloated tuition costs.

At what point does the fantasy cloud the way for the facts to come through and prevent parents from seeing the truth about athletic scholarships?

Right around the time that little Sally or Billy begins developing athletic skills and gets picked to play on the elite or travel sports team do the fantasies of sugar plums and college athletic scholarships begin to dance in their heads.

Reminds me of a great story about college hockey and scholarships...

The Problem with College Sports Scholarships

There are more fantasies, fiction and bad information circulating among athletic students and parents about these types of scholarships than there are facts.

This is leading parents and students down the wrong path in thinking that the average athlete has a good shot at earning themselves full or partial athletic university scholarships when in fact their chances are remote at best.

The Statistics Behind Athletic Scholarships

    athletic scholarshipsDivision I: Offers both full and partial sports scholarships
    Athletic ScholarshipsDivision II: Offers both full and partial sports scholarships
    Sports ScholarshipsDivision III: Are not permitted to offer any sports scholarships

If you have the athletic skills and talent to compete at the Division I & II levels of NCAA sports, you’ll need to be an excellent student to be able to contend for the scholarships that are available to student athletes.

If this sounds like you, you’ll want to find help in getting involved in a sports recruiting process to get yourself noticed for you athletic ability.

Chances of High School Seniors Playing NCAA Sports...

    NCAA Men’s Basketball – less than 3%
    NCAA Baseball – less than 6%
    NCAA Women’s basketball – less than 4%
    NCAA Football – less than 6%
    NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey – less than 13%
    NCAA Men’s Soccer – less than 6%
    (*statistics according to NCAA)

A study by the NCAA concluded that...

“Sadly though, it comes as a rude surprise to many athletes yearning for a professional sports career to learn that the odds against success are astronomically high. Approximately 1 percent of NCAA men’s basketball players and 2 percent of NCAA football players are drafted by NBA or NFL teams – and just being drafted is no assurance of a successful professional career. “Student-athletes” whose sole and now failed objective was to make the pros suddenly find themselves in a world that demands skills their universities did not require them to learn.”

The Downside of Athletic Scholarships

The Odds Are Against You. Your odds are just so remote in winning any sports scholarship money especially compared to the fact there are over 2 million scholarships worth over $14 billion out there for any type of student to tap into with the right planning and preparation.

How Great Is The Money...Really? The average sports scholarships for exceptionally athletic students runs between $8,000 and $9,000. So putting all your eggs in one basket and hoping for the best from your athletic ability is probably not the best strategy since it’ll still leave you with an ugly balance that you may have to finish paying through student loans.

College Sports Scholarships Are Never Guaranteed. Even if you're a great athletic student and lucky enough to win some scholarships, it wouldn’t be guaranteed to you from year to year. You’re required to be eligible each year of the award. The factors that come into play could be your continued ability to play at a high level, injuries and even your academic performance...thus the name student athlete.

The Upside of Athletic Scholarships

Make it Part of a Scholarship Strategy Formula. Sports are a great thing especially for any young athlete growing up. All parents should encourage their kids to get involved in activities that require physical exertion. It’s good for the mind and body.

There’s also nothing wrong with striving to attain a sports scholarship as long as it doesn’t put the primary objective of getting a good quality education in the back seat. Trying to meet your school tuition costs through athletic performance should only be a part of your overall strategy for winning free money without having to rely on student loans.

Smart athletic students see these types of scholarships as only a part of the overall picture of paying for school without student loans.

If you’re a skilled athlete with the potential ability to play at the NCAA level, certainly make a attaining a sports scholarship a part of your strategy, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Parents: Get those gifted athletic students ready to play NCAA sports if that’s what your child wants (notice I mentioned child) but you would better serve them by planning and preparing them to win a piece of the 2 million scholarships that are available. Do this by always making education first and sports second and you’ll be setting them up for greater successes both on and off the field than you could ever have imagined.

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