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Betting on a sports scholarship to pay for kids' college? Don't

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,914 Senior Member
"- 20% of U.S. parents with kids in sports programs expect them to win a college athletics scholarship, TD Ameritrade found in a recent study.
- Many parents also tap their retirement savings, work overtime or even raid college funds to pay for coaching fees, equipment and other expenses that can easily add up to $500 a month.
- Statistics shows that only 11% of young people got sports scholarships to attend college in 2019." ...


Replies to: Betting on a sports scholarship to pay for kids' college? Don't

  • GKUnionGKUnion Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    I’d be interested to know how many CCers that post on this particular forum have children who earned a scholarship.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,848 Senior Member
    My kid got an athletic scholarship which she could (and did) combine with a merit scholarship. Her school had 3 levels of merit, and she got the middle level. Anyone who was in robotic or when to a STEM high school was guaranteed the lowest level of merit, but you couldn't get that level for a robotics merit and another merit based on stats.

    Now they do it a little differently ad there is a small scholarship of $2500 for the robotics, STEM, eagle scout, etc, and then the student also gets a merit award based just on stats. Can still stack an athletic scholarship with one of the smaller awards.

    I had my eyes on golf caddy scholarships for my kids. They, sadly, didn't cooperate by becoming caddies.
  • Smileyface1Smileyface1 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member

    Couldn’t agree more! My daughter got a 36 ACT, and my in-laws think the merit money is falling from the sky for her to go to Stanford. She’s working the sports angle at high end schools, but she won’t be getting any merit money, her reward is getting into a T20 school and we still get to be full pay.
  • recruitparentrecruitparent Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    CCer that have had children that were recruited and could have earned an athletic scholarship of some form but they picked the school based on academics and fit. In those cases the athletics helped them get into the school.
    Athletics & recruiting can help you get into a school though athletes/students earning athletics scholarships are often overstated and exaggerated by parents especially by the word of mouth that gets spread about by other parents.
    I have had numerous people tell me about someone going to an Ivy for a full ride based on athletics disguised as merit (not possible at an Ivy) or a D2 or even D3 giving a full ride for track because they really wanted their son/grandson/friends kids...who was a slightly above average HS Athlete.
    Many parents do not understand how scholarships work, that some sports programs are not full funded and that recruited does not always mean athletic scholarship or depending on the sport it may be a smaller partial scholarship.
    However, if you are a very good athlete and a top student academically, it can open some doors and provide a lot of good options to choose from.
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 497 Member
    This subject has been discussed previously. And, despite being openly discussed for years, the scholarship myth persists. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/sports/10scholarships.html. Overall, there are more dollars available for academic scholarships. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703824304575435340724917622. On this data, it could be argued that tutors would be a better spend than private athletic trainers.

    That said, these are overall numbers. An athlete getting an athletic scholarship has to be both good and lucky. A student getting an academic/merit scholarship has to be good, and often have the stats above the mean in able to qualify. For example, a student with a 36 ACT and equivalent GPA probably could get a very hefty academic scholarship to a college or university -- but it would not be to an elite academic institution where students with that ACT score are being turned away.

    Being a good student and good athlete, however, absolutely does open doors, as suggested by @recruit parent -- both in college admissions and after college.
  • goddess00goddess00 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    edited May 21
    It is much more likely that athletics opens doors to better schools than it amounts to a ton of money unless it is football, basketball or baseball at a D1 powerhouse. Conversely women are more likely to get full rides in sports like rowing due to title IX (depending on the school of course). Ivies dont have scholarships or merit. It is all FA. So when you hear full ride at an Iv, that means full financial aid. Some schools --including Ivies--have money slotted for very specific students like Princeton had endowed scholarships at one point for certain boarding schools.
  • SATXMom2SATXMom2 Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    hahaha... i bet that number is way higher among NON-CC members. DS22 plays on a high level soccer team.. most of the parents are delusional. DS has a 4.0 and has gotten some invites to camps (all D1 schools can do at this time). We have no illusions about his "odds" For boys there are only about 90 or so D1 soccer programs.. for girls around 400. DS's odds are not good and we don't have any intention of pursuing it. We might consider a D3 program IF he decides he'd like to continue playing.

    That said 90% of our team parents believe their sons will play in college (despite not having great grades). But you can't tell those parents anything... little johnny's future is bright.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,655 Senior Member
    "An athlete getting an athletic scholarship has to be both good and lucky."

    I don't get this statement. There's projection involved in recruiting, but not much luck.
  • milgymfammilgymfam Registered User Posts: 618 Member
    That number seems incredibly low for my daughter’s sport, gymnastics, where every parent of a child who can do a handstand or a backflip seems to think they’re destined for D1- at least for awhile. There are too many coaches that perpetuate the craziness too. My favorite part of my not-NCAA-caliber gymnast heading to college is that club gymnastics is basically free. After years of such an expensive sport I’m just happy she can continue for the love of it without sinking all her money into it!
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,437 Senior Member
    While betting on a sports scholarship may be unwise in most situations, sports accomplishments do help with getting admitted to many colleges & universities which do not offer sports scholarships.
  • amom2girlsamom2girls Registered User Posts: 460 Member
    Not an athlete, but my daughter received merit scholarships for dance. She received the 2nd largest merit scholarship for her dance BFA and was admitted to Rutgers Honors College. This is all based on her dance audition. Her grades are fine but not merit scholarship level for the programs that she was admitted to.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,437 Senior Member
    Interesting that dance is considered a talent & not a sport--same for those with musical ability. Probably because there is no scorekeeping & no clearly defined winner or loser.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 5,792 Senior Member
    There are plenty of music and dance competitions where there are winners/losers.

    Our experience was that good students saw much more scholarship money than athletes, other than the very tippy top. The athletes who did get big $ tended to go to lesser known regional schools. I agree that having both the grades and the athletic ability is a boost to overall admission.
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