I see and hear of so many families chasing this “white whale” called an athletic scholarship – spending thousands to even tens of thousands of dollars over a 3 to 5 year period on showcase events & elite tournaments, private lessons & club programs, travel costs including lodging, fuel, meals & flights and so much more. The amount of money “invested” with the hopes to “play” in college almost never results in an athletic scholarship. Check the stats. It’s true.
In fact, families could’ve spent a considerable amount less over that time and probably would be in the exact same situation when facing the possibility of “playing” in college…and maybe used that money to offset the high cost of tuition and board. Nevertheless, for those in that position, what’s done is done. However, everyone should consider this…
Instead of your money going toward the next fruitless “on-field” investment as detailed above, how about directing those funds toward something academic based – like a tutor for a subject or an SAT/ACT prep course. It’s fair to say that many families spend $10,000 over a five-year span with “on-field” based investments. By taking just 10% of that – a “mere” $1,000 – and putting it toward improving a GPA or board score – could result in thousands of dollars in an academic scholarship! Side note – that academic investment may also become the difference between being accepted into the school of your choice or being denied.
Then, there’s getting involved with something that costs NOTHING to invest in. Volunteer! Round out your student-athlete profile by showing that there’s more to you than just playing on the field and achieving in the classroom. Many colleges now want to see “what else you do” and will examine that carefully. Volunteering with community organizations is a great way to both be involved in helping others AND increase the chances of qualifying for a merit scholarship! I personally think highly of student-athletes getting involved with special needs children or anti-bullying groups. Those organizations are often available locally and among their peers. Some are even athletic based!
At the end of the day, 10 dimes and a $1 bill have the same value. If you were DI scholarship material, you’d know it…because those schools would be coming directly to you with offers. If a college is going to offer your family an academic scholarship to attend their DII or DIII school, are you really so “better than” that? So vain, regal or self-absorbed in your perceived “ablility” to snub it because it’s not “athletic” based. Unfortunately, too many familes are.
Remember, in the end, it’s always the student who suffers. Please be aware of that. It’s truly a shame because over 95% of high school athletes will NOT get an athletic scholarship. It’s hard enough just to make the DII, DIII and NAIA team.