The career of a professional athlete or sportsperson is getting more and more lucrative day by day. Depending on the chosen sport and level of professionalism, a huge salary can be commanded.
This is one of the reasons that every parent with an athletic child is investigating the possibility of a sports scholarship. Such a scholarship helps fund the schooling of especially athletic children who show interest in obtaining a career in a particular sport.
Winning a full ride sports scholarship can help make such a dream a reality!
However, there are 7 things you must know about this sort of scholarship…
1. Sport Scholarships Are Very Competitive
There are around 138,000 athletic scholarships available in Division I and II sports. This number may sound like a lot but the matter of fact is that nearly one million boys apply for a mere 19,500 school football scholarships. That means only one in 50 applicants will receive some sort of financial aid to help fund their academic and sports education.
Similarly there are 4,500 scholarships for girls track and field available, but nearly 603,000 girls compete for them. That’s right; the odds are even worse for women.
In other words, there are a ton of very talented people applying for a very limited number of scholarships.
2. We’re Not Talking A Lot Of Money
The athletic scholarship clocks in on average at about $10,400. Apart from men’s and women’s basketball, football and women’s volleyball no other sports offer a full ride scholarship. Excluding these three sports, the average scholarship is just about $8,700.
3.Scholarship Numbers Are Not Always Exact
The NCAA decides the number of scholarship assigned for Division I and Division II sports. However, school coaches will sometimes split the scholarships up into smaller amounts. Why? To extract maximum benefit for their school and sport. For example, suppose there are 20 $5,000 scholarships allotted for a particular sport. If the coaches opt to break them into smaller parts (say 40 $2,500 scholarships) they can attract twice as many athletes to their school.
4. Being Proactive Increases Your Chances Of Obtaining a Scholarship
The college coaches cannot know all the athletes in the college until and unless he/she is a superstar. If you think that your child is this caliber of athlete, you need to send an email to the coach and get them introduced in the college team. The email should include all the necessary information such as the sport the child is involved in, positions and prizes won and the contact details.
5. Use Video If Possible
If you really want to make your child to stand out in the eyes of the coach, the best idea is to create a video “highlight reel” of your child’s most impressive showings. Burn this video to a CD and send directly to the college coach so s/he gets an impressive introduction to your child’s capabilities. You don’t need a high end camera for this – even a cheap flip phone will work. YouTube can help here; create a video, upload it in on YouTube and send the link to the coach in the mail. It always creates a great impact on the coaches.
No video camera or on a budget? You can create slide-show type videos with photographs using an online service like Animoto. Click here to learn more about creating videos for free!
6. Don’t Assume The Scholarship Lasts Beyond The First Year
Athletic scholarships are renewed every year and if your child qualified for it this year, don’t assume s/he will get it every year for the duration of his/her schooling. This depends entirely on the judgment of the coach. In order to continue to receive the scholarship, a certain level of performance must be maintained. This is a problem, as it causes stress on the student and may distract them from their main goals or their other courses. It also demonstrates the main difference between scholarships and grants, which are doled out with expectation of performance.
Go for Division III schools
The smaller private colleges which come under Division III actually offer a great value for the athletic scholarships. These schools give merit awards for both academics and sports activities. The scholarships offered in the Division III schools are much higher than that provided in Division I and Division II schools.