Funding College through Athletic Scholarships

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While it is possible for any child with physical talent to develop into an exceptional athlete, an athlete that attracts the attention of college recruiters and who is offered an athletic scholarship, the truth of the matter is this:

That athlete is the exception to the rule.

Approximately 4%-5% of all high school athletes will participate in a college sport. That athlete may or may not have been awarded an athletic scholarship.

A little known fact typically ignored or avoided by parents is this – there are only 6 full-ride collegiate sports, 2 for men, 4 for women. All 6 are at the NCAA D1 level (less than 2% of high school athletes will participate at the D1 level).

For men, those sports are basketball and football. For women, those sports are basketball, volleyball, tennis, and gymnastics.

Moreover, not every member of a collegiate athletic team, whether it is NCAA or NAIA, will have an athletic scholarship, or perhaps any scholarship whatsoever. Unless a student has been awarded a full-ride scholarship, if they have been awarded an athletic scholarship, it will be a partial scholarship, leaving the remaining expense of a college education to the student and their family.

There are a maximum number of scholarships each team may award, if the program is fully funded. Not all programs are.

So, if you are at the beginning, or somewhere in the midst, of years of athletic training, be absolutely sure your family will be ahead financially as the college years fast approach.

Let’s consider the expense of raising an athlete who will have a 1 in 20 chance of playing a sport in college…

Sure, when they’re young, the expenses seem insignificant. But, as they age, costs increase. Consider the following: monthly team or practice costs; uniform, equipment, and travel expenses; tournament or meet fees; and, private coaching (e.g., technique, strength, speed, etc.).

Certainly the numerous positive benefits should be considered. Benefits such as learning to perform under pressure, enhanced discipline, increased confidence, improved self-esteem, and learning to graciously handle both success and failure are priceless.

There are great reasons to support a child’s talents; they vary from family to family. If the primary driver is to fund a college education, remember the odds.

For a family concerned about their finances, potential health care expenses, and having an affordable, comfortable retirement, investing in an education-funding strategy that has less than a 2% success rate may not be a positive strategic move.

Please contact us for guidance in developing and implementing a college planning campaign designed with your family’s financial goals in mind.

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