What You Don't Know About Athletic Scholarships

I hadn’t planned on writing about athletic scholarships for three days in a row, but a father of a Division I athlete at Indiana University emailed some great observations that I wanted to pass along.

I should mention that his daughter is a rower, which is the only sport that I know of where just about any girl who rows in high school can probably snag a rowing scholarship. Recently 2,359 girls rowed in high school and there were 2,295 rowing scholarships in Division I and Division II.

You can see the statistics yourself in this New York Times chart that  gives the numbers of athletic scholarships for each Division I and II sport. Check out the odds for all the other sports and it’s not pretty.

One Parent’s Perspective

Without further ado, here’s what the dad had to say:

Our daughter just completed her freshman year on a full athletic scholarship for rowing at Indiana University.  Her experience has been wonderful from all perspectives — academic, athletic, and social — and she recently signed on for her second year of rowing on scholarship.

Just wanted to add a few observations about our family’s experience:

Athletic scholarships are hard work!  The coach has your son/daughter for a lot of time during the academic year — it’s like having a job for the student!

Your student athlete will not be able to spend much time with the coaches/team/university prior to signing a Letter of Intent due to NCAA rules.  The student athlete should put how comfortable he/she feels at the university first over money considerations.  We know other rowers who signed on to row and are very unhappy with their current situation.

As you pointed out, athletic scholarships are only for one year at a time.  It is important for families to ask the coaching staff about their policies when a scholarship athlete becomes injured.  Our daughter fractured her rib at the end of this past season.  The coaches still signed her on for year two.

As you pointed out, full scholarships are rare!  Take this into consideration when considering out of state schools.

Families need to consider the money spent in high school pursuing an athletic scholarship.  Our daughter got into rowing because her older brother rowed in high school.  It turned out she was good enough for a Division 1 scholarship, but our family probably spent in the neighborhood of $20K for four years of high school rowing, elite camps, etc.

Thanks George for those great insights.

My eBook

….In an unrelated matter, I want to apologize for the rocky start to the sale of my eBook, Shrinking the Cost of College: 152 Ways to Cut the Price of a Bachelor’s Degree! For two days or more, no one could purchase the electronic eBook. That’s been fixed.

The other glitch is that everybody who has ordered the spiral-bound version of the book has been getting free shipping. Lucky for you, not so much for me. I hope to get this problem fixed very soon! As a new retailer, I’ve got a lot to learn!

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