The Ten-Step Guide to College Financial Aid By Zachary Freeman

Full Athletic Scholarship? Not so fast.

As a former high school athlete that suffered a senior-season-ending injury, I can tell you first-hand that relying on an athletic scholarship is a poor move.  I had been banking on getting at least a partial scholarship to play football somewhere small, but that dream quickly ran away when I broke my kneecap and had to have surgery.  This is a very common circumstance, however – student athletes are told throughout their career that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and that schools will be fighting for them.  Sometimes it happens that way, but sometimes it doesn’t.  You (literally) can’t afford to make that mistake.

I happened across an article the other day that talked about how “full athletic scholarships” rarely cover all the expenses associated with school.  In fact, on average, the student athlete will have to come up with $2,951 per year that their scholarship didn’t cover, according to Ithaca College researchers and a national collegiate athlete advocacy group.  Even if you are fortunate enough to be one of the very few athletes who are awarded a “full scholarship”, you should still make a back-up plan for paying for your college education.  Plan for the unexpected, and apply for scholarships outside of the athletic scholarship that you anticipate getting.

NOTE TO ALL:  Remember that there is no limit to scholarships.  Just because you think you have your education taken care of doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep applying.  Money that exceeds your needs in college goes in your pocket!

Read the article by DiverseEducation, Study: Scholarship Athletes Still Pay For School, here.

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