5 Surprising Facts About Being a College Athlete

By: Bryanna Houser

Student athletes are oftentimes looked at as being the lucky students on campus. They get their school paid for and get to shine in the spotlight at all of their sporting competitions, right? Wrong. Being a college athlete is not all it’s cracked up to be. From the long and early practices, to the not-so-helpful scholarships, we’ll explain to you all the things to keep in mind if you want to participate in college sports.

1. FULL RIDES ARE VERY RARE

The idea of getting a full ride for your sport is one of the things that draw young athletes to collegiate athletics, but the amount of people actually getting those is small. Part of that is because, even if you get a full ride your first year, it could be gone the next. Scholarships are renewed yearly at the coaches discretion, and most athletes receive between $8,000-$10,000 each year.

2. THE CHANCES OF RECEIVING A SCHOLARSHIP AREN’T THAT HIGH

So now you know that scholarships aren’t all that they seem to be, but you probably won’t have to worry about that because you probably won’t get one. On average, 6.2% of male and 8.0% of female high school athletes actually get offered a scholarship to compete at the next level. Having said that, it’s impossible to receive scholarship money, it just might not be for athletics. I believe that all athletes should pursue other scholarships to help pay for their education.

3. DIVISION III MAY BE THE WAY TO GO

Division III schools aren’t allowed to give out athletic scholarships, but these schools seem to be the cheaper option for many athletes. Since they aren’t able to give athletic awards, these schools tend to grant their athletes different merit-based scholarships that could cut the tuition price by nearly 50%. Because most of those schools are smaller private schools, that money seems to stretch a bit more than at a DI school.

4. COACHES START EARLY

It may seem odd, but some coaches start building their files on certain athletes as early at the 7th grade. At this stage, parents should be the ones making the contact with the coaches, eventually being picked up by the athlete around the 9th grade. This is one of the reasons you see so many sophomores and junior in high school getting college offers; the coach has often had their eye on that athlete for a while.

5. COACHES DON’T ALWAYS STICK TO THEIR PRACTICE LIMITS

The NCAA has set a 20 hour a week limit for all their practices. Unfortunately though, many coaches often times forget the student part of their student athletes, pushing training sessions past their time limits and taking away precious classroom time from those athletes who might be struggling.

All students experience the stresses and strains that come along with being involved in school, but before you envy the athletes strutting around campus, remember that there is a plethora of things that they go through which make their lives a little less glamorous.

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