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The numbers. That's the first thing you need to realize. You are competing against thousands of other students for just a handful of sports scholarships at each school. Less than 20,000 scholarships are given out for football. Sound like a lot? What if you knew there were a million boys playing high school football? The numbers of scholarships are less for other sports. No matter how good you think you are locally, there are numerous other athletes across the country who may be better. When planning for college and finances, do not count on getting a sports scholarship.
Because of the sheer numbers and competition, you may need to promote yourself to college coaches. This is especially true if your school does not get a lot of local press. If coaches don't know about you, you'll never get an offer. The athlete's who are tracked closely are actually small in number. Get some videos together of your sports highlights. Put them on social media sites like youtube. Send emails to college coaches, assistant coaches too, and include a link to your videos. Getting a sports scholarship may boil down to how well you sell yourself. Don't send anything in regular mail. It will just get lost in the shuffle.
College is expensive. And the money given out on a per student basis for a sports scholarship is relatively little. Except for football, basketball, and womens volleyball, you will probably not get a scholarship that covers all expenses for four years. Did you get that? Full ride sports scholarships are not as common as you think. Did you know that some coaches split scholarships up? They take one full scholarship and give half to two students, as an example. Be prepared to not get your college completely funded even with a sports scholarship.
The NCAA has rules for the maximum number of scholarships a school can give. Scholarships can be watered down to give a little money to as many students as possible. You may end up with very little in relation to what you thought.
Division III schools do not give sports scholarships. But if you are an exceptional student, you may be get more money overall than from a school offering you a sports scholarship.
Once you get a sports scholarship, you have to earn your way to more than one year. These scholarships are not guaranteed. It must be renewed each year. It is entirely up to the coaches, staff, and college. If you have an off year, you may be out of luck. If the coach sees someone else better, you may have yours non-renewed.Don't start early forcing your child to play some sport thinking it's a way to riches. The odds are slim to none. Many parents make the mistake of starting at an early age and getting the child to play sports. They spend several years and literally thousands of dollars on this endeavor. If you spend $50,000 over 10 years, and your child gets the average sports scholarship of $10,000, it doesn't sound very cost effective, does it?
Actually, the average sports scholarship for neither football or basketball is less than $9,000.
The fact remains, a college sports scholarship is hard to come by. It is also, on average, very little in regards to the total cost of a college education. And, you may actually get more money if you do well academically than athletically!