Myth: Athletic Scholarships Are All Full-Ride Scholarships
Most athletes and their families assume that the athletic scholarships available for college are all full-ride scholarships. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Full scholarships are only available in head count sports.
In the NCAA, the head count sports for men are football (DI-A only) and basketball (DI). For women, the head count sports include basketball, volleyball, tennis, and gymnastics. All other DI level sports are- “equivalency” sports, which means the available scholarships for each team can be divided among multiple players; however, the coach decides to do so.
Myth: I Am a Star Athlete and an Outstanding Student, so Coaches With Scholarships Will Find Me
The fact of the matter is coaches will not find you if they do not know you exist! Many athletes make the huge mistake of waiting around for offers to come to them. The reality is that coaches do not have the time to travel around and look for athletes. They need your information right in front of them. Compile a resume of your athletic and academic information and write a personal cover letter to the coach and send them out to schools. You can also join websites and services like NCSA that allow you to create an on line profile that coaches can find when they search their exclusive database. However you do it, just make sure to be proactive and get yourself out there!
Myth: I Do Not Need Good Grades as Long as I’m a Strong Athlete
Academics are just as important as athletic abilities. As a student- athlete, your main goal is to earn a degree while you are in college. Coaches don’t want athletes on their team who won’t work hard to succeed in the classroom. The NCAA eligibility rules establish that if you do not meet certain academic requirements each quarter/semester, you won’t be able to play. It is very important to establish good study habits in high school and earn the best grades you can; this will make you a more attractive prospect for more coaches.
Myth: I’m Not Good Enough to Earn an Athletic Scholarship.
While the competition to play sports in college is high, there are tons of opportunities for athletes of all levels. Most athletes dream of the DI level and earning full-ride scholarships. There are very few athletes who will actually be able to do this. There are approximately 1,700 colleges with sports programs, but more than 80 percent of opportunities are outside of DI. You should be open-minded when considering school and do your research. There are opportunities at all levels: DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, and NJCAA.So, make sure you keep your options open!
Myth: Once I Earn My Scholarship, I Have it For All Four Years at College.
Athletic scholarships are not four-year deals. They are year-by-year contracts that get renewed by the coach and school at the end of each year. This means that once you earn a scholarship, you are not guaranteed that money for your entire college career. Scholarships are subject to possible changes and withdrawals, depending on your success with the team and in the classroom. This applies to academic and merit-based scholarships as well. It is important to work hard as a student- athlete, especially if you are depending on a scholarship to pay for college. Make sure you work closely with your coach and academic adviser to ensure that you don’t risk losing your scholarship!