Negotiating for an Athletic Scholarship

Getting an athletic scholarship can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your sporting career. But not all scholarships are full-rides. Often times, you are left to find an amount that is best for you and the program you are considering. It is alright to try and get more money with your scholarship but make sure you do it the right way, or you could risk losing your scholarship altogether.

DO

Be Honest About What Your Family Can Afford

In equivalency sports, it is typically that a coach will ask an athlete and family what they can afford to put toward an education. Then depending on how bad they want the athlete, they will try to come up with the difference in scholarship money. Many times, coaches try to find more support for athletes in their Junior and Senior years, and they will always look to repay the athletes who shouldered their own financial responsibilities as freshmen and sophomores.

Honor Your Verbal Agreements

You should only be making a verbal commitment if you have reached an understanding on scholarship amounts. If you can’t agree to terms on a scholarship, don’t make the commitment. Going back on a verbal agreement will drop your stock as a recruit.

Show a Commitment to the Program First

Too many times, athletes and families want to get down to discussing scholarship dollars right away. Coaches are looking for athletes they feel are committed to the program and want to be a part of their program. College coaches will always try to find the money to make it work if they really want you on their team.

Be Realistic

Sometimes the amount of money you  need isn’t going to be there. If you are only looking at expensive private schools and expecting the cost of school to be covered by a scholarship, you should broaden your search. Make sure you are looking at schools where you can afford to pay one-half or three-fourths of the tuition.

DON’T

Use One Program Just to Get a Better Offer From Another

The coaching fraternity is a lot smaller than most recruits realize. If you are only talking to a school to try to drive up your price with another school, it will eventually get out and you can end up with no offers. Honesty is always the best policy.

Hold Out Too Long

Coaches extend offers to multiple athletes, and it can turn into a first-come, first-served basis. From some coaches, the deadlines they set are soft and some hard. It is better not to tempt fate and just adhere to the deadlines.

Assume Your Dream Offer is Coming

Most of the time, athletes wait on offers, assuming that a better offer or an offer from their dream school is coming. It almost never happens that an offer shows up on signing day or during the signing period that you didn’t know was coming. The process of evaluating athletes for scholarships takes years. If you haven’t been communicating with coaches for at least several months, don’t assume that school is going to send you an offer.

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