The Number 1 Myth About College Athletic Scholarships

Unfortunately, many student athletes are under the impression that all they have to do is be the best at playing their sport during their high school sports career and they will be the proud recipients of a slew of full ride college athletic scholarships. This myth is equally prevalent whether we are talking about football scholarships or track and field athletic scholarships.

This one erroneous idea firmly planted in the heads of countless student athletes by their local media, their parents, their coaches, and their communities is primarily responsible for thousands upon thousands of kids not getting college sports scholarships, and even worse it is responsible for them failing to obtain any type of scholarship whether it be academic or some other form of financial aid.

This is called the ‘Big Fish In A Little Pond” syndrome, and it causes many high school student athletes to not only miss out on their chance at an athletic scholarship, but it also causes them to miss out on other types of scholarships that they might have been eligible for.

When student athletes are told they are the best, and that a big time scholarship is forthcoming, they often neglect their academics, thus preventing them from even applying for many academic scholarships, much less getting one.

When they let down on their high school academics thinking that they have a free ride into college via their ‘sure-fire’ college athletic scholarship, then, they are also setting themselves up to be ineligible for entrance into many colleges and universities even if their parents could afford to finance their higher education.

A second problem resulting from the big fish in the little pond syndrome is that student athletes are often not offered the full ride scholarships that they have been hoping for and dreaming about. They are not offered the scholarship they have been told and learned to believe will be theirs.

Rather they are offered a partial college athletic scholarship. A partial sports scholarship will cover certain expenses but not all. For example, it might cover tuition but not room and board. Who has to come up with the rest of the money? Many families simply will not be able to scratch up the remainder of the money.

It would be nice if the student had some kind of academic scholarship that would pay for these expenses that the partial scholarship does not pay. But no, this probably won’t happen since the student athletes have been totally ‘snowed’ by their entire local community into believing all they have to do is be the hero of the local sports community.

The staggering truth is that college coaches only actively recruit 2% of high school athletes. What about the other 98%? Many of this huge percentage of high school athletes fall into this huge group.

What happens to their dreams of playing sports at the collegiate level? What happens to their dreams of getting a college education when they have depended so heavily on landing a full ride scholarship?

They typically either do not get a scholarship of any kind or they are offered some kind of partial scholarship. While college athletic scholarships have helped countless young men and women get their college degrees, many of them have been sadly disappointed when they do not get one of these highly prized and sought after sports scholarships.

High school students whether they are athletically inclined or not should conscientiously keep their grades up and excel as members of their community.

The “Perfect” College Essay and Is There Such A Thing?

Some students have a difficult time starting their college essays. Perhaps, it is a challenge selecting topics or a feeling that their essays must be perfect. The words “perfect essay” are engraved all over the media and Internet. No wonder this task can be intimidating.Once students let go of the idea that their essays must be perfect, ideas flow easier and great stories can be told. Too often, students are inundated with articles about writing the perfect essay, filling out the perfect college application and aspiring to perfect test scores. This, for the most part, is unrealistic and can even hinder creativity. Why is it that colleges such as MIT ask students to discuss a time they failed or Yale asking students how they would like to improve? Perfection is not a requirement and it is from our errors along the way that we grow and learn.

So, dispel the thought of the perfect college essay and begin writing. The goal in college essays is for admission officers to gain insight and learn new information about students that they cannot find elsewhere on the application. Students have unique stories that distinguish them from other applicants. These stories can often times be mundane daily occurrences that don’t demand traveling to other parts of the world. Slice of life stories can be so compelling! Writing about an experience, mentor or accomplishment is valid but students should also include how they were affected by their experiences personally. Including emotional aspects of experiences is a good idea as revealing character traits is something colleges like to see. Admission officers have been known to state that the most difficult thing for them to measure on applications is a student’s character. If a student writes about a person of influence, it is essential that the majority of the essay is about the student who is writing. How does the student emulate admired qualities? Students need to make sure admission officers learn about the individuality the applicant possesses and how they can fit into their campus community.

The college essay should not be an obstacle, but viewed as an opportunity to reveal who you are. Your character and personality should come through in your writing. View this process as an opportunity to be self-reflective. Get over the idea of the perfect college essay. Tell your story in a friendly, conversational, informative manner showing the college why you are a good fit.