The True Cost of Playing Sports in College
If you have a child preparing for college it can be a scary reality check. Many parents are unprepared to help their children pay for college, making some scramble for last-minute options in the form of a college sports scholarship.
Let’s be honest: it’s hard to get a quality job without a college education, leaving parents and their children vulnerable to racking up a good amount of debt on a college education. Since the debt trend continues to get larger, more and more families are looking for ways to battle this ever-growing concern.
CAN YOU GET AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP?
For the purpose of this article we are going to focus on the athletic side of things. Like so many others, I didn’t come from a wealthy family and my ability to pay for college was going to come from scholarships or loans. Personally, I was banking on scholarships to come raining down due to my athletic abilities. And I was completely unprepared when they did.
Plan Ahead or Suffer the Consequences
This was mostly due to my own semi-poor planning and complete lack of knowledge of the entire process. I sit here now–writing this–knowing that college is extremely expensive and proper plans should be made to counter those costs.
For those of you that are interested in playing a college sport I ask you one question: How much is playing that sport worth to you and your family? Keep in mind that you will likely be receiving a partial scholarship for your athletic abilities which, ultimately, can end up costing quite a bit if you’re not careful.
Can You Afford to Keep Playing?
As a high school senior playing football I had my pick of several different colleges. The tuition costs ranged from very little to quite a lot. One in particular will always stand out because it was the tuition that kept me from attending that school.
This school tuition was $23,000, which–outside of extra costs–would be $92,000 if I finished my degree in four years. Since I was an athlete, I was told I was going to be getting some scholarship assistance at $14,000 a year; this brought my cost of attendance down to $36,000, which was better but still outside of my price range.
There was an internal battle between my love for football and the price I could afford to pay for tuition. This was exacerbated by the fact that I’d seen other family members go over $100,000 in debt from playing football at private schools. I wanted no part of that.
With a heavy heart and a clear conscience, I made the decision to completely wipe that school from my list, along with others that forced me into an uncomfortable financial position.