• NYPost.com – Playing these sports could boost your kid’s chance at a scholarship

    NYPost.com – Playing these sports could boost your kid’s chance at a scholarship

    By Jason Notte, Marketwatch

    Patrick O’Rourke, a certified public accountant in Washington, D.C., has a young son who is very good at baseball. Over dinner with some friends whose children are also athletes, O’Rourke was told that his son should be playing lacrosse because there are better scholarship opportunities. Originally from Seattle and aware that there aren’t a whole lot of collegiate lacrosse programs on the West Coast — or even beyond the East Coast — he was dubious and decided to do some research on his own.

    “There’s a lot of bleacher talk that goes on, and a lot of it is just wrong — especially where it comes to scholarships,” O’Rourke says. “Everyone thinks their kid is the best player on Earth and is going to get a Division I scholarship, and first they’ll find out that there’s a lot more competition out there than they think. Secondly, even if your kid is good enough to play at a Division I school, the scholarships are still very limited.”

    His findings led him to create ScholarshipStats.com, which offers a comprehensive look into collegiate athletic programs and the number of scholarships they offer. It wasn’t only a great way to win a dinner argument — only 576 colleges offered lacrosse last season, compared with 1,673 that offered baseball — but it was a sobering reminder of just how unlikely it is that a high-school athlete will earn an athletic scholarship, never mind a free ride.

    The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) notes that there are roughly 8 million high-school student athletes in the U.S. Of those, only 480,000 go on to play a sport at an NCAA school. All of those athletes are vying for a portion of the scholarship funds that the NCAA values at $2.9 billion. Some students will get enough money to cover tuition and room and board, but many will only get a partial scholarship. And college costs have risen a lot in recent years. According to the College Board, it costs an average of $20,092 to cover tuition, room and board for a year at a public college as an in-state student. At a private college, it costs an average of $45,385.

    Men’s high school sports with the best chance of receiving a college scholarship (ratio of HS athletes to scholarships)

    1. Gymnastics (20:1)
    2. Fencing (22:1)
    3. Ice Hockey (36:1)
    4. Football (43:1)
    5. Golf (51:1)
    6. Skiing-alpine (52:1)
    7. Rifle (57:1)
    8. Basketball (57:1)
    9. Baseball (60:1)
    10. Soccer (68:1)
    11. Swimming & diving (69:1)
    12. Tennis (79:1)
    13. Lacrosse (85:1)
    14. Cross country (93:1)
    15. Track & field (110:1)
    16. Water polo (170:1)
    17. Wrestling (176:1)
    18. Volleyball (177:1)

    Women’s high school sports with the best chance of receiving a college scholarship (ratio of HS athletes to scholarships)

    1. Rowing (2:1)
    2. Equestrian (3:1)
    3. Rugby (9:1)
    4. Fencing (13:1)
    5. Ice hockey (15:1)
    6. Golf (24:1)
    7. Gymnastics (24:1)
    8. Skiing (34:1)
    9. Rifle (35:1)
    10. Soccer (40:1)
    11. Basketball (43:1)
    12. Lacrosse (46:1)
    13. Swimming & diving (47:1)
    14. Tennis (48:1)
    15. Softball (50:1)
    16. Volleyball (53:1)
    17. Field hockey (55:1)
    18. Water Polo (55:1)
    19. Cross country (57:1)
    20. Track & Field (64:1)
    21. Bowling (94:1)

    Just about the only student-athletes assured full scholarships are those recruited for “head count” sports that assign full scholarships to the overwhelming majority of athletes on the team. Head-count sports include football, men’s and women’s basketball, and women’s volleyball (though women’s tennis and gymnastics sometimes fall into this equation). Division I schools offer as many as 85 full scholarships for football, 13 for men’s basketball, 15 for women’s basketball and 12 for women’s volleyball. The odds of getting a scholarship for each during the 2013-14 season, the last for which data were available, were 43:1 for football and women’s basketball, 57:1 for men’s basketball and 53:1 for women’s volleyball. The University of Notre Dame, for example, estimates the total cost of attendance for the 2017-18 school year (tuition, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses) at $69,395. That’s roughly $5.9 million in scholarship money a year just for the storied Notre Dame football team. (Each school determines its scholarship dollar amounts on its own.)

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