Why A Student-Athlete Should Pursue Their Dream Of Playing College Sports
by CCR Team
You've spent hours upon hours practicing early mornings and late evenings. You've dedicated yourself to honing your craft as much as possible. You've pushed yourself as much as you'd ever thought possible. You're an athlete. You've played sports since you can remember. It's always been a part of your existence. Or maybe you just recently fell in love with a specific sport. Either way, you can't imagine life without sports. There's only one hitch. Your career is coming to a close at the end of high school. You have no plans of competing at college or university. Maybe you haven't even weighed the options. Perhaps you didn't consider yourself talented enough for the opportunity.
Did you know there are many viable opportunities for good student-athletes to pursue at the college and university level in the United States?
Some athletes believe only NCAA D1 opportunities exist. The reality of the matter is only a very small percentage of athletes play on the NCAA D1 level. NCAA D1 schools are the universities featured regularly on ESPN and other sports channels. There are still many more athletes who fill out scholarship opportunities in other organizations and levels in America. What does that look like? How do you fit into the puzzle?
The Opportunities Are Abundant
There are 460,000 total student-athletes competing in the NCAA. NCAA D1 has almost 350 colleges and universities with 170,000 student-athletes competing in various sports. NCAA D2 sports 300 additional colleges and approximately 100,000 student-athletes. NCAA D3 features 450 more institutions and 190,000 more student-athletes.
The NAIA has 65,000 student-athletes competing at 250 schools and offers around $600 million in scholarships. The NJCAA, one of the junior college organizations, consists of many more colleges and opportunities.
What does this mean? It means many opportunities for student-athletes across the world to compete at a higher level.
Get A World Class Education
A major benefit of playing collegiate/university sports in America is earning a degree. According to the NCAA, at least 8 out of every 10 NCAA student-athletes earn a Bachelor's degree. The United States is well known internationally for world class educational systems. Junior college student-athletes can also get Associate degrees and transfer to four year schools.
Scholarships Can Save You Money
There's also the benefit of getting some, most or all of your college tuition paid for. NCAA D1, NCAA D2, NAIA and NJCAA all offer athletic scholarships. These athletic scholarships can help pay for tuition, books, meals and board. The gaps that aren't covered by athletic scholarships can often be bridged by academic or other scholarships and aid. NCAA D3 doesn't offer any athletic scholarships. However, administrators at the level often help student-athletes maximize other academic scholarship and aid.
Many student-athletes will have the experience of a lifetime while competing and studying abroad in the United States. It's also an opportunity to gain independence as you take your individual journey into adulthood. It allows you to meet your own deadlines and expectations. It can really set the tone for the rest of your life.
Networking/Culture and Business
Another benefit of pursuing the option of becoming a student-athlete in the United States revolves around networking. Teammates become friends for life and people you can consistently network with. You also have a larger group of alumni you can connect with. The college/university experience also includes the ability to enjoy a different culture and explore what the United States has to offer. The combination of the athletic and academic grind can also prepare young student-athletes for many aspects of the business world-which often looks very enticing to potential employers.
These are just a few of the reasons why a student-athlete would want to pursue playing sports in the United States. Each individual will have others in their own respective journey. The important thing to remember is a large volume of opportunities are there to potentially earn. You can reach out to us to learn more about U.S. scholarships and the recruiting process.