When kids are thinking about acquiring a college scholarship, most of the time they are considering a Division I scholarship to a big time school. But, did you realize that there are other options for you.
Have you ever heard of Ashland University?
Ashland University is a Division II school and like a lot of Division II schools can offer up to 36 scholarships to play football. A coach might give an athlete a full scholarship. Or a coach might give a partial scholarship and if that athlete has good grades get him an academic scholarship which combined might be the equivalent to a full ride at a Division I school.
Ultimately, fewer than 1% of seniors will move on to play college football. Out of that one percent, only the best of the best are being coveted by the big universities. Thus more athletes are looking at options such as the above with Ashland when pursuing a collegiate athletic career.
With such small odds for them being successful, most athletes have to figure out what is in their best interest when pursuing collegiate sports. Meaning, is the end game truly about getting that college degree or do you think you are that blessed in ability that you have a shot professionally?
You might get the opportunity to be a preferred walk-on, get little playing time, and not get any of your education paid for. OR, you could be able to play the game you love on a smaller scale and get almost a free ride to get that degree.
As a parent, I’m sure you will support your kid either way, but are you willing to pay your kid’s education so he can be a walk-on (essentially a tackling dummy), probably not get any playing time, when a chance at getting a free education is right there for the taking.
That might be tough to swallow with the tuition as high as it is anymore. Especially, if your athlete had some good offers from some Division II schools. Those schools might even have been a better fit for your athlete’s educational goals.
If you can’t find a good Division II school to fit your need, then consider this other option. Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, but NAIA schools are starting to get in the mix for football. They can offer up to 24 full scholarships for football.
If your athlete is a good player, then start exploring these other options. Ask your football coach if he has connections to get you noticed by these schools.
Or do it yourself. Send some game tape and reach out to these coaches. Usually, they don’t have the budgets for scouts the way the big schools do. And if you take the initiative to express an interest in their school first, that might make a big impression on them.
I always encourage athletes who have the desire to play in college do it, at least for a year. You only have this chance once in your lifetime when your athletic skills we be at their highest. And if you can do it all the while getting a FREE education, BONUS!!