Brains over brawn

All students should be given equal scholarship opportunities


Before I begin, I want to draw attention to the fact that I am very grateful for everything that I have been given. College is expensive and I am incredibly appreciative for the scholarships that I have received from the universities I have applied to.

Over my last four years here at SHS, I have worked hard to maintain above a 4.0 GPA in hopes to receive academic scholarships from colleges.

Every day, I see athletes who are attending their higher education institution for free or at an insanely reduced price just because they are good at their sport, while I receive a slightly reduced price for all of my academic achievements.

An academic scholarship to a college should be worth more than an athletic scholarship.

Before I dig myself into a bigger hole, I would like to say that I know being a student athlete is difficult. I have been one all of my life and I understand how difficult it is to balance practices, competitions, school work and any other extra curricular activities all at once.

But, even with all of that going on, I still managed to never get below a B and maintain an above-average GPA.

According to USA Today, the NCAA says that athletes only need to maintain a 2.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale in order to be eligible for athletic scholarships.

On the other hand, according to Indeed, to receive an academic scholarship, most institutions will look for a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0.

The NCAA gives out $3.6 billion in scholarships each year, and only about 180,000 student athletes receive that money. Assuming the money is split evenly among the athletes, they would each receive $20,000.

To put that into perspective, I have decided to attend Indiana University next year where the average in-state tuition cost is a little over $20,000 per year. An athlete from Indiana also attending IU would have their year almost paid for while my academic scholarship only knocks off a small portion of the bill.

While there are more opportunities for academic scholarships, they are not worth near as much. According to Think Impact, there is a total of $7.1 billion given out for academic scholarships. However, that money is split between millions of students all over the country. So, when broken down, each student is only receiving an average of $4,202.

Students who are going to higher education institutions for academic purposes are likely getting less than half of what an athlete could get to go play a sport at that same place.

As an institution of higher education, one would think a person’s academic ability is more important than their ability to do well in their sport. Afterall, they are referred to as student athletes. The “student” that comes first would imply that academics come before athletics.

Yes, the people who get athletic scholarships are extremely good at their sport and have probably worked even harder to get where they are.

However, by the same token, I have worked extremely hard to have a respectable academic resume for colleges and universities that I will be attending to further my education, but I do not seem to get the same recognition as the people who can run fast or throw a ball well.