Many kids dream of playing professional sports. One of the steps to get there is to play, most likely, Division I in college. But how likely is that to occur?

According to the Federal Department of Education, “In 2010, a student who played high-school sports had a 6% chance of playing any college varsity sport, in any division.  For Division I schools, chances were only 3.7%.” Many families spend thousands of dollars sending their athletes to intensive summer sports camps and clinic.  Many student athletes spend a lot of time and money preparing during the high school years improving their athletic skills with the hope college coaches will take notice.

With billion of dollars available in athletic scholarships, many families are hiring private coaches with areas of expertise in the student’s sport.  Other families are turning to recruiting services and hiring professional video producers to develop just the right highlights reels.

Is this the right way to go about the college planning process? If it’s such a long shot, should you be investing in athletics over education to get a free education? These are the discussions that parents need to have to find the right path for their children.

Below are a few things that should be considered.

  • How old is your child?
  • How do they rank against national competition? (Not just regional)
  • Are they academically eligible?
  • Are the schools that could potentially recruit them a good fit?
  • How important is the location and size of the school?
  • Can he or she balance athletics and social life while maintaining high grades?
  • Will your student be willing to sit on the bench for a few or all of the years at college?
  • How do their skills match up against current college players in similar situations?
  • What is the attitude of the college coach?
So before you jump into marketing your high school student-athlete to college coaches, be sure to take all factors into consideration. And most of all, think about this: is it the right path for your child?

– With thanks to the College Planning Group