Understanding how the money works in Playing the Recruiting Game™ means a lot more than just knowing “where the money is”. It means learning a whole new set of skills. How to package yourself, working hard enough to earn the money, not leaving any money ‘on the table’, being smart enough to know what to look for in an contract (the offer) and negotiating by leveraging multiple offers are all necessary skills to give you the best shot at winning one or more athletic scholarships.
Start with a few important facts. Athletic Scholarships break down in two main ways: the 1% – one student athlete to one scholarship, and the 99%, which (in football) are the 1 million+ student athletes coming out of high school competing for equivalency scholarships. Coaches spread that equivalency athletic scholarship money any way they desire over an entire team, which can mean less money for you.
Do your research and make some decisions in advance. Which schools do you want to attend and how much do they cost? Keep in mind you will be matching that school’s athletic scholarships and non athletic sholarship funds.
How much are you worth? You will increase your worth by taking these necessary and positive steps:
Complete your FASFA, so you can find out if you are Pell (Pell Grant – a federal grant of $5500.00 per year) qualified. This determines if you are automatically entitled to the SEOG- Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant ($4000.00). Those federal grants together equal $9500 per year if you qualify for a full Pell Grant.
Keep your grades up! If you earn a 2.8 GPA, 18 ACT, 860 SAT, your athletic scholarship will be $6,000-$15000.00 per year.
Being debt free is the key goal.
Loans are not free money! They must be paid back within 6 months of finishing or quitting school, so don’t be fooled when you see a dollar sign next to Perkins Loans or Stafford Loans.
Ask about a school’s work study program ($1600.00 per year)
Keep in mind that you may have to educate the school’s coach on these programs. Remember, you are just a number to the coach. There are thousands of high school grads just like you chasing him so make yourself the perfect package deal.
Recruiting is not about PERFORMANCE, it’s about Character which means your grades and your work ethic on every play. With character, and work ethic, you will get multiple offers. Having multiple offers increases your value and gives you leverage to negotiate, putting you in the driver’s seat! Don’t leave money on the table – earn it, save it, and it will be in the bank when you graduate.
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