The impact of Coronavirus on NCAA scholarship availability is too early to tell, but a significant decrease in College revenue means less money available to support future student athletes.
The most important topic on campuses this Fall is health safety and rightfully so as we crawl out of 6 months of social distancing due to the Coronavirus. Many Fall sports at both the High School and College level have been cancelled or postponed until the Spring. Only those sports that can appropriately guarantee social distancing are being entertained, and even then, it will be without fans for the most part. How many of you have watched an NBA game recently with fans piped-in virtually using technology? It’s surreal to say the least. Who could have predicted real people would be replaced with avatars so quickly?
So, what does all of this mean for the future of College athletics? Once we allow ourselves to think past this year and imagine what athletics are going to look like in the future – one of the most intriguing considerations is how will programs generate revenue to support facilities, non-spectator sports and most importantly for the topic of this article – athletic scholarships? It’s not exactly clear and not too much has been written about it yet. In fact, the entire foundation of post-secondary funding is in the balance as schools have seen massive withdrawals for the Fall term and with one of the Presidential candidates running on a platform that would make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families with incomes below $125,000. While this is great news for all of those first-generation college students, it’s unclear how it will impact athletic programs.
One thing is for certain, 2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years for decades for our country and any preconceived notions about what should and will happen can be suspended indefinitely.
As high school student-athletes return to class this month and next in a cloud of uncertainty – there are a few things that can be done to keep a competitive edge in pursuing dreams of competing at the NCAA D-I or D-II level. The NCAA reports that there are about 180,000 athletic scholarships available to a pool of roughly 8 million High School athletes, meaning about 2% will be awarded. It’s likely the number of scholarships will be reduced just based on simple economics, meaning the competition for the remaining scholarships is likely to soar.
Here are a few winning strategies that we recommend for aspiring student-athletes as they enter the 2020-21 school year:
- Increase focus on academics. Use whatever extra time you have due to social distancing to raise your GPA. You might be able to supplement athletic scholarship funding with academic scholarship funding. Citizens Online High School offers credit recovery courses that are NCAA-approved, meaning you can retake core courses and optimize your grade point average.
- Consider transitioning to an online high school. Every student in the country has now experienced some form of distance-learning, or online classes due to mandated social distancing. There are significant advantages to going online full time, especially for student athletes that have the ability to participate in their sport. Citizens is NCAA-approved, meaning you can take all of your classes with us and still meet eligibility requirements for NCAA athletic scholarships.
- Turn classroom time into extra practice time. It was pretty well-known that you had to come from an upper or middle-income bracket to afford personal coaching while earning your diploma from a private online high school. The cost of online high schools has dropped significantly as technology has improved. You can earn a diploma from Citizens for less than $1,000 a year in tuition, freeing up critical family resources for private lessons, tournaments and travel. Find a NCAA-approved online high school that is affordable and use the savings to add to your athletic training.
While it’s still too early to predict what will happen to the availability of NCAA athletic-scholarships , it’s not too early to protect your dream to compete at the next level. Use this time wisely by modifying your strategy to earn an athletic scholarship. We wish you the best of success for this school year and into the future.