A realistic look at college recruitment for student athletes and their parents
Presented by the Point Pleasant Borough School District
The signing of a National Letter of Intent (NLI), the final step in the college recruiting process that binds a student athlete to one of the participating National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) colleges and universities, is the pinnacle of a high school athlete’s sports career. During the NCAA signing period approximately 36,000 elite student-athletes commit to one of the 650 participating NCAA Division I & II colleges and universities.
The prospect of continuing their athletic careers at a Division I school is something that most student-athletes dream about; however, depending on the sport, between .7 and 4 percent of athletes will actually realize and a much smaller portion - only about two percent of will receive any kind of athletic scholarship.
According to the NCAA, there are approximately 138,000 athletic scholarships available for Division I and II sports (though they can offer academic scholarships, Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships). Though that 138,000 number may sound generous, those scholarships must be split among all sports – both men’s and women’s. The odds of receiving a full scholarship are even more remote and limited to the sports football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball.
Plus, the amount of the scholarships can vary widely and rarely cover the full cost of tuition. This year’s average athletic scholarship is about $10,400, which against the average cost of college tuition and fees for the current school year - $33,480 for private and $24,930 for state – falls far short.
Yet despite these discouraging statistics, many student athletes and their parents believe their child will be the exception.
“To put it in perspective, consider that there roughly 1 million high school football players in this country who are competing for about 19,500 scholarships,” said Point Pleasant Borough School’s Athletic Supervisor Chris Ferrone. “Just over two percent of those students will commit to Division I schools and the amount of any scholarship they receive could be negligible. There are no guarantees and even if a student does receive an athletic scholarship, there is always the possibility it may not be renewed after the first year.”
Ferrone said these are among the common misconceptions that surround the college recruitment process.
“I think it’s due to the escalating costs of college that more and more parents are almost relying on athletic scholarships to help offset the costs and unfortunately, the numbers just don’t support that,” he said.
In an effort to dispel the myths and clarify the misconceptions of the college athletic recruitment process, the Point Pleasant Borough School District is hosting an informational forum entitled The Reality of Recruiting on May 4. The forum begins at 7:00 p.m. in Point Pleasant Borough High School’s Auditorium.
Mr. Ferrone will join three of the state’s top Division I coaches to speak with students and their parents about the realities of the college athletic recruitment process and discuss what it’s like to play Division I college sports. Guests in attendance at the forum will learn about recruitment and scholarships as well as how to balance rigorous college academics with a full-time athletic commitment. Attendees will also hear tips on the best ways to gain the attention of college coaches and learn about specific tools to help facilitate the process. Attendees will also have the opportunity to have their questions answered by the coaches.
Christopher Ferrone Supervisor of Athletics, Point Pleasant Borough Schools
Scott Goodale Head Wrestling Coach, Rutgers University
Robert Farrell Associate Head Track & Field Coach, Rutgers University
Fred Hill Assistant Basketball Coach, Seton Hall University
Moderator: Vincent S. Smith Superintendent, Point Pleasant Borough Schools
“The Point Pleasant Borough School District’s Athletic Program has historically been very successful in garnering the attention of leading college athletic programs,” said Superintendent of Schools Vincent S. Smith. “Among this year’s group of students to sign National Letters of Intent are an impressive eight members of Point Pleasant Borough High School’s Class of 2017! This is an incredible achievement that demonstrates the integral role sports can play in a student’s life; however, these achievements have only been possible due to the combination of our students’ passion, dedication and hard work along with the support of their coaches.
Though we encourage our students to pursue every post-secondary opportunity, including college sports, we as a district want to ensure they have the most relevant and accurate information,” he said. “We hope this forum helps shed some light on the process and helps our families make the most informed decisions for themselves and their children.”