For many student athletes, playing sport goes beyond their love of the game. Being a student athlete is a unique experience in itself, primarily because these individuals balance both their sporting and academic training.
Of course, being a student athlete isn’t easy. You will have to spend long hours studying, training, and playing.
In order to find out what it takes to become a student athlete, be sure to read the article below.
There Are Varying Degrees of Athletic Scholarships
Film and TV usually show athletes vying for full scholarships as they are being scouted. However, real-life athletic scholarships aren’t as easy to get.
Scholarships, especially those on a collegiate level, are often renewed annually at the coach’s discretion. This depends on a number of factors such as the student’s grades, their skill level, and their progress. Scholarships can be renewed for five years within a six-year period.
Scholarships are extremely competitive and require lots of hard work. Thousands of students apply for sporting scholarships every year.
As a result of this, student athletes are encouraged to exhaust all possible means of financial aid before relying on a scholarship.
Every Division is Different
You may or may not know that there are different divisions of college athletics set up – namely Division I, II, and III.
There are key differences among the divisions, including aspects such as varying levels of competition, as well as what is expected of students academically.
It is useful to know that Division III provides more monetary benefits to its student athletes. Under the current rules, however, Division III schools are not allowed to award scholarships.
Individuals who are enrolled in Division III schools are granted with merit awards for student accomplishments instead.
Meanwhile, Division II allows student athletes to have a work-life balance. This means that they can take part in internships, part-time jobs, and other work programs.
Division I has the most gruesome and demanding courses. They require student athletes to dedicate around 30 hours for schoolwork and 20 hours for sports training.
In Division I, their social life is very limited. This can be attributed to the rigorous training programs, which require athletes to be in tip-top shape.
There Are Strict Academic Requirements Set Out by the NCAA
In a highly competitive field, time management is definitely key. After all, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has strict academic requirements.
Some of the requirements set out by the organization include meeting a specific number of core courses and scoring particular grades.
Student Athletes Are Not Actually Paid
While this holds true and is mandated by the NCAA, it could change in the near future. While student athletics at big schools are money-making machines, these players do not get paid a salary like professional athletes do.
At the beginning of this year, NCAA allowed student athletes to be given compensation for their name and image, provided that the school did not directly pay them for their services.
Under current rules, college athletes are not allowed to receive any money in exchange for their talent and skills on the court or field.
The collective movement towards changing this arrangement is due to the fact that college coaches often earn millions from the skills and talents of these players.
The Bottom Line
Student athletes not only experience arduous training sessions and long hours of studying, but they are also unpaid for their contributions to their college teams.
If you are considering becoming a student athlete yourself, be sure to do some research before choosing the right college for you.