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What Sport Offers Your Child The Best Chance At A Scholarship?

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Kids who excel at sports usually get a leg up in life.  Learning to work with, and eventually lead a team translate easily into adult and career life.  The winning and the losing help them to see the bigger picture in life, and ultimately that lends to priceless wisdom.  On top of all of that and more – sports also open the door to higher education in the form of scholarships.

Usually, this reminds us of football, baseball, and basketball.  And, while those sports pair up hundreds and thousands of talented student athletes with scholarships that will pave the way for their brighter futures – they are not the most likely sports to secure that sweet financial assistance.  According to a recent report from Marketwatch, the sports that give you the highest probability of securing a college scholarship don’t even have the word ball in them.  Just take a look at the list for boys:

NCAA & NAIA schools Number of
high-school
athletes
Athletic
scholarships
Ratio of
high-school
athletes
to college
scholarships
Gymnastics 1,995 101  20:1
Fencing 2,189 99  22:1
Ice Hockey 35,393 981  36:1
Football 1,122,024 25,918  43:1
Golf 152,647 2,998  51:1
Skiing – alpine 5,593 107  52:1
Rifle 2,668 47  57:1
Basketball 541,054 9,504  57:1
Baseball 482,629 8,062  60:1
Soccer 417,419 6,152  68:1
Swimming & diving 138,373 1,994  69:1
Tennis 191,004 2,417  79:1
Lacrosse 106,720 1,251  85:1
Cross country 252,547 2,722  93:1
Track & field 653,971 5,930  110:1
Water polo 21,451 126  170:1
Wrestling 269,514 1,530  176:1
Volleyball 52,149 294  177:1

Football is no slouch, giving high school boys a 1 in 43 chance at grabbing a scholarship.  But, at 1 in 20 – gymnastics is a much safer bet.  Now, let’s take a look at the ladies:

NCAA & NAIA schools Number of
high-school
athletes
Athletic
scholarships
Ratio of
high-school
athletes
to college
scholarships
Rowing 4,242 2,080 2:1
Equestrian 1,306 390 3:1
Rugby 322 36 9:1
Fencing 1,774 134 13:1
Ice hockey 9,150 612 15:1
Golf 72,172 3,056 24:1
Gymnastics 19,231 810 24:1
Skiing 4,541 133 34:1
Rifle 1,587 46 35:1
Soccer 374,564 9,266 40:1
Basketball 433,344 10,165 43:1
Lacrosse 81,969 1,779 46:1
Swimming & diving 165,779 3,550 47:1
Tennis 215,737 4,480 48:1
Softball 371,891 7,402 50:1
Volleyball 429,634 8,101 53:1
Field hockey 61,471 1,119 55:1
Water Polo 18,899 344 55:1
Cross country 218,121 3,817 57:1
Track & Field 545,011 8,536 64:1
Bowling 25,751 275 94:1

As you can see – gymnastics gives the girls roughly the same odds as the boys, but the rowing!  If you are a female rower, you are looking at a 1 in 2 chance of being picked up at the collegiate level.  Either you, or your team-mate next to you will get a scholarship. Obviously, the rarity of the sport gives you much better odds. There are less than a dozen rowing crews in Louisiana and just over 4 thousand crew members in the entire U.S.!  With as many pirogue as we have here, I find it hard to believe we don’t have more rowers.

The folks at Scholarship Stats have broken it down to the average scholarship handed out, how many scholarships each school typically hands out, and so much more.  It’s a pretty good resource for planning  your little successful sports stars college career.  Even if they are still in the crib right now.

 

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