Before going into exactly what a scholarship costs, it is important to discuss the different options that college coaches offer you as an athlete. At the Division I-A level for football and Division I basketball level, the coaches must either offer you a full ride or nothing. Obviously academics can help out (Which in most cases, I hope happens) but as far as scholarships go, it is all or nothing at the Division I-A level.
At the Division I-AA and II level for football (As well as Division II level for basketball), that is when partials can be offered. But that is also where things get interesting for a number of different reasons. If a school offers you $10,000 in a scholarship and that is how much the school costs in your first year, that is outstanding and means you will not have to pay for much. But with the way that tuition has been rapidly increasing, don’t be surprised if that rises to $12,000 per year before you are graduated. So if your scholarship stays at that amount, and tuition rises, it is important to know that you will be paying unless that package increases.
As for what a scholarship does cover, here is what is listed in a student athlete handbook from a University that offers scholarships:
- University Fees
- Required Textbooks
- Room and Board
That really does cover a lot of expenses but it is important to note that there will be a lot of other financial burdens that can come up. Here are some of the areas that athletic scholarships does not cover:
- Parking Permits (This can be a few hundred dollars per semester)
- Student ID card (Probably between $10 to $50) and replacements if lost
- Course fees (For example, art classes charge more for extra equipment)
- Library fines
- Graduation fees
I think anyone, if given the chance, would jump at the chance to pay for a parking permit if they have their tuition, room, and other areas paid for. As a scholarship athlete, you are also allowed to eat with other athletes at the training table. From what I have heard, this is much better than the other options of going to Taco Bell in the student union.
As I talked about previously, when getting your information about financial aid package, try to get full tuition covered if possible instead of a set dollar amount. Tuition costs rise and so do the expensive books (Let me tell you they rip you off there) so more may be coming out of your pocket by the time you are a senior. Obviously there are a lot of different options to handle these costs or try to avoid them but these are some of the areas that a scholarship does in fact cover.