Stanford University

College-bound Student-athletes the Key to Getting Into College, Playing Their Sports and Helping to Pay Their Expenses

Parents who have invested money into their children’s college funds are seeing it disappear during today’s perilous economy.  And, on top of that, some colleges and universities recently announced they are admitting fewer students than in years past, again…due to lack of funds.

What to do? For parents with athletic teens, there is a possibility they may want to consider: the sports scholarship. Over $1.2 billion is awarded each year to college student-athletes around the country, and according to Penny Hastings, author of How To Win A Sports Scholarship, these scholarships are not just given to superstars.

“Superstars are the top 1% of high school athletes,” says Hastings.  “It’s not just your superstars or blue-chip athletes who play college sports and get scholarships. The majority of the more than 180,000 athletic scholarships available each year—more than twice that many if you consider that most scholarships are divided up between athletes—are awarded to the other 99% of student-athletes skilled on both the playing field and in the classroom.”

As competition to be admitted increases, the applications of students with special skills, like athletics, can rise to the top of the pile by having a coach advocate for him or her in the admissions office. Being recruited by a college coach is extremely beneficial.

Most high school or two-year college student-athletes know little about how to wend their way through the college sports recruiting process. How to get started? How to know what to do? How to know which sports programs match up with their college programs? It’s very confusing.

Penny Hastings and co-author Todd Caven are mother and son. They wrote their book, How To Win A Sports Scholarship, following Caven’s graduation from Stanford University where he played soccer on scholarship. “When Todd told me he wanted to play college sports but didn’t know how a coach would know about him, we couldn’t find out much information…at least not in a cohesive way,” says Hastings. “So we put together a game plan that caused Todd to draw the attention of college coaches and get them to start recruiting him.”

Caven was recruited by every coach with whom he initiated contact. He was offered four sports scholarships and selected Stanford as his first choice. He played soccer for four years and graduated with a degree in economics.