Non-athlete students often make the mistake of assuming that the life of a student-athlete is privileged. People with these assumptions typically cite athletic scholarships as one of the reasons for their outlook.
These scholarships are not as immense as one may assume. It was found that the “average scholarship shortfall (out-of-pocket expenses) for each ‘full’ scholarship athlete was approximately $3222 per player” in a 2011 study. Full scholarships do not even cover costs for these athletes who generate millions of dollars for their schools. Additionally, there are far more athletes on partial scholarships than on full scholarships.
The financial struggles of college athletes are further impacted by the fact that athletes dedicate so much time to their sport that they don’t have time to work or supplement their finances.
Many would be surprised by the fact that only 53% of Division I athletes are on some form of athletic scholarship. This means 47% of DI athletes aren’t getting any financial aid. And, many that are receiving aid are only receiving partial scholarships.
With many NCAA athletes coming from disadvantaged, low-income backgrounds, it is important to recognize the need for organizational changes, such as NIL, that are being made in college sports. Allowing athletes to do more than just get by as collegiate athletes can lead to the development of a healthier student athlete. NIL will be an instrumental tool to assist the many student athletes living in poverty while making millions for their schools.