Every parent wants their child to do well. Every parent knows that their child is a star. Getting your beloved child into a sports scholarship program can truly change the course of their life. For many people, paying for a good college education can seem like a nearly impossible task. It is a failing of the system under which we live. Every child deserves the chance to be educated well, regardless of how much money their parents earn.

Sports scholarships can offer some respite from the financial burden of education. In the United States, sports scholarships are a very enticing way of getting around prohibitive fees, but only around 2% of students receive them. Here are a few tips for preparing your child for applying for a sporting scholarship.

Don’t Place Your Bets On The Most Popular Sports

Football, soccer,hockey, basketball, and athletics are the most popular avenues in which students seek sporting scholarships.

However, as mentioned previously, very few students are awarded scholarships, and the competition for scholarships in these fields in particular is incredibly fierce. This is partially because students actually see themselves making careers out of these sports during their lives simply because they are the most popular sports. This does not mean that they are the only sports that have the potential to be educational gateways. Less popular sports like fencing are offered as scholarship avenues by many universities, and the competition is far less fierce. Choosing a less popular sport to pursue for scholarship opportunities often means that the field is smaller and the competition for places and funding is far less brutal.

Play The Field

Getting your child onto a great scholarship program is much like getting a job—there are internal politics to deal with. There is a microeconomy of sports scholarships, and you’ll need to pit one offer against another, sift through favorable and unfavorable offers, and spend quite a lot of time on the phone to admissions departments and coaches. It is all worth it, of course. Several organizations (such as ASM sports scholarships) offer aggregated lists of available offers and purport to offer favorable chances in your search. Always take organizational claims with a pinch of salt and make sure that you do some ringing around yourself!

Back Off

According to Time magazine, the key for parents wanting their children to take a healthy competitive interest in sports is to back off. Remember, you might want your kid to get a scholarship, but you also want them to go forwards in life pursuing a career or hobby that they believe in. You want them to be happy.

Backing off allows you to truly assess what your child is interested in. If they show interest in a sport, don’t overwhelm them with expectation or shame. Instead, foster an environment where they feel like they are achieving out of personal desire. When your child does get into university on a sports scholarship, don’t feel like you need to hover over them like a helicopter. Let them follow their own dreams in peace and they won’t disappoint you!

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