College Admission: Misconceptions About Financial Aid And Athletes

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Before enrolling a child in another athletic camp, leaders from Ohio Dominican University to the Ohio State University remind parents that it may not be the top tip to working toward a college scholarship.

Larry Romanoff, assistant director of event management for OSU athletics, said he has worked within many academic and athletic programs at OSU and the biggest financial ticket into college for athletes has everything to do with beefing up brain muscle.

"When you have young kids, make sure they reay every single day, cause if they're great readers, there's nothing they can't do," he said.

Often gifted high school athletes seek out a full-ride, but central Ohio universities lay out the facts: a small fraction of those you cheer on see that complete tuition gift.

"Probably 2-3 percent of all high school athletes are going to go and play college athletics," said Laura Meek, financial aid director at Ohio Dominican University. 

And only a percentage of those players receive athletic scholarships.

For example, the league limits baseball teams at Division-1 schools to about 12 scholarships, compared to nine awarded at Division-2 schools, and none at Division-3 schools.

Nationally, three billion dollars went out in athletic scholarships last year. More than two billion of that went to Division-1 schools like Ohio State.

That means, an athlete going to a smaller school may be less likely to get a big check. Many Division-2 schools supplement the limited athletic scholarships with money based on grades 

"If you're attending a Division-2 school, it's more likely that you'll get a partial scholarship probably coupled with an academic scholarship," Meek said.

However, some of those athletes taking the field or the court, receive no help.

"You've got to get the academics going," Romanoff said. "When coaches go out on the road and they look at kids and you've got one kid here and one here. One is a good student and a good athlete, the other is maybe even a tad better athlete and not a great student, they're taking this kid."