Ten Reasons Scholarship Athletes Are Better Off Financially Than Others

May 10th, 2018 | by Jonathan Yates
Ten Reasons Scholarship Athletes Are Better Off Financially Than Others
scholarship athletes

With college graduation season upon us and the average student facing a debt load of nearly $40,000.00 along with their degree, its time to take a look at ten of the many, many reasons why scholarship athletes are so much better off financially than others:

1. Less Debt

Start of with $39,400.00. That’s the average debt for a college graduate. That’s up 6% from last year. Bet on it continuing to increase more and more each year! Those on an athletic scholarship don’t have to worry about this crushing financial burden that will only rise. This alone makes scholarship athletes better off financially than the average graduate! It also leads to student-athletes having a higher graduation rate.

2.Allowance To Play

Allowances for the average student are about $1000.00 total for the nine-month school year, according to College Parent. Scholarship athletes receive up to $6218.00 for that same time period, according to an article from the October 2, 2017 Sports Illustrated, “Allowance to Play.” Count on that amount rising every year (just like the student loan burden for the average student.) There are also many, many ways athletes can work to earn money and remain eligible. Many have done so for me while in school. A fine piece by Jon Solomon for CBS Sports lists ten of the many.

3. Exploit Another Degree

Student-athletes can earn graduate degrees while on scholarship. This is a huge benefit for those savvy enough to exploit. There was a record 954 football players who played D1 last year who had a degree, wisely working towards another to make them more employable. Academic help like this is why student-athletes do better than others.

4. Unique Skill-Set

Players are far better prepared for a career in coaching, education, sports management, journalism, et al…  Student athletes. get the best of both worlds.  One graduating with a degree in management can pursue a career in business or sports, thanks to their playing background. A huge benefit here is the loss of value insurance that protects earnings potential. This career help is why college athletes make more.

5. Better Healthcare

Healthcare is superior. There are dedicated professionals ranging from medical doctors to masseurs. Mental health professionals are vital for the “strong mind, strong body” of a student-athlete. The athletic nutritionist for Boston College used to work for the Patriots, as just one example. Loss of value insurance is another benefit also in the health area should an injury cut short a career.

6. Travel

Trips are a huge value-added. Next week, the women’s volleyball team from Loyola University Chicago is off to Italy. Next month, it is the women’s volleyball squad from Wyoming that is off to Europe. Vanderbilt brought its student-athletes to DC on Marin Luther Kings Birthday to visit museums. Those from Colorado State go to Jamaica on community service projects. Think of all the great golf courses played on that college players would not have, otherwise. It’s the same for resorts for those on the ski team! If a team is fortunate enough to make it to the Final Four, both men and women, the NCAA pays for their families to attend the games!

7. Read My Lips, No Taxes

When it comes taxes, players in college don’t realize how well they have it. If student-athletes receive a salary, very quickly they will come to realize and regret the tax benefits they lost. Taxed very likely and very hard would be the pay, the scholarship, the room, the board, the insurance and other benefits. Others pay taxes on these, as student-athletes could someday find out the hard way. Right now, they receive very substantial tax treatment by the IRS and others.

8. All You Can Eat

Far, far superior to the tax treatment is the food…and not just for football and basketball players, but for all athletes, often all the time. As an example, the fueling station at Boston College is open for all athletes “whenever they want” for free food and snacks such as yogurt, fresh fruit, sports drinks, power bars, protein milk, et al…  The taste and the quality? The only complaint ever about the food at Iowa when I taught from an athlete was that the guacamole “was not chunky enough!” Its completely portable too as food from the fueling station was consumed throughout my class!

9. Swag

There is a substantial amount of clothing and gear, pretty much unlimited in many cases. From teaching at Iowa with varsity athletes, this obviously provides the bulk of the daily wardrobe. But it goes beyond just clothes. The ski team at Boston College gets leggings, ski helmets, ski suits, now pants, et al…  Golfers get loads of clothing and gear, too. Same for tennis and pretty much all other sports in college.

10. Privilege

Professional Services from those at the top are available to student-athletes. The academic counseling leads to a higher graduation rate. The career guidance leads to student-athletes making more. The branding leads to a higher profile, always valuable and worth $46 million for the University of Wyoming football alone last season, as just one example.

recent study by Game Plan found that almost 100% of student-athletes were very pleased with their college experience.



There are way more than ten reasons why scholarship athletes are better off financially than others. That is why no one has ever turned down an athletic scholarship to graduate nearly $40,000.00 in debt like the average student will this month. Millions of families around the world are spending billions of dollars yearly in hopes of a sports scholarship to an American college as they know it is the best deal for their child as American institutions of learning are the best in the history of the world, thanks in large part to the athletic programs. For that, scholarship athletes graduating should be thankful for the work of the athletic directors, coaches, and other staffers at the schools that is the envy of every other student.

Jonathan Yates About Jonathan Yates
Jonathan Yates spent much of his career working for Members of Congress in a variety of press and legislative posts. Positions he has held working for Members of Congress and state legislators include Chief of Staff, General Counsel, Legislative Director, Press Secretary, and Legislative Assistant. His journalistic work has appeared in such periodicals as The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Investor's Business Daily, and TheStreet, among others. He has degrees from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown University Law Center; and has also matriculated at the U.S. Naval War College and The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Jonathan also hosts The Culture of Sports You can follow Jonathan Yates on Twitter at @politicsports13

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