Want to play in college? Play these sports for a scholarship

CLEVELAND — There’s nothing like the anticipation of college, and the anxiety of figuring out how to pay for it. Achievement in the classroom is one way to lessen the financial burden; being a standout in sports is another.

The chances, however, of landing an athletic scholarship are slim, according to scholarshipstats.com founder, Patrick O’Rourke.

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“If you play on a high school team, your chances of playing on a Division 1 college team is less than two percent. Very, very competitive to get into,” O’Rourke said.

For parents, the financial strain of rising college tuition costs has them looking for help. The answer, for some, may be lower-spotlight college sports.

Rowing is a big one for women. In fact, Foundry head coach Alyssa Trebilcock says she often finds inexperienced athletes giving rowing a shot.

“We have a lot of athletes coming here who have never done the sport before, don’t know anything about it, or looking to try something new,” Trebilcock said.

And there’s more good news: Ladies have a great chance for a college scholarship.

“Look at rowing. So, the chances of someone rowing at a Division 1 school, if you rowed in high school, is about 17%. So, one out of six, which sounds low, but compared to other sports, it’s actually very high,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke is an accountant in Washington D.C. He’s also the father of an athlete, so he came up with the website scholarshipstats.com to give parents a realistic look at the college landscape of sports.

Here’s some of the breakdown of your chances for a sports scholarship:

MEN’S

Football: 43 to 1

Basketball: 57 to 1

Gymnastics: 20 to 1

Fencing: 22 to 1

WOMEN’S

Softball: 50 to 1

Basketball: 43 to 1

Rowing: 2 to1

Fencing: 13 to 1

There are fewer fencing programs out there, for example, but great opportunities, thanks to an NCAA ruling.

“NCAA made it co-ed. Men and women compete together,” said Sara Kass, owner of Cyrano’s place.

No matter what you child is good at, O’Rourke says it’s crucial to make sure they like doing it.

“There’s a lot of kids these days who feel pressured by their parents to participate in a sport they don’t enjoy. And, what’s going to happen is that you’re going to spend a lot of time and money pushing your kid into a sport that they really don’t have their heart into.”

For more college sports statistics, click HERE.

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