Many boys and girls grow up dreaming of playing sports in college and beyond. But of the nearly 8 million students currently participating in high school athletics in the United States, only 480,000 of them will compete at NCAA schools. And of that group, only a fraction will realize their goal of becoming a professional or Olympic athlete.
For the rest, the experiences of college athletics and the life lessons they learn along the way will help them as they pursue careers in other fields. Education is a vital part of the college athletics experience, and student-athletes graduate at higher rates than their peers in the student body.
These charts show the estimated probability of competing in athletics beyond high school – both in college and professionally:
Finally, in addition to the already great benefits listed above, when college admission counselors and college coaches see a high school student who has performed well both academically and athletically, they see a well-rounded student athlete who will be a welcome student in higher education. In order to participate in collegiate athletics, students must be registered with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA promotes high standards in collegiate athletics so student athletes may remain eligible to play on a team.