Scholarships for Student Athletes: Our Softball Player’s Story

Teen girl wearing a green jersey and holding a softball bat and softball.

Scholarships for Student Athletes: Our Softball Player’s Story

Published August 1, 2023

Teen girl wearing a green jersey and holding a softball bat and softball.

The path to college may look different for student athletes, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. One parent shares how softball opened doors for her teen.

This story was first published in our Paying for College 101 Facebook community. It’s been edited for clarity and flow. The name of the member has been omitted to protect their privacy.

I’m paying it forward by sharing this story with other parents, as we found these types of posts incredibly helpful at the beginning of the application process.

A Little Background

Our student had a weighted average of 106 and an unweighted average of 98.3. She was seventh in her class of 359. Her ACT score was 28, and she applied test-optional to all selective schools. Additionally, she took ten AP courses and six dual-enrollment college courses.

She served as class president, varsity leaders club president, student council treasurer, Best Buddies club vice president, and was varsity captain for both softball and volleyball. She also participated in several other clubs and honor societies, served as the travel softball captain, and volunteered over 200 hours with a local charity, spearheading an annual toy drive for the past three years that collected more than 2,000 toys.

She attends a diverse high school on Long Island. Her only hook was being a recruited athlete for softball. Although she received roster spot offers from several good schools, they were beyond our budget, leading to her disappointment. Her dream was to attend an Ivy League school, but she also considered Boston-area or big-name schools.

Budget Tips

We informed her that we could provide $20,000 a year in cash, and anything beyond that would have to be covered by loans. However, we advised her not to take out loans for more than $10,000 a year, as we weren’t willing to cosign for more. We wanted to avoid her having close to $100,000 in loans.

Since my husband had been laid off for several months this past year, we were concerned about the budget and instructed her to choose schools that cost $30,000 or less.

We knew that financial aid would be unlikely at most schools due to our middle-class status. We agreed to stretch the budget only if she got accepted into any Ivy League or super-selective school that would enhance her resume. She applied to numerous schools for merit and also targeted some schools due to relationships with softball coaches.

She utilized free application waivers for half of the schools, considering tuition, fees, room, and board in her costs, but not accounting for posted travel fees, books, and more.

Softball Roster Offers

After academic and financial pre-reads, she received the following offers:

  • Brandeis University: Cost: $82,068, Merit: $15,000, Aid: $28,678, Net Price: $43,678
  • Carnegie Mellon University: Cost: $81,297, Merit: $0, Aid: $39,524, Net Price: $41,773
  • Catholic University: Cost: $74,444, Merit: $28,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: $46,444

Applications 

She applied to the following schools as a biology major to pursue pre-med track:

  • Boston University: Waitlisted
  • Brown University: Rejected
  • Colby College: Rejected
  • Fairfield University: Accepted, Cost: $74,795, Merit: $28,000, Aid: $11,450, Net Price: $35,345
  • Harvard University: Rejected 
  • Hofstra University: Accepted,  Cost: $74,389, Merit: $33,000, Aid: $500, Net Price: $40,889 
  • Miami University, Ohio: Accepted, Cost: $55,558, Merit: $36,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: $20,558 
  • Northeastern University: Waitlisted
  • University of Mississippi:  Accepted, Cost: $45,130, Merit: $11,500, Aid: $0, Net Price: $33,630
  • Princeton University: Rejected 
  • Sacred Heart University: Accepted, Cost: $64,892, Merit: $22,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: $42,892
  • St. John’s University: Accepted, Cost: $65,230, Merit: $34,500, Aid: $0, Net Price: $30,730
  • SUNY Albany: Accepted, Cost: $26,066, Merit: $7,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: $19,066 
  • SUNY Binghamton: Accepted, Cost: $28,062, Merit: $0, Aid: $0, Net Price: $28,062 
  • SUNY Buffalo: Accepted, Cost: $25,528, Merit: $3,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: $22,528
  • SUNY Stony Brook: Accepted, Cost $10,556 (Tuition/Fees Only), Merit: $1,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: $9,556 (She would commute here, so this is the most affordable option.)
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst: Accepted, Cost: $55,056, Merit: $16,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: $39,056 
  • University of Massachusetts Boston: Accepted, Cost: $55,296, Merit: $18,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: $37,296
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Rejected 
  • University of Alabama: Accepted, Cost: $46,686, Merit: $15,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: $31,686 
  • University of Rhode Island: Accepted, Cost: $49,934, Merit: $12,000, Aid: $0, Net Price: 37,934 

Decision

She chose Miami University in Ohio. Although she didn’t receive their Presidential Fellows Scholarship, which covers full tuition, room, and board, she was awarded an additional $2,000. They provided her with the most financial support, contingent on maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

She was drawn to the campus and how they catered to honors students. Though disappointed about missing opportunities at Carnegie Mellon and Brandeis due to budget constraints, she spoke with Miami’s softball coach about walking on. If that doesn’t work, they have a club softball team.

We, as parents, love the choice because the tuition, room, and board are locked in for four years and fall within our budget. We wouldn’t have considered this school if it weren’t for insights like these, so thank you!

_______

Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

Division 3 Athletic Scholarships and Your Student Athlete

How to Motivate Juniors to Start the College Process

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JOIN ONE OF OUR FACEBOOK GROUPS & CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS: 

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