Putting the “Student” back in Student Athlete

Putting the “Student” back in Student Athlete

By: Patrick Bruce

Hard work and persistence are key ingredients for success. Once athletes dedicate themselves to those ingredients, the results will follow. Those results bring options, especially for college athletes. The Advent of NIL has caused a frenzy in the past few years among athletes, their families, and higher education institutions. All agree about athletes’ financial impact on school revenue and believe those athletes should receive a portion of that success. Hence, Name, Image, and Likeness was conceived. 

With the new focus on the finances of student-athletes the “student” portion has been somewhat overlooked. Athletes are jumping in the portal to transfer to other schools, looking for more exposure and playing time. While this is understandable, specific questions should be asked before completing the paperwork. Does this new school offer my major, and how many hours will it accept? These questions may sound silly from the outside looking in, but I assure you they are not. According to the United States Department of Education, a post-secondary transfer loses more than 40% of its credits when students move between schools (U.S. Department of Education, 2023).

This means an athlete can lose an entire year of school or more by jumping in the portal. Keep the “student” in student-athlete and make education the priority. Utilize the following questions if you decide to transfer schools. 1)  Does the school offer my major? 2)  How many hours would I lose? 3) How much can I pay out of pocket or obtain loans if I lose my scholarship? 4)  What job prospects will I have with my current major?

Maintaining your status as a successful student can make you a better athlete and decision-maker. Work as hard in the classroom as you do in your sport to enjoy academic and athletic success. 

U.S. Department of Education. (2023) Biden-Harris Administration Convenes Higher  Education Leaders to Improve Student Transfer to Increase Completion of College Degrees. https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/biden-harris-administration-convenes-higher-education-leaders-improve-student-transfer-increase-completion-college degrees#:~:text=While%20nearly%2040%25%20of%20students,credentials%20they%20seek%20to%20earn.

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