How Professional Athletes Maximize Scholarship Dollars

This post was in collaboration with Athlife Inc


How Professional Athletes Maximize Scholarship Dollars

As athletes who have had the good fortune to pursue professional careers, many of you are blessed with scholarships or tuition reimbursement opportunities. Depending on the amount you are eligible to receive and the rules that govern what type of education the money can be used for scholarships can cover undergraduate, graduate degree, and/or other professional development coursework.

In some cases, athletes will also have the ability to retain their college scholarship to finish a degree from the school they attended if they decide to leave early. A challenge with this scenario is that you may not have time to return back to campus until after your career is over. In other situations, athletes are given a specific dollar amount regardless of how many school credits they have left. For athletes in this situation, it’s important to make the most out of the limited funds you are given.

If you are looking to maximize your scholarship dollars here are three options to explore.

Community College

Attending community college to complete classes may seem like a step down especially after receiving a full ride from a top school. However, doing so will give you the ability to get more classes done for less money . This will also allow your scholarship money to carry over to complete your bachelor's degree and even possibly graduate school.


Online Classes

While not for everyone, using online classes as a vehicle to complete your degree will allow you to get more for your buck, especially if you have a time limit on your scholarship. During the season with traveling and competing, your schedule will conflict with your classes and during your offseason, you may not be willing or able to allocate enough time to for school. Taking online classes can give you the ability to get your classes done while playing and meet any deadlines.


Use Qualified Advising Resources

Leagues and Unions often have resources in place to help you navigate this process. If you are eligible, use them and it could save you a lot of time and money.

It’s not about where you start but where you finish. As you’ve probably heard countless times throughout your career. The same quote could be applied to your educational journey as well.



AthLife was formed in 2004 to service the education, career development, and life skill needs of athletes. AthLife’s approach is to guide the client through a process that builds skills and confidence, thus enabling them to assume control over their ongoing career development. Currently, AthLife® contracts with the MLS Players Union, Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association, National Basketball Retired Players Association, NBA Players Legacy Fund, NFL Players Association, The Trust (Powered by the NFL Players Association), and WWE to assist their constituency. AthLife has worked with student-athletes at more than 40 Division I institutions, from every major conference in the areas of education and life skill development and The AthLife Foundation supports more than 10,000 student athletes at more than 60 schools nationwide