Hitting Baseballs or Books?

While talented high school athletes don’t normally need to sweat the cost of their education, the kids who spend their time hitting the books often do.

Seton Hall University plans to offer 2/3’s off tuition to top academic applicants, hoping to make their normal tuition (around $50k) more manageable. I’m not against athletic scholarships. I think anything that helps kids get out of college not owning a bazillion dollars is fantastic. I’m delighted when students who’ve kept their grades up AND achieved in a sport are rewarded with full rides or fair amount of support, though – as the parent of the not athletically gifted – it is a bit of a frustration.

I get that academics don’t help schools raise money. Successful sports teams? That is a different story entirely. Those sports teams can be quite the profit center for schools, from tickets to the sort of logo’d items sold at Beyond Graduation, these efforts help keep the schools in the black.

There aren’t lots of tickets sold to chess club or even calculus class. Perhaps because that is the business of the universities, imparting education and knowledge, and all the sporting stuff is gravy??

Maybe, but how to reconcile the issues that the U of I is having with their reporting on their law school students. It appears that in an effort to appear more prestigious, they have lied about their student profiles … for several of the past years. An exalted student profile means an exalted law school. An exalted law school draws more of the top candidates (tuition payers) and probably has an easier time tapping the alumni for support that doesn’t require a field or a football.

The inflation on the cost of an education is crazy. The politics of getting into the top schools is more than slightly mad … insert long story here about student with PERFECT scores on ACT/SAT who managed to only get wait listed with one of the top schools.  Really?? Really?!

I applaud Seton Hall and hope that more schools will follow. Let’s value those who’ve succeeded in academics and help them do well in college. We need more smart people to help us get out of the mess we find ourselves in.


Categories: General


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