Should athletic scholarships exist?

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Going in for sports is a way to have a full life, be a healthy, popular student respected by peers and professors. Also, good athletes can count on financial support from a state: scholarships, free accommodation in a dorm, medical care, trips. Educators often overestimate their marks, allow to deviate from a standard exam schedule or even exempt such learners from tests.

Such indulgences provoke other students’ resentment. It seems unfair that their classmates miss lectures to play sports games in a gym, do not submit some assignments but have higher marks and are even paid for such behaviour. There is a heated controversy in an academic community because not all people believe that sports achievements are as important as strong knowledge on a major for which learners are usually rewarded.

Experts from Pro-Papers have analyzed this issue and listed the most important pros and cons of athletic scholarships below.

Advantages of athletic scholarships

Lowering tuition fees

Some young people take loans in banks and find full-time jobs to pay tuition fees. Financial problems distract them from learning, cause stress and overwork resulting in depression and physical weakness. Sports is a healthy and exciting way to earn money and cover educational expenses. Colleges and universities are willing to lighten the athletes’ financial burden because such students make them feel proud.

Financial cushion for young players

Regular students can work part-time to afford some purchases and support their families. But athletes have way too busy schedules, spend all free time in gyms preparing for university competitions. A scholarship helps them not to think about how to make ends meet.

Popularizing healthy lifestyle

Most young people have a sedentary lifestyle, spend every day sitting at lectures and in front of a computer. Taking into account a large number of academic tasks, they rarely have the opportunity to go in for sports or at least walk in a park. When there is some free time, it is usually spent on communication in social networks and watching TV rather than active games in the open air. Students are more enthusiastic about physical activity when there is a chance to receive money for good results.

Preventing shady business

College-competitors may ask athletes to influence the outcome of contests, give in to opponents in exchange for money. If receiving scholarships, young people will have fewer reasons to cooperate with unscrupulous individuals. In addition to a financial aspect, students usually feel that they have no moral right to take bribes and betray their alma mater if college administration cares for them.

Attracting new talents

If creating favourable conditions, educational institutions can count on the inflow of talented athletes, which provides tangible advantages on tournaments and raises college’s prestige.

Discipline and perseverance

Physical education may contribute to all life areas because athletes learn to be persistent, meet high standards and work hard to achieve goals set. Regardless of whether they will engage in professional sports or dedicate life to the profession acquired, useful habits and positive character traits will help them to achieve success.

Paying for treatment

Any serious sport presupposes that a person may be injured at a workout or a competition. If an educational institution wants students to fight for its honour, it should at least compensate for medicines and hospitalization expenses necessary to recover after traumas.

Students deserve scholarships

It is uneasy to juggle academic life and sports. Young people risk their health, spend much time and energy in a gym, should adhere to a special schedule and diet to always stay strong and achieve good results at tournaments. They surely deserve rewards for all efforts made.

Disadvantages of athletic scholarships

Distracting from education

It is great that students are fit and healthy. But they enroll in educational institutions to become engineers, economists, lawyers, doctors, etc. Studying a chosen major is the most important goal. Sportspersons tend to forget about it, which often leads to academic problems.

Oppressing smaller colleges

It is challenging for low-income schools to allocate significant funds for athletic scholarships. It is necessary to sacrifice other aspects of academic life to reach competitors’ level and win some titles. Otherwise, large educational institutions may monopolize sports talent by luring outstanding athletes with generous financial support.


Since not all students and parents agree that athletes should be paid scholarships, opponents can ask why diligent learners showing good academic results do not receive the same bonuses and even bring the matter to a court. In addition, there is no unified scale for measuring sports achievements. Other athletes may claim that a college administration takes biased decisions and discriminates against them.

Ruining the college sports tradition

Some people believe that sports should foster real competition between educational institutions. Amateurism disappears when turning it into a kind of a part-time job.