Hit the books!!!
There are two types of sports in Division I college athletics. Head Count and Equivalency. Head count sports are sports where the student-athlete gets either a full ride (100%) or nothing at all. The only sports that fall under this category are football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s tennis, women’s gymnastics, and women’s volleyball. Everything else is considered an equivalency sport. This means that coaches have been given a certain amount of scholarships and they are able allocate those scholarships over as many athletes as they see fit. It is their job to allocate that scholarship money as efficiently as possible. In hockey, specifically, each program has 18 scholarships to allocate. Because of this there are many partial scholarships that are offered and accepted. Partial scholarships are far more common than 100% deals. And I don’t think families understand this at all when starting the recruiting process but certainly realize it once they start getting offers. So don’t be offended or feel insecure when offered a partial or can’t negotiate a 100% deal. Additionally, with an equivalency sport there are no limitations on how many athlete’s on the roster can be on scholarship. If Brad Frost wanted to roster 36 girls with each of them on a 50% deal then he, in theory, could do it.
This brings us to why you need to hit the books! Getting any scholarship money to play hockey is ultra competitive. As a student-athlete, in a competitive environment, how can you set yourself apart from your competition? And how can you help the college coach in doing his/her job in allocating athletic money as efficiently as possible? Easy answer. Get good grades. One of the first things a coach will ask a recruit, if they are serious about that recruit, is “How are your grades?” They ask this to know right away if there is a possibility for the student-athlete to qualify for academic money. If the recruit is able to get some academic money and the coach can add a partial athletic scholarship on top of it then it will leave the coach and program in a much better position. If Athlete A and Athlete B have similar hockey abilities but Athlete A is the far better student Athlete A will get that roster spot 10 out of every 10 times. Additionally, it speaks to the character and work ethic of the recruit which, we all know, is strongly considered.
This seems like such an obvious thing but it is lost on many recruits and their families. Kids, remember the people who play sports in college are referred to as student-athletes. Not athletes. Or athlete-students. And parents remember that money is money. You are looking at the complete financial package. It shouldn’t matter if Little Suzie got some academic money to go with her athletic scholarship as long as the full financial picture is acceptable. I have seen and heard too many stories about parents who get hung up on the athletic scholarship details rather than the full picture simply because their ego got in the way.