Scholarships are out there, but you may have to look

Ramona High School senior Ally Harvey is flanked by her mother, Corri,  and father, Brent, as she signs her letter of intent to attend Texas Wesleyan University.  Sentinel Photo/Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High School senior Ally Harvey is flanked by her mother, Corri, and father, Brent, as she signs her letter of intent to attend Texas Wesleyan University. Sentinel Photo/Bill Tamburrino

By Bill Tamburrino

Everybody knows and dreams about a full Division I grant in aid. What most people don’t know is that there are limitations on how many athletic scholarships can be given in every sport.

The sports that generate the most money can grant the most scholarships. Few men’s sports grant full scholarships. Football and basketball can afford to do so but non or low revenue producing sports seldom grant full scholarships.

Full scholarships usually only cover tuition, university fees, required textbooks and room and board. That is a lot of money at Stanford, Notre Dame, USC and most private schools, and it is a lot of money at state or public schools. Athletic scholarships do not cover parking permits, course fees, student ID cards and activity books, library fines and graduation fees. In some schools library fees and graduation fees are a moot point.

We all know that some universities throw in tattoos, luxury cars, spending money, money for memorabilia and other perks, but those are not within the realm of the law.

Football and basketball usually offer full scholarships but most other sports can’t and don’t. Here is a list of what Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools can offer in some men’s sports: Baseball 11.7, basketball 13, cross country/track and field 12.6, football 85, golf 8.5, gymnastics 6.3, ice hockey 18, lacrosse 12.6, soccer 9.9, swimming and diving 9.9, tennis 4.5, volleyball 4.5 water polo 4.5 wrestling 9.9. Those numbers are total, not per year. So some sports do not get enough scholarships to field a team.

In women’s sports the limits are: basketball 15, cross country/track and field 18, field hockey 12, golf 6, gymnastics 12, ice hockey 18, lacrosse 12, soccer 14, softball 12, swimming and diving 14, tennis 8, volleyball 12, water polo 4.5.

Division II schools and NAIA schools can also offer scholarships but on a smaller scale than Division I schools. The Ivy League schools do not actually award athletic scholarships in any sport.

So if one is counting on an athletic scholarship (technically a grant in aid), he or she had better be a blue chip player. The universities go after the blue chip players. Coaches, especially club and travel ball coaches, who promise scholarships usually can’t and don’t deliver on those promises. And in most cases when they do deliver a partial scholarship, the money that the athlete spent to join and play for the club does not offset the money received from the scholarships.

However, there are scholarships out there. If the schools don’t come after the athletes, then the athletes should go after the schools.

That is what Ally Harvey did. Ally is a special case. She is a student-athlete in every sense of the word.

Ally will earn her fourth varsity letter in softball in the spring. She has already earned four varsity letters in golf and earned all-Palomar League honors in golf and advanced to the CIF individual tournament.

Ally almost didn’t go out for golf. As a matter of fact, she went out late her freshman year.

“There was an announcement in the student bulletin that said that they needed golfers for the junior varsity golf team and to contact Mr. Jordan (auto shop) if interested. I went to him and said that I would like to try out. He said that they had a match that day and if I had clubs I could play. I played and did well. The next day at practice I was told that I was on the varsity team because I had a good score.”

Ally decided that she wanted to play golf in college so, being the student that she is (She has a 4.6 grade point average.), she did a little research. Actually she let a company that searches for scholarships do most of the research.

She produced a video, set up a web page and looked for colleges and universities that met the criteria for which she was looking.

“I wanted a school that was in the Sun Belt or in a warm climate. I wanted a school that had a strong math department. And I wanted a school that had a good golf program.”

She chose Texas Wesleyan University. It is in the Sun Belt. It has an excellent math department. It is just starting women’s golf, but the coach, Kevin Millikan, has coached the boys team and that team has won a national championship.

Ally wants to be a high school math teacher and an athletic coach. Texas Wesleyan has an excellent secondary teacher preparation program. Ally is the second golfer to sign on with the Rams, so she is in on the ground floor.

“Ally is the perfect example of the type of student-athlete we want representing Texas Wesleyan,” said Millikan. “She is a high achiever both on the course and in the classroom, and she will play an integral role in our program’s success.”

Ally is receiving the maximum aid — she is getting help for her golfing skills and her academic skills.

Regarding advice she would give to a young lady entering high school who plans to play multiple sports and get good grades, Ally said, “You can do both. You can balance sports and academics and get a scholarship if you are willing to work on both.”

So if you want to play sports and you have good grades and no colleges are knocking on your door, knock on their doors and show them what you have to offer.

Golf is a family affair for the Harvey’s. Ally has golfed often with her mom, Corri, dad, Brent, brothers, Tyler and Dane, and grandfather, Mike Harvey. Ally’s father is in the golf business.

When asked who is the best golfer in the family, Ally just smiled and said, “Our entire family is very competitive. My brother Tyler and I have a pretty heated rivalry. When he found out that I would be golfing every day next year. he said that it would inspire him to work harder on his game.”

When asked if she was pushed toward golf, Ally stated that she was encouraged and supported by her parents but never pushed. “My parents and grandparents have supported me in all of my endeavors.”

Ally is receiving the maximum aid — she is getting help for her golfing skills and her academic skills.

Regarding advice she would give to a young lady entering high school who planns to play multiple sports and get good grades Ally said, “You can do both. You can balance sports and academics and get a scholarship if you are willing to work on both.”

So if you want to play sports and you have good grades and no colleges are knocking on your door, knock on their doors and show them what you have to offer.

   
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