I read a very interesting article recently about spending for school and club sports for teens and pre-teens.
Apparently, the amount that parents spend for their children on sports keeps climbing. Many spend thousands of dollars a year for their kids to play on elite teams. The goals are to get elite training and play with other really good players so they can get some sort of college scholarship.
TD Ameritrade did a survey and found that 40% of parents thought that their kids would get some sort of athletic scholarship. My middle daughter played competitive sports at the high school and elite club level, and I believe that many parents feel that way.
The reality is that less than 2% of high school athletes get scholarships to play college sports. Most of those are not “full ride” scholarships like we think of for football and basketball players.
Athletics might help you get into the school of your choice if you are a really good athlete. Maybe it will bring the cost down. If the school fits with what you want to do, that’s great.
If you decide to spend that money, do it because your kid likes to play and you want to support that. That’s fantastic.
Think of that as money you’re spending on your relationship between you and your child or as a gift for your child. Do not think of it as an investment that will be paid back when it comes time to go to college. It’s just not likely to happen. You’d be better off saving that money in a 529 plan.
By the way, colleges recruited that daughter for two sports. She visited some schools and carefully considered it. After talking it over with others, including friends who are currently playing in college, she decided not to pursue it. I totally supported that decision and I think it’s right for her. That’s something that most parents don’t even consider when their kids are lighting up a sport at 13 or 14.
My name is Mike Garry, and my company is Yardley Wealth Management. We are a fiduciary, fee-only financial planning, and wealth management firm in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (That’s in Bucks County). Our law firm is Yardley Estate Planning, LLC and is in the same place. We only do Estate Planning work and I am licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
If you’d like to talk about this or anything else, please reach out: 267-573-1019, [email protected] or @michaeljgarry
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