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Odds to play beyond high school

While the commercial has become cliché the point still holds true: fewer than two percent of NCAA student-athletes will go pro.

That number is still exponentially higher than that at which a high school student-athlete will make their living by playing their desired sport at the highest level. The ability to use sports to pursue a degree in a multitude of fields is where the truest value in an athletic scholarship can be found.

Those taking advantage of their on-field ability have been shown to graduate at higher rates than corresponding members of the student body, with the disparity in that rate rising each year.

The chart below is taken from the NCAA.org website, showing the probability of competing in athletics beyond high school — both collegiately and professionally.

ATHLETES M-BBALL

W-BBALL

FOOTBALL BASEBALL M-HOCKEY M-SOCCER
HS Athletes

538,676

433,120 1,068,6273 474,791 35,198

410,982

HS Seniors

153,907

123,749 310,465 135,655 10,057

117,423

NCAA Athletes

17,984

16,186 70,147 32,450 3,964

23,365

NCAA Freshman

5,138

4,625 20,042 9,271 1,133

6,676

NCAA Seniors

3,996

3,597 15,588 7,211 881

5,192

NCAA Draftees

46

32 254 678 7

101

% HS TO NCAA

3.3%

3.7% 6.5% 6.6% 11.3%

5.7%

% NCAA TO PRO

1.2%

0.9% 1.6% 9.4% 0.8%

1.9%

% HS TO PRO

0.03%

0.03% 0.08% 0.5% 0.07%

0.09%

The study was conducted to estimate the probability of competing in athletics beyond the high school level.

Using data provided from the National Federation of State High School Associations and the five professional sports leagues to extrapolate the points the study came to its findings.

The study found that the highest percent of high school hockey players were extended the chance to play in college with nearly 11.3 percent of participants while only 3.3 percent of boy’s basketball players would make it to the next level.

High school football was the overwhelming leader in participation and was still towards the front of the pack as 6.5 percent of senior athletes were able to go onto play on one of the multiple level of NCAA athletics.

High school baseball and college baseball carried very strong numbers across the board as about 6.8 percent of high school players went on to college while 0.5 percent of collegiate baseball players moved onto the professional ranks through the draft.

To see the complete methodology visit NCAA.org.

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