Recently, college athletes have been allowed to earn money for their name, image, and likeness (NIL), like professional athletes. Donating to NIL funds for college athletes has many advantages beyond simple advertising. These opportunities can have a tremendous impact on athletes who might be at a disadvantage.
Reducing Financial Hurdles
The ability to afford advanced education is a concern for college athletes. Many athletes do not receive a full scholarship to play college sports, leaving a considerable financial burden on athletes and their families. Earning money through NIL can allow partial-scholarship recipients to make up the difference between their scholarship and tuition. Some athletes take on the burden of student loans or may have a part-time job.
NIL will minimize the amount of student loan debt when the athlete graduates and may prevent them from taking on a job so they can focus on their studies and sport. Another concern for both full and partial scholarship recipients alike might be the financial hardships faced by their families. Earning money through NIL can allow the athlete to send money home, if necessary, relieving a considerable amount of stress.
Expanding Educational Opportunities
Since college athletes can have monetary compensation during their college career, this may change the opportunities athletes seize when they are in college. Although athletes are often focused on their sport, they should be encouraged to pursue an education that could give them more career opportunities beyond sports. With extra financial resources, some athletes may feel more comfortable choosing a college based on the programs that interest them and future career opportunities, and not based on the cost of going to a more prestigious or out-of-state college.
College athletes may seize the opportunity to transfer to a school with a better athletic program or one that suits their professional goals. With more financial opportunities, athletes may not simply focus on the easiest major to maintain eligibility in their sport and may consider pursuing other majors that might be more expensive, such as those with technology or laboratory fees, more expensive textbooks, or extensive supplies, like art classes. Athletes are also less likely to forego the last year of school to enter the draft early, which is a major reason many athletes do not finish their degree program.
Donating to NIL funds can turn the tide for athletes who may face financial struggles and those who would ordinarily be overlooked. The added financial incentive not only brings attention to donors but reduces financial stress and gives otherwise overlooked athletes a chance, which could be life-changing.
Contact a local college athletics program to learn more about NIL donations for college athletes.