Many boys and girls grow up dreaming of playing sports in college and beyond. But of the nearly 8 million students currently participating in high school athletics in the United States, only 495,000 of them will compete at NCAA schools. And of that group, only a fraction will realize their goal of becoming a professional or Olympic athlete.
For the rest, the experiences of college athletics and the life lessons they learn along the way will help them as they pursue careers in other fields. Education is a vital part of the college athletics experience, and student-athletes graduate at higher rates than their peers in the student body.
These charts show the estimated probability of competing in athletics beyond high school – both in college and professionally: