Cost Considerations and Academic Aspirations: a Phenomenological Study of College Choice Among Student Athletes
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the observed experiences of 12 student athletes as to their preparations and expectations for choosing their colleges. Through semi-structured interviews, the study sought to illuminate the impactful tension of both athletic and financial considerations in the decision-making of the students and their families. While all the participants agree on the importance of sport in their own choice of school, they also noted the priority of academics because sport as a career was not a goal. Each student’s family had differing cost considerations that bound the college choice, but the participants as a whole agreed on the seriousness of the financial consequences of higher education. In the view of these recent graduates, their degrees were worth the investment, but the investment was defined by both debt or the avoidance of debt, and the time expense of their sport. Implications for practice included a focus on improved financial aid counseling beginning in high school and continuing financial literacy support into college entrance and beyond. Despite the influence of high school coaches, guidance counselors, and peers in college choice, families were the primary variable in the student’s decision-making, suggesting that education and outreach during recruiting time should include the athlete’s family to ensure accountability for the higher education institution.
Sports Management|Higher education
Kennon, Kathleen Shea, "Cost Considerations and Academic Aspirations: a Phenomenological Study of College Choice Among Student Athletes" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI27832755.