Aleah MacKay (pictured above on left) loves playing lacrosse at her high school in Nashua, N.H. But the 16-year-old junior admits that “the driving force” behind her dedication to the sport is “to earn a scholarship to a top Division I school.”
To boost her skills and get the attention of college recruiters and coaches, her parents say they spent about $4,000 sending her to six intensive summer sports camps and one clinic at a Division I school, which is generally a big-name university with millions of dollars in sports funding and televised sports teams. Aleah also used an online service that promises to match high-school athletes with college coaches.
With tuition for a four-year private university topping $250,000, families are eager to tap some of the $2 billion that the National Collegiate Athletic Association estimates is granted in athletic scholarships for the 23 NCAA sports each year.