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How Many College Athletes Lose Their Scholarships Due To Injury?

How many college athletes lose their scholarships due to injury

Scholarships provide financial assistance and getting an athletic scholarship is the holy grail for the athletic student. Scholarship provides an opportunity to get a free education and to compete at the highest level. Some scholarships work with stringent conditions in which students have to face many issues. If an athletic student, meets with an injury and is unable to perform, then in these cases, scholarships are not there because their policies do not support catastrophic injuries. So, sometimes, scholarships leave many athletes vulnerable as they don’t sustain injuries. Here, we will discuss the impact of injuries on college athlete scholarship, the causes of injury, factors that contribute to scholarship losses, and many other important factors.

How Many College Athletes Lose Their Scholarships Due To Injury?

There is no exact number available that shows how many college athletes lose their scholarships due to injury. There are various rules available for the injuries but for the career-ending injuries, rules are a little different in that students have to lose their scholarships. The NCAA made rules for career-ending injuries. Every year thousands of athletes are injured while playing their sport and some suffer from career-ending injuries. NCAA provides some relaxation in the rules of career-ending injuries that colleges and Universities decide on their own whether the athlete can keep their scholarship or not. One more thing, the colleges and Universities are not responsible for the cost of any medical expense.

Why Do These Injuries Occur?

There are various factors available through which these injuries occur and increase the risk of injury for the athletes. The major reason is competition because due to high competition athletes pressurize themselves and perform with high intensity which leads to major injuries. The level of competition is very high because more and more students compete for fewer spots on the college team. To enhance their performance in sports, students start developing physically, lifting heavy weights, changing their diet plan, etc. which can make them more susceptible to injury. In the end, some injuries are unavoidable and become a game changer for the athlete as these injuries turn into career-ending injuries.

Factors of Scholarship Losses

The major factors that lead to scholarship losses are mentioned below.

  • Medical Support: In most of the scholarships, the universities or institutions do not provide medical facilities for severe injuries. Due to this medical disqualification, most athletes avoid competing for the institution. It makes them ineligible for the scholarship. So, due to a lack of medical support athletes lose their scholarships.
  • Performance: Sometimes, the performance expectations do not meet the criteria that lead to scholarship rejections. The institution sets a benchmark for the performance of athletes but due to injuries, athletes do not meet certain criteria which leads to scholarship loss.
  • Renewals: The renewal policies of the scholarship may also affect the decision of the athlete to take advantage of scholarships. If an athlete meets an injury and does not perform as well as before, the providers do not provide renewal for the scholarships. Due to this, the athletes lose their scholarships.

So, these are the factors that contribute to the scholarship losses. In this, a lot of student-athletes experienced serious and career-ending injuries.

How Do Student-Athletes Protect Themselves From Career-Ending Injuries?

The ways to protect themselves from injuries and from losing scholarships are as follows.

  • Medical Support: Enroll for the scholarship program that provides comprehensive medical support, including mental health services, and help you in recovery.
  • Insurance for Injury: Some institutions provide insurance for injury in the interest of athletes. For not losing the best athlete, they provide insurance that protects the financial interest at the time of injury.
  • Awareness: Student-athletes can engage with the groups that provide awareness about the scholarships, and injuries for the student-athlete. They can help you protect your interest at the time of injury by advocating fairer policies.
  • Guarantee for Scholarship: Some institutions provide a guarantee for the scholarship to the student-athletes who maintain good academic scores. If the athlete is injured but maintains academic requirements, then they are eligible for the scholarships. It provides them with stability and motivation.
  • Communication with Coach: You should maintain a good relationship with your coach. So, that you can talk about your concerns which can help you secure health insurance in the worst case. The coaches can help you by providing insurance to some extent.

Therefore, these strategies will help you in protecting yourself from major injuries and from losing the scholarships.

Consequences Of Losing A Scholarship For Athlete

If an athlete loses a scholarship, then the consequences that occur are as follows.

  • Emotional Impact: When an athlete meets with injury and due to that injury he loses the scholarship and is unable to continue their journey as an athlete, it creates emotional distress. The athlete loses their dreams and faces a major change in their life.
  • Financial challenges: Scholarships provide financial support to students who are unable to continue their higher education. Losing that financial support impacts the student and their family badly. It creates stress and may create a situation of financial instability. It increases the situation of taking loans to cover the cost of injury and education.
  • Academic Impact: After suffering from the injuries, students are unable to balance their academic and athletic life. In this case, losing a scholarship can make it harder for the student to stay in the institution and directly impact their academic, financial, and athletic achievement.

So, these are the consequences of losing a scholarship and the major consequence is the mental health because after suffering from the injury, facing a financial issue causes a problem for the student.


There is no definite answer available for how many college athletes lose their scholarships due to injury. It is often a heartbreaking problem. Every year, thousands of students lose their scholarships due to their injuries. Losing scholarships, not only affects the financial stability of students. It impacts them mentally, academically, and athletically. Students can deal with this issue by making good relationships with the coaches, by taking health insurance, by participating in awareness groups, etc. NCAA made changes to their rigid rules, they leave the decision of offering scholarships to the universities or institutions for the injured student-athlete.