Feb 5, 2024 - Sports

Chicago students get help navigating college sports scholarships

Illustration of a letterman jacket with a dollar sign on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chicago Public Schools has expanded a program that helps high school athletes manage the requirements to qualify for college scholarships.

Why it matters: Student-athletes and their parents can miss out on sports scholarship money if they don't take the right high school classes to meet eligibility rules.

Details: Chicago tech company Honest Game is working with 84 CPS high schools to help student-athletes navigate the college academic eligibility process. The expansion comes after a pilot program in 10 CPS schools last year.

  • Honest Game helps student-athletes with everything from class schedules to tracking the recruiting process, and also works with the district to tailor new classes for student-athletes.
  • It has previously been up to student-athletes to figure out their requirements.

Threat level: According to Honest Game, 41% of Illinois high school student-athletes are at risk of being academically ineligible for athletic scholarships. In the city of Chicago, nearly $89 million in scholarships are lost every year.

  • Almost 1 million student-athletes per year nationally are deemed academically ineligible due to simple things like mistakenly enrolling in classes that do not meet NCAA requirements.
  • Ineligibility increases to 1 in 2 among student-athletes from underserved communities.

What they're saying: "We're leveling the playing field so that every student has a fair and equitable opportunity to attend college," Kim Michelson, CEO and co-founder of Honest Game, said in a release.

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