By Sharon Aron Baron
With admission to the country’s most prestigious institutions getting more challenging each year due to the increased number of applications, high school seniors may find it more difficult to stand apart.
As a result, universities find their acceptance rates continually decreasing. For example, Princeton finished first in the US News and World Report’s “Top Colleges of 2021” and has seen its acceptance rates drop from 10.06 percent in 2013 to 6.09 percent in 2021.
Nothing brought this reality to light more than the college bribery scandal that involved famous and influential names like Lori Laughlin, Felicity Huffman, and Douglas Hodge, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure entrance into top universities.
While statistics show receiving full athletic scholarships is exceedingly rare (about one in 50 for high school seniors who play football –more scholarships than any other sport). What is more prevalent is getting an acceptance into a school by willing to play a sport, and no sport offers a higher probability than….
Wait for it…Lacrosse.
According to Scholarship Stats, the odds of a Men’s Varsity Lacrosse player playing lacrosse in college is 13.5 percent compared to 5.7 percent in basketball.
When looking at playing at a Division 1 school, lacrosse players have the highest odds of gaining acceptance into a university, tied only by football due to football players’ sheer numbers on a team.
As for the women, the only sport that trumps lacrosse is ice hockey, due to its low participation, primarily due to the high costs involved in playing.
What really plays into leveraging this sport into education are not on the odds of gaining acceptance into a university, but which universities they’re are gaining acceptance to.
Of the Top 30 Universities on the 2021 US News and World Report, 15 of the men’s programs were also ranked in the Top 30 of the NCAA’s Men’s Lacrosse Rankings: Princeton, Cornell, Yale, Duke, UNC, Notre Dame, and Georgetown.
As for the women, 20 of the Top 30 universities were on both lists: Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, University of Florida, USC, UNC, Notre Dame, and John’s Hopkins. Barely missing these lists were schools including Harvard, Columbia, West Point, Naval Academy, Syracuse, Penn State, and Ohio State.
Lacrosse has been one of the fastest-growing sports over the past few years, as it has grown from an elitist prep school sport to the mainstream across the nation — including in Parkland.
Parkland boasts one of the most extensive recreational programs, the RedHawks, with many teams ages 5 to 14, even in these COVID-limiting times.
For those kids who excel with the hopes of playing in college, Parkland’s boys and girls travel team The Stealth recently had teams finish in the Top 8 at Nationals in Orlando.
Parents work tirelessly to place their children in the best possible environment to succeed, and the lacrosse field may now be part of that environment for those children who show some athletic ability and a passion for the game, as well as academics to do just that.
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- Sharon Aron Baron is a Parkland resident and editor of Talk Media. She has been covering Parkland news since 2012. Parkland Talk was created to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Parkland.
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