It’s difficult to calculate the exact value of a college scholarship + degree, but a rough estimate would be the monthly stipend using HoopsForHires’ numbers starting it off at $96,000 for their 4 years, plus $60,000 for 4 years of tuition or $188,000 for out of state students, and then housing adding $12,000 per year and books at about $1000 per year.
So at a school similar to Michigan you could expect a tangible and concrete value of $208,000 or so through your 4 years for an in state kid, $336,000 for out of state. Now, obviously there’s parts that this scholarship that hold value beyond the 4 years. If this hypothetical student uses effort he can graduate at this point! Thanks to the fantastic researchers at Georgetown we can get a rough estimate of how much that degree they got was worth!
A 2002 Census Bureau study estimated that in 1999, the average lifetime earnings of a Bachelor’s degree holder was $2.7 million (2009 dollars), 75 percent more than that earned by high school graduates in 1999. Today, we find similar numbers — but since 1999, the premium on college education has grown to 84 percent. In other words, over a lifetime, a Bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million on average.
So basically the bare bones @bebopson opinion of “a scholarship to a prestigious University has no added value to your expected life earnings and that person will somehow earn less than the general Power Conference athlete’s fellow neighbors who didn’t get into college” you have gotten paid more than $200,000 worth of cash plus services over four years as an in state student or over $335,000 out of state. That’s the unrealistic minimum approach. Now, looking at it from a normal and reality based approach in which a scholarship grants someone a valuable academic opportunity that otherwise wouldn’t have been open and allows them to choose to work towards their degree which will aid them later in life…
We come out with a value getting into the millions from four years of shooting a basketball well over a graduated player’s lifetime. Sure, add on the fact that Michigan only graduated 77% (no indication from the person who provided that source whether or not it takes transfers and NFL guys into account so it’s rather useless, but I’ll play along) and that average goes down a tiny bit. Still millions.
I don’t know many people who wouldn’t take the illogically conceived bare bones $200,000-$300,000 deal even if it provided zero additional income to what they would get without a degree, which I mean… Obviously it wouldn’t provide zero additional income. And would you look at that? I guess most athletes agree, because I can count on one hand how many high profile basketball recruits have decided to skip college in favor of a year in Europe or China before the NBA, not counting shoplifters and their little brothers. “Oh, but some are getting paid under the table which totally proves my point!” you angrily shout at your monitor. If you think that those people make up any kind of majority of scholarship athletes you’re delusional. Thousands of athletes don’t get paid anything by outside sources and still decided it was the right choice for them. Hell, why would a guy like Wagner who had a surefire payday awaiting him in Germany choose to come here if it’s as bad of a deal as the “NCAA are slave masters” crowd want to believe? Would Wagner even end up anywhere on a draft board had he stayed there? The exposure given by the NCAA sure seemed to help him, you might as well add that to the value also.
I will continue to state the bottom line, which is the fact that everyone makes their own choice here along every stage. The athletes decided it was worth whatever possible cost you can come up with to have the opportunity to play their favorite sport and get an education. They already get paid at minimum $200,000 during their 4 years at a school like Michigan and nobody is arguing that they shouldn’t be able to profit off of their likeness (that has been made very clear by now…)
so at this point I just don’t know what else you could possibly want. So tell me, do you honestly think that at least $200,000 of concrete money plus about $1 million in extra lifetime earnings on average is not enough? If not I don’t think it’s worth continuing this discussion, as anyone who thinks that plus (hopefully soon) the ability to profit off of themselves isn’t enough value is just plain wrong in my opinion.