Probability of competing in sports beyond high school

Many boys and girls grow up dreaming of playing sports in college and the pro ranks. But of the nearly eight million students currently participating in high school athletics in the United States, only 460,000 of them will compete at NCAA schools. And of that group, only a fraction will realize their goal of becoming a professional athlete.

For the rest, the experiences of college athletics and the life lessons they learn along the way will help them as they pursue careers in other fields. Education is a vital part of the college athletics experience, and student-athletes treat it that way. Overall, student-athletes graduate at higher rates than their peers in the student body, and those rates rise each year.

These charts show the probability of competing in athletics beyond high school – both college and professionally. The percentages are based on estimated data.