AP students vs Student Athletes


Zoe Harms, Co-Editor-in-Chief

There has always been a long-term debate on whether it is better to be a student-athlete or an AP student. I always wondered which path would serve me better in the long run. I have finally come to the conclusion that being a student-athlete will open more doors for me and would be a huge benefit for the future. 

I’ve always believed that we are supposed to be preparing ourselves for college and that high school is our last stop on the adolescent brain. I believe the best way to get into college is to be a student-athlete. 

AP students are hard workers, but it takes a certain skill to be able to do what a student-athlete does daily. Most student-athletes don’t get home until 6:00 pm and they have to do homework, shower, eat dinner, and spend time with their family.

A study called “College and Beyond”, commissioned by The Mellon Foundation shows that student-athletes get 4 times the amount of admissions to college than AP students do. An athlete could get up to as much as $92,000 in scholarship money while any other student would get less than $14,000.

I grew up as a student-athlete, accustomed to waking up early and always having a jam-packed schedule. Student-athletes are much more resilient than AP students because we have to balance a lot more on our plates physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Mental health is a big issue for high school students in general and is always a concern. Studies show that 75% of high schoolers are stressed about homework and the schooling system. 

Athletes are supple in that because they have been groomed, and have learned how to juggle so many things at once. Colleges don’t only look at sports, clubs, and academics but also what kind of person you are. And I don’t mean good or bad, I mean your characteristics. 

Colleges want students that will bring desirable traits to campus. Diversity, organization, and success are common interests colleges have. Colleges want to know that you have what it takes to be a cardinal or bobcat. 

Athletes have been found to be more likely to graduate from college than AP students. Over 2,000 colleges or universities offer money for sports. They give you more or less money based on what division and league you’re set in. 

Being a student-athlete doesn’t automatically unlock all your doors which is why some people choose to focus more on academics. Being an AP student takes commitment and hard work. Plenty of students get into their dream colleges and get to pursue a career they love by focusing purely on school. But that doesn’t remove the fact that a student-athlete is a better choice for most people.

Overall, having the chance to be part of a team means having a better shot at college, and a better shot at life. Being an AP student is just as exceptional and amazing, but being a student-athlete gives you an opportunity for so much more.