UDACF provides opportunities for individual athletes that are unable to afford the spiraling costs of participating in the sport. In doing this, we are providing not only financial support, but also mentoring support that helps to pave pathways for these young athletes’ futures.
For families that cannot afford the average annual travel baseball costs of up to $6,000 their athlete will miss out on training, physical and mental skill development, playing time, visibility and most of all, the possibilities for their future that are only available by staying in the game.
Continued participation in spring, summer and fall baseball programs is critical to ensuring that these young athletes do not fall behind their peers. Without the additional time spent in these leagues, even the chance to play for their middle and high school teams is at risk because they may not be able to keep pace or play at the same level as the other players.
With the loss of this continued opportunity, not only do the less fortunate players suffer, the overall game of baseball suffers. The game is losing a high concentration of athletes in the pool of participants at all levels.
Since its inception, the UDACF organization has provided over $85,000 in scholarship monies to athletes that participated in our programs and/or events. In 2014, partial and full scholarships totaled $18,900 and provided in 2015 a total of $32,100. Currently in 2016 our scholarship dollars exceeded our projected total from $40,200 to $52,000.
The greatest proportion of funds is applied to the athletes in their junior year of high school because it is the final and most critical year for showcasing their talents. Most commitments by colleges for baseball athletes occur in the fall and/or spring of senior year.
UDACF has established full and partial Season Tuition Scholarships for families that cannot afford to pay the fees. In addition, equipment/uniform fees and travel costs associated with tournaments is sometimes included.
We model the scholarship qualification process after a typical college application and provide levels of tuition assistance – 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%. Important components of our qualification process include academic status, player assessment and ability to pay. In the player assessment, the athlete must demonstrate the character, skills, and athletic ability necessary to compete at the highest levels for their age group. The family’s financial qualification process involves completing a financial need application.
Athletes that qualify into the program will be afforded additional non-monetary benefits within the organization. These include the following:
- Mentoring by former MLB coaching staff. This part of the program fosters positive outcomes through goal setting, self-
discipline, specific skill development, and character development that helps build the habits and perspective that lead to a successful future.
- Inclusion in college/athlete database network. The athletes will be registered in an online college-recruiting network called Field Level. Their profile will include all personal stats, academic data, and video footage of hitting, fielding and pitching/catching if applicable. This benefit allows the athlete to present his best possible profile to hundreds of potential colleges ranging from NCAA to NAIA to NJCAA programs.