College hockey offers players the unique opportunity to pursue a professional hockey career at the highest levels while earning a college degree from some of the world's most prestigious institutions of higher learning.
More than 90 percent of college hockey players graduate with a college degree, setting themselves up for success after their hockey career. Each year men's Division I hockey programs award more than $30 million in scholarships, unquestionably the most significant education program in the sport.
“Let’s be realistic. At 16 years old, how many kids are actually going to make the NHL? I wanted a fall-back plan. I didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket, so I thought I'd go to school and get an education. If I could make the NHL out of college, great, and if not, I had a (finance) degree to fall back on.”
– Kevin Bieksa | Bowling Green
College hockey is played primarily on weekends to maximize class and study time, allowing student-athletes to enjoy a full college experience while becoming part of the campus community. Hockey has the best Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and the best Academic Progress Rate (APR) of any NCAA men's sport, futher proof of the success college hockey players enjoy in the classroom.
Every U.S. college boasts thousands of alumni in countless professional fields: business, law, engineering, government, medicine, sports and entertainment. Alumni networks, combined with a degree, put graduates in an ideal position to transition into their post-hockey careers.
Even for those players who reach the highest level, very few play in the NHL past their mid-30s. That leaves decades of life ahead - and college hockey prepares its athletes for both the NHL and what lies beyond.