MESA, AZ – Every student-athlete that enrolls at Mesa Community College has dreams of earning a scholarship to a four-year institution. Some may even harbor hopes of becoming a professional in their respective sport, however that is a longshot.
But the chances of gaining that four-year scholarship are within the grasp of many. In a highly un-scientific study the MCC athletic department recently undertook it was found that over the two-year period from 2015-2017 a total of 127 Mesa athletes went on to win over $5.5-million in scholarship aid to four-year colleges and universities.
The actual figure, $5,567,464, covers an average of two years at the next level and is necessarily an approximation.
Costs change and some individuals actually earned either one-year, or three-year grants based on the number of years of eligibility they had remaining.
Football, which annually has a roster of well over 100 players, was understandably the largest contributor with well in excess of $2.2-million.
However, track and field generated $843,000, whilemen's and women's tennis added $747,000 and baseball $639,000.
In all, MCC sent 66 athletes on to NCAA Division I schools, 39 to NCAA Division II institutions and 21 to NAIA colleges or universities.
In addition, one selected a school in Canada. Even in that elusive pro career, the Thunderbirds have had nine athletes sign contracts and had one Olympian.
The totals reflect the success MCC has had in athletics in recent years. Since 2014, T-Bird teams have won three national championships, 27 conference and regional titles, had 24 teams ranked in the top ten in the nation in final national polls and produced 81 All-American athletes.
In addition, Mesa has had 98 NJCAA All-Academic individuals and 29 All-Academic teams.