In the NCAA there are more than 460,000 student athletes and here at St. Joe’s, there are 652. To take a deeper look into what life looks like for a student athlete, Saint Joseph’s freshman and softball player, Hailey Malito ‘25, took the time to explain what it’s like to maintain her athletic scholarship, academic scholarship, and how she balances her time throughout it all.
Malito, originally from Frankfort, Illinois, has been playing softball since she was four years old. She was ten years old when she started competitively playing and traveling throughout the year. By the time she was 12, she began the recruiting process by emailing different college coaches who she knew would be at her tournaments to let them know that she would be there. “The coaches aren’t allowed to reach back out to us until we are juniors in high school, so by that time, I had about five-ten schools who I would consistently keep in contact with and would come to my games to recruit me.” The earliest an athlete can commit is September 1 of their junior year, and by October, Malito was committed to St. Joe’s.
Here at St. Joe’s, Malito has two different scholarships that she has to keep up with: academics and athletics. As a presidential scholar, Malito must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA. To keep her athletic scholarship, she must take at least 12 credit hours of classes per semester. However, to keep her on track, her advisor has her take about 15 or 16 credit hours of classes per semester.
Although to some people this may seem doable, with a schedule like Malito’s, it really is balancing a lot. On Tuesdays and Thursdays she has to be at lift at 7:30 a.m, which runs to 8:45-9:00 a.m, and then she heads straight to practice which goes until noon. Right after practice she heads straight to her classes which run until about 3:15 p.m and from there she goes straight to her study hall which runs until about 7 p.m. Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Fridays are more of a typical schedule where she has classes from 9-2:15 p.m. and then heads to practice afterwards until 6:00 p.m. After all of her classes and practice times, she can do whatever she wants with her time; however, she does mention that it is largely taken up with homework and traveling, especially in the spring when softball season is in full swing.
To Malito, the most important aspect of keeping up with everything is time management and keeping a tight schedule. Malito thinks that being a student athlete is very rewarding, despite how difficult it may be at times. As someone who values her time and life outside of school and athletics, she says the whole thing teaches her how to be an adult and believes everything is setting her up to be successful in the future.