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Athletics has overtaken academics as the top scholarship expectation of high-school seniors, according to a survey by the National Research Center for College and University Admissions.

The annual survey asks students what type of college scholarship--including academic, athletic, leadership, music, debate, or writing--they would most likely qualify for.

Academics and athletics have been the top two answers throughout the 1980's, according to the center. In 1980, for example, 19.2 percent of students surveyed said an academic scholarship, while 13 percent said an athletic scholarship.

In this year's survey, however, 16.2 percent of the 754,000 seniors who responded said an athletic scholarship, while 13.9 percent said an academic scholarship.

The survey results show that big-time college athletics creates a false impression among high-school students, according to Don Munce, president of the center. Colleges provide many more academic than athletic scholarships, he said, yet students have come to believe that athletics is their "ticket" to higher education.

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