Your son is very good at football. Colleges have been interested in him since he was in ninth grade. He gets offered a full-ride scholarship to a huge state school.

You think that your son's future is set. Sure, he's not going to play NFL football, but now he can go to college for free. With the rising cost of tuition, that's a huge benefit. It will get him the degree that he needs to start his real career, and doing that debt-free gives him tons of options for things like buying a home, starting a business, having kids, and doing everything else to create the life you've always wanted him to have.

The Injury Issue

While that all sounds good, an injury can ruin those plans in a heartbeat.

While colleges do give out four-year scholarships, they often don't promise they'll really last for four years. It's more like a series of one-year scholarships. Your son's free tuition could be gone in seconds.

If he's injured, for example, and can no longer play, then he's not valuable to the school. They can just let him go. They may thank him for all that he's done, but they may not renew that scholarship. If he wants to keep going to school, he has to pay. Plus, he may already be facing very high medical bills, he may have missed classes while recovering -- meaning he'll have to pay to take them again -- and the financial hole feels like it just keeps getting deeper.

Continuing Education

Maybe your son can afford to go to school without the scholarship. Maybe he can get loans. Or, just maybe, that college dream is now gone. Even if he can pay for it, he's now taking on tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Is that dream of buying a home, starting a business, or at least starting his adult life without crippling debt also dead?

Serious Injuries

As you can see, the impact of the injury could be far greater than you initially imagined. Be sure you and your son know your legal rights if someone else caused the injury.