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Caitlin Clark is turning pro. Why she could make more money staying in college one more year.

The highest salary Clark can make in the WNBA is $76,535; she currently makes over $900,000 in NIL deals Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, one of the biggest stars in college basketball, announced she will enter the WNBA Draft at the end of the season.

“While this season is far from over and we have a lot more goals to achieve, it will be my last one at Iowa. I am excited to be entering the 2024 WNBA Draft,” Clark wrote to her social-media followers on Thursday. Clark is just 17 points away from the all-time scoring record in Division I history — men’s or women’s — currently held by Pete Maravich, with 3,667 points.

iframe.twitter-tweet { width: 100% !important; } Clark will likely be the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft when she turns pro.

She is a senior, but still has a fifth year of NCAA eligibility due to the additional year granted to many athletes who lost time during their college careers due to the COVID pandemic.

Some have wondered if it would be better for her — and her finances— to stay in college another year than turn professional.

“The answer has changed a ton in the last three years because the NCAA dropped its ban on NIL,” Victor Matheson, an economics professor at the College of the Holy Cross who specializes in sports, told MarketWatch, referring to income from name, image and likeness. “Three years ago, if she had decided to come back for another year, she’d get a year of high-quality Iowa education and the love and adulation of every person in Iowa, but she wouldn’t have been able to get any cash out of it. A move to the WNBA would have made sense.”

But times have changed.

The NCAA began allowing college athletes to earn money off their name, image and likeness in 2021, when student-athletes won a decades-long argument over the fairness of receiving no remuneration for use of their NIL, even as the games they played in generated millions of dollars for the institutions in which they were enrolled.

Clark will make an estimated $910,000 from NIL deals this season, according to On3’s proprietary NIL algorithm, which is based on NIL-deal data, performance, influence and exposure. She has deals with brands including Gatorade, State Farm, Nike NKE, -1.49%, Buick, Topps and H&R Block HRB, -1.43%.