WHAT IS AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP?
An athletic scholarship is a kind of merit award for students who excel at their sport. In 2018 to 2019, U.S. colleges with varsity athletic programs awarded almost $4.1 billion in athletic scholarships.
The aim of athletic scholarships is to offset the costs of a college degree. They also help schools recruit talent for their sports teams.
Because each division sets rules about athletic department funding, award amounts vary. Some are full tuition awards while others may provide partial financial aid. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.
10 ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS FOR STUDENT ATHLETES
Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program
The New York Ramblers Scholarship for Student Athletes
Craig M. Epstein Memorial Scholarship Fund
Triple Impact Competitor Scholarship
Lee Brennan Memorial Scholarship
Norma and Rita Nussbickel Memorial Scholarship
Sean Callahan Memorial Scholarship Fund
Coach Wade Pittsford Scholarship
Big Sun Scholarship
Mike Frick Memorial Baseball Scholarship
HOW DO ELIGIBLE ATHLETES RECEIVE AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP?
In some cases, once eligible, a student must apply for an athletic scholarship. But other times, a coach must recruit the applicant first.
About 1 in 14 high school athletes went on to play a varsity sport in college back in 2018. And 1 in 54 went on to play at NCAA Division I schools.
To boost your odds of getting an athletic scholarship, it might be useful to take an active role early on. Here are a few tips to think about that may help recruiting coaches find you.
Sports Scholarship Eligibility Checklist
Figure out Which Division Sport You Want to Play: To do this, some student athletes use the recruitment services of an agency. Using this type of service may be a useful way to understand what skills you have. And, which division level lines up with your sports talent.
Make Sure Your Eligibility is in Order: To be eligible to play your sport in college, you must meet some criteria. Once you know the division you want to join, you must register. Meeting their standards could help show coaches you are ready to play. But you may still have to impress a school and meet their entrance criteria.
Research Schools in Your Chosen Division: Once you have a clearer idea of these skills, the next step is to research schools. Create a list of about 50 schools you want to apply to. You may want to sort them by location, academics, athletics and culture.
Put an Athletic Resume Together: As you do this, you could also gather a list of the coaches’ names and emails. Compile a standout athletic resume about your performance stats, awards, academic transcripts, and ACT/SAT scores. You may also do a video to showcase your skills so the coach can evaluate you.
Make Contact with Coaches: Instead of sending a mass email, you might consider using a personal approach. You could could write a captivating subject line. Put your name, position, grade level and a key stat. Then tell each coach what draws you to their school.
See What Scholarship Offers You Might Qualify For: Making it through the recruiting funnel may yield results. If so, you may get an offer of financial aid. Some schools may lack the budget to offer a huge athletic scholarship. To make up the difference, they might offer merit scholarships.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FULL RIDE VS PARTIAL ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP?
Full ride athletic scholarships and partial scholarships may be offered for different sports. They are also distinct as far as what expenses they cover. A full ride athletic scholarship pays the entire cost of attendance. It covers the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, room, board, and books. It may renew for four years, or be a one year contract.
There are six sports that you may receive full ride scholarships.
In these sports, coaches might have a budget of scholarship money they may divide up among their team. They may offer one student athlete a scholarship that pays for tuition. On the other hand, a teammate may get an offer that covers only the cost of books.
WHY STUDENT ATHLETES SHOULD APPLY FOR A SPORTS SCHOLARSHIP?
A sports scholarship may be useful if your goal is to pursue a four year degree. Affordability, less dependence on loans, and sportsmanship are a few reasons to apply for a sports scholarship.
Affordability. An undergrad degree may be an expensive feat. Using the latest NCES data, the average cost for new undergrads living on campus at public college is $24,900. It’s higher at private for profit ($33,200) and private nonprofit ($51,900) schools. You may be able to use a sports scholarship with other forms of aid like gov’t grants too
Lessen Dependence on Loans. No one knows but you if you will leave college with student debt. But unlike a loan,scholarship money typically does not need to be repaid. If you abide by the terms, you don’t pay the money back.
Sportsmanship Looks Good. Many scholarship committees look at applicants from all sides. You may not have the talent that recruits you to the major leagues. But if you take part in a sport, it could show judges you have discipline. Add solid grades and a history of being a ‘good sport’, and you might have an even better shot at a scholarship
WHICH SPORTS HAVE ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS?
There are athletic scholarships for a wide range of sports. Football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and ice hockey are a few sports that athletes may receive athletic college scholarships. Here is a closer look at five sports scholarships.
Pinellas All Star Football Classic Scholarship: These awards range from $500 to $5,000 and may renew. Eligible senior students in the Pinellas County Public High School system may apply. Students only need to fill out one application to match their needs and future interests. To start the process, you must register to set up an account.
Irv Noll Memorial Scholarship Fund: This annual one time award of $400 is from Berks County Community Foundation. It is for eligible high school seniors in Berks County, PA. To qualify, you must have a 2.5 GPA, and show qualities like kindness and sportsmanship. You must also intend to go to college and have played high school basketball, golf or baseball for at least 2 years.
David M Bohr Memorial Baseball Scholarship: This one time $500 award is from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. It is open to eligible high school seniors at NCW approved high schools. To qualify, you must also take part in baseball, have a 2.0 GPA and show financial need.
Bryan Cline Memorial Soccer Scholarship Program: The Albuquerque Community Foundation offers two annual awards of $800 each. They are available to Eldorado High School soccer team graduating seniors. One male, and one female. To apply, you need to name your varsity soccer team coach and provide two reference letters. You must also show you attend a college as a full time student.
ICE HOCKEY SCHOLARSHIPS
Maynard and Ferne Brownell Scholarship: The Community Foundations of Hudson Valley offers an annual scholarship of $750. It is for eligible high school seniors at Beacon HS, John Jay HS or Roy C. Ketcham High School. You do not need to play hockey to qualify. But applicants must take part in school sports and or community service projects. Along with a complete form, you must submit transcripts, an essay, resume, copy of SAR report and two reference letters.
WHAT COLLEGES OFFER ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS?
Many colleges offer athletic scholarships for incoming student athletes. UNC Chapel Hill, Stanford, and UCLA are some universities that may offer sports scholarships.
UNC Chapel Hill is a school with 19,117 undergrads and 28 varsity teams. The campus also has intramural sports, sport clubs and athletic facilities. There are various UNC scholarships for eligible applicants.
Stanford is a school that serves 7,087 undergrads. The school has over 22 varsity teams (including the Cardinals). Some Stanford athletes may qualify for full ride scholarships. Full rides may pay tuition, fees, room, board, textbooks, and residence hall dues. Apart from these, there may be academic scholarships. Many CA residents may qualify for the Cal Grant Program as well.
UCLA is a school with 31,577 undergrads and 21 major varsity teams. UCLA created the Jackie Robinson Centennial Scholars Endowed Scholarships. The award is for male student athletes in track and field, baseball, football, and basketball. There are also a range of need and merit based scholarships open to eligible students. UCLA students including DACA students may qualify.
ARE THERE SCHOLARSHIPS FOR FEMALE ATHLETES?
There are many sources of scholarships for female athletes. Women now make up about 44% of student athletes at NCAA schools. And, women’s NCAA teams now make up 54% of NCAA teams.
Women may receive athletic scholarships for the following sports:
Track and field
That is not to say there aren’t other sports with such awards. And some providers may not expect you to play sports in college. They may offer awards to help you study a field related to sports too.
Each year, Hawaii Community Foundation offers the Jean Fitzgerald Scholarship. There are two $3,500 awards to honor Jean Fitzgerald. Jean was an active tennis player and also believed higher education is crucial. The program is open to eligible female Hawaii residents who show financial need. Applicants must also have a 2.7 GPA, be active tennis players and attend an accredited U.S. school full time.
Each year, the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation offers the TFMJF Advancement of Women in Sports and Entertainment Scholarship. There are four need based awards of $1,000 each. The aim of the program is to bring more diversity to fields where women are in the minority. Eligible applicants are female undergrad or grad students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applicants must also have a 2.75 GPA. Full time students who major in, or want to work in, the entertainment / sports industry may apply.
CAN AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP BE TAKEN AWAY?
There are a few scenarios that may cause a student athlete to lose their athletic scholarship. Two main reasons to lose an athletic scholarship are non renewals and sports injury.
The Scholarship Does Not Renew: Non renewals happen for many reasons. The current coach could leave or the student athlete gets in trouble. Many schools also set standards for grades and sportsmanship. So, any sub standard performance may put your scholarship in jeopardy.
Sports Injury: An injury might sideline a player and their athletic scholarship. While academic scholarships tend to be more secure even if you stop playing, as long as you keep your grades up, the funds stay in place. However, this may not always be the case.