If you excel in one or several sports in high school, you may want to look into applying for athletic scholarships to get you through your college education.
Scholarship for college students comes in different forms. Some are university or school funded and there are grants and scholarships funded by different institutions or even private companies. The most common type of scholarship is the academic scholarship wherein universities and colleges give financial aid or full scholarship to deserving students.
Another type of scholarship is the Athletic Scholarship. Unlike academic scholarship, which also get funding from outside sources, the schools’ athletic department usually funds the scholarship. They set aside enough money to attract top athletes and convince them to sign up with them.
Types of Athletic Scholarships
There are two types of athletic scholarships: Partial College Athletic Scholarship and Full College Athletic Scholarship. Both types are mandated by the NCAA or National Collegiate Athletic Association.
- Partial College Athletic Scholarship: this kind of scholarship does not cover the whole tuition and other fees of the student. It can, however, waive part of the tuition and fees for a set of semester hours. They can also deduct the scholarship amount from the athlete’s tuition.
- Full College Athletic Scholarship: when a student athlete is awarded with a full scholarship, it means that the school will pay all tuition and fees. The athlete is eligible to four years of scholarship.
It is important to note that books and other school supplies are not covered under the partial or full college athletic scholarship. Division III athletes do not get any kind of assistance, financial or otherwise, from NCAA or NAIA.
Aside from NCAA, student athletes can also be eligible for NAIA or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Scholarship. NAIA has lesser member schools and focuses more on the student side of the athlete.
How to Apply for Athletic Scholarships
- Take the required college entrance exams like SAT and ACT. Ensure that you meet the minimum academic standard of the universities or colleges you want to apply to.
- Compile your academic and athletic accomplishments including your high school transcript. You may want to include the tournaments or games you have participated in.
- Ask influential people in your life to write recommendation letters on your behalf.
- Write a cover letter stating your desire and reasons why you want to join the university or school you are applying to. You may want to include your academic and athletic achievements.
These are just a couple of things to remember when applying for athletic scholarship. Make sure that you also check out NCAA and NAIA requirements.
Applying for an athletic scholarship is one thing, getting one is a totally different story. On the average, NCAA only grants 2 percent of high school athletes sports scholarship. Football, basketball (men’s and women’s), women’s gymnastics, volleyball and tennis are usually the sports that award full scholarship.
You may also want to check out outside organizations that provide school-based and sports scholarships. Some of these are: SLU NCAA Division I Grant-in-Aid, Hood® Sportsmanship Scholarship, Davis Law Group Scholar Athlete Program, William Woods University Athletic Scholarships and more.