Athletic Scholarships for Active Students
One of the surest ways to get a sponsored college education is to involve oneself in sports. A person’s athleticism can qualify him to a number of scholarship programs these days. As a matter of fact, thousands of college students rely on athletic scholarships to get them through college. The thing is that almost every college or university has different scholarship programs for different athletes. With this, it’s no longer hard to find one that will suit a person’s educational needs.
Of all types of scholarship grants, the ones founded for athletes are probably the easiest to find. Aside from colleges and universities, other sources of athletic scholarships are sports groups and organizations. There are also a number of individuals who are willing to sponsor the college education of sports-minded students.
Available Scholarship Grants
The National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA is the biggest scholarship-awarding body in the country. They have scholarship programs for players of every sport imaginable—badminton, swimming, archery, field hockey, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, ice hockey, golf, and lacrosse just to name a few. The organization currently has six scholarship programs: the Undergraduate Athletics Scholarships, The Freedom Forum-NCAA Sports-Journalism Scholarships, the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship Program, the Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship Programs, the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Program, and the Degree-Completion Scholarships. Almost all of these scholarship programs are aimed at helping student-athletes pay for college.
Ways to Get a Scholarship
Generally, there are two ways on how one can acquire a college scholarship. One of these is to get recruited by college coaches. To get recruited, an athlete must at least be on the top 5% of his sport. This means that he should be really good in his craft. For instance, if he’s a basketball player, being on the top 5% means being short only of Kobe Bryant’s hoop-shooting skills. With this, an athlete must show his potentials to get noticed by college coaches and recruiters.
Once recruited by a college coach, an athlete becomes a member of the varsity team. As such, he will be entitled to whatever scholarship program the school has for its varsity players. More often than not, colleges and universities offer two kinds of scholarship grants for athletes: partial and full-ride scholarships. In most cases, those who receive full-ride scholarship grants are the ones who have excellent athletic skills.
If you think you are not part of the upper 5% of your sport, don’t worry; you can still get financial assistance in college by applying for the numerous scholarship programs offered in your school. Most of these programs don’t require you to be the star player of the team; as long as you are a player and a good one at that, you will surely qualify for a suitable scholarship program.
What it Takes to be an Athletic Scholarship Recipient
Don’t think that just because you have the skills to score a goal you instantly become a shoo-in for a scholarship program. The thing is that it takes more than athleticism to qualify for one. Most scholarship programs are not just looking for talented athletes but good students as well. With that said, don’t be surprised if athletics scholarships require you to have high ACT or SAT scores. Apart from high test scores, you must also have a GPA of not lower than 3.0. Academic excellence is one of the biggest criteria for granting scholarships and it’s imperative that you meet it if you want to land a good scholarship program.
Aside from academic excellence, scholarship programs also want athletes are not all about sports. Being active in the community also matters and participation in other extracurricular activities counts. To qualify for a scholarship grant, make sure that you have an impressive history of active involvement in your school and in the society.
Your Coach is Your Best Friend
Your coach is not only good for leading you to the championship. Sometimes, your coach can also lead you to the path of success. When looking at different scholarship options, don’t forget to ask your coach for advice. He’s the person who knows your capabilities and limitations, and as such, he has the best idea where you will fit in.
Applying for a scholarship program is just like running a race — it takes hard work to win. Be patient in looking for available scholarships, filling out forms, gathering information, writing essays and letters, and submitting requirements. All your hard work will eventually pay off in the end and you will get the best trophy of all: a college diploma.
Explore Additional Athletic Scholarships