Equestrian Scholarship: A Smooth Ride Through College

Equestrianism refers both to the art and skill of riding and handling a horse. Riding a horse, which is a practice since the early times, is a means of transportation, a form of recreation, and a sports event. These days equestrianism is a popular sport not only in the Olympics but in intercollegiate competitions as well. As a matter of fact, equestrianism is an emerging sport, along with archery, synchronized swimming, and team handball. As such, a good number of scholarship programs were established to draw skilled riders.

What are Needed to Apply for an Equestrian Scholarship Program?
Most of those who offer scholarships for equestrians are colleges, universities, and associations that compete in equine events. Generally, scholarships are offered to individuals who demonstrate great skills in handling horses. Riders are not only the ones given the opportunity to go to school with financial support. There are also a number of scholarship programs that welcome hard-working handlers, coaches, and trainers.
Scholarship programs are open to students who exhibit excellent academic performance. Preferably, an applicant should have a GPA not lower than 3.0 and must be from a low-income household. He must also be dynamically involved in the community. To apply for the program, he will be required to submit a completed application form, letter of recommendation from his coach or team leader, and sometimes, a family income statement. Scholarship programs do not have the same requirements and criteria—some of them have age limits, while some firmly require applicants to take a career in equine.

What Does an Equestrian Scholarship Recipient Get?
The student whose application is approved by the screening committee may receive a renewable or non-renewable scholarship grant depending on the standards set by the school or organization. More often than not, a full scholarship is awarded, which covers the tuition and living expenses of the recipient. The allowances for books, transportation, and food are included as well. The amount of scholarship grants varies, but generally, they range from $1,000 to $3,000. Apart from the financial assistance, the scholarship recipient will also have the privilege to compete in various equestrian tournaments held around the country. The expenses during competition are also often shouldered by the scholarship program.

Examples of Available Scholarships
As mentioned, there are a number of scholarship grants that were established to provide financial assistance to those students who are either willing to take equine courses in college or are skilled equestrians. The schools that offer this kind of scholarship program include Bethany, Lake Erie College, and William Woods University.
Bethany College, which is located in West Virginia, offers several scholarship grants for students who will meet the program’s criteria. Students who are thinking of applying for Bethany College’s equestrian scholarship must be a member of the International Pony Club. He must also have a GPA of not lower than 3.0 and must be recommended by a Pony Club RS or DC.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s Lake Erie College has a scholarship grant worth $1,000. To qualify, applicants must boast of good scholastic records with a 3.0 GPA. In addition, he must also have a recommendation from the district commissioner.

In Missouri, the William Woods University is another college that provide financial aid to students who have a GPA of not lower than 3.0, a rating of C-3 or higher, a Pony Club membership, and a USPC leader recommendation. Each recipient of the scholarship grant gets $2,000.

Another prestigious school that awards scholarships is the University of Findlay. Since this university is known for equine education, they grant a good number of equine scholarships for returning students. Its grant program awards up to $5,000 worth of academic scholarship.

Apart from schools there are also organizations that are willing to dole out financial aid to underprivileged equestrians. Among them is the North American Equine Services, which also provides educational grant through its Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation Scholarship. This foundation provides academic scholarship to dedicated equestrians from all over the country. The award is given at the foundation's annual National Horse Show.

Tips for Grant Applicants
Part of the process of applying for scholarship is collecting the necessary documents and completing the requirements. Some of these documents are the scholastic grant application form, personal information, recommendation letters, resume, and transcript of records. To be guided in what you should do next, prepare a checklist of requirements. Arrange them based on your preferences—it can be by order of priorities or by order of where you can get them. Carefully check if the foundations require that the forms, letters, and essays be encoded and computerized; otherwise write them by hand. When filling out forms and manually writing a letter, make your penmanship legible and your work as neat and clean as possible. Everything you will submit reflects your personality, hence do the best that you can to impress the screening committee.