Ride Your Way to College With a Rodeo Scholarship

If you are a college rodeo, you can now get the best training from competitive universities and colleges all over the country. No matter what event you are in – be it bull riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, or barrel racing – you can become one of the best rodeo riders in the world. You can start by looking for a good scholarship that can not only help you earn a degree but also win in the next rodeo contest.

University-based Rodeo Scholarships

Community colleges and universities in Texas and Colorado have many rodeo scholarships in store for future saddle riders. Although monetary awards and qualifications vary, most scholarship programs give priority to applicants who pass their requirements before the deadline.

The Trinity Valley Community College in Texas gives rodeo scholarships to prospective team members who can meet their qualifications. Applicants must fill up an application form and submit it with a footage showing their riding skills, a copy of their transcript, and two recommendation letters. Upon receiving the scholarship, the student must have a minimum of 2.0 GPA, finish a minimum of 12 semester hours, actively participate in Agriculture/Ranch Management Department activities, and compete in all NIRA regional rodeo contests.

At the Tarleton State University in Texas, rodeo scholarships and stall scholarships (for use of facilities during training) are made available for their rodeo team members. To become eligible, you should be a full-time student and a member of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). The stall scholarships are worth $1,500 for two stalls and $1,000 for one.

The university also offers educational grants to interested high school graduates. To qualify, students must first enroll in TSU before filing a scholarship application. Scholarship requirements include a general scholarship application sheet, ACT scores, transcript of records, and a footage of your recent rodeo competition. TSU also recommends applicants to meet the university's rodeo coach and to take a campus tour.
For students who would like to join TSU's rodeo team but are not interested in competing, you may pay the $25 association membership fee. Members help out at rodeo practices and attend association meetings. TSU also holds Texan Tours, recruitment day, and transfer day for interested students. If you would like to find out about the schedule, feel free to visit their website.
The Northeastern Junior College in Colorado gives a different perspective on rodeo scholarships as it includes academic performance, attitude, and dedication in its scholarship qualifications. To qualify, applicants must complete a Rodeo Scholarship Application. Tuition, food, lodging, and books will be covered by the scholarship. Aside from a rodeo scholarship, NSJ also offers Colorado Centennial Scholars, Aspiration Scholarship, Departmental Scholarships, and Community/Foundation Scholarships.
For those planning to join Colorado State University's rodeo team, two scholarships await you. The General Rodeo Scholarship Fund gives away scholarships to 8-10 members each year. Applicants should be CSU students and are active members of the CSU Rodeo Club. They should also get a “C” or higher for at least 12 credit hours they take. Application forms are available from the CSU RAM RODEO advisor.

Each year, four to five members will be recipients of the Mike Cervi Memorial Scholarship worth over $4,000. This program follows the same application procedure as the overall University scholarship. Scholarship amount, however, varies every year. Application may be done online through their website.

Scholarships by Rodeo-Oriented Organizations

If you have not found suitable scholarships offered by colleges and universities, you can opt for grants worth $1,000 offered by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Although awarding depends on rodeo skills, College National Finals Rodeo participants who got the three highest GPA will also be given financial aid.

The US Smokeless Tobacco Co. Scholarship Awards Program gives away scholarships amounting to $200,000 to regional event champions, the College National Finals Rodeo's top five national championship men's teams, the top five national championship women's teams, national event champions, and national all-around champions. Cowboys and cowgirls who competed and got the highest GPA will also be given scholarships.

Winners at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) are entitled to some scholarships as well. The Ellen Backstrom Memorial Scholarship is given to the cowboy or cowgirl who earned “hard luck” honors in the CNFR. First, second, and third placers in the breakaway ropers, calf ropers, and steer wrestlers events at CNFR will be given the Bill Robinson Memorial Scholarship.

Annual achievers are also given scholarship grants. Specialty Program Insurers gives a scholarship worth $1,000 to NIRA's student president while the “Rookies of the Year” (male and female) are awarded with two scholarships.