Scholarships for Cross Country Runners: Running the Race of Educational Pursuit

A student can be compared to a runner and his educational pursuit to a race. A student devotes himself to his studies to receive his dream diploma. He will never stop striving just to fulfill his goal of going to college and to complete a course. However, problems with schooling cannot be avoided. But if a student is determined to earn a college degree, problems are but slow bumps on his road to success.

The same is true to a runner of a cross country race. He commits himself to discipline and training to finish and win the race. He does his best to get the prize or to bring the bacon home. However, in a race, challenges and hardships are also inevitable. A dogged runner will never lose hope and will overcome whatever snags he encounters along the way.

With this comparison in mind, a resolute student-runner will undoubtedly finish his race of educational pursuit notwithstanding the challenges he might face. Just one of the obstacles students often meet is the lack of financial resources that will get them through college. The good news is that cross country runners can now chase their college dreams with the various scholarship programs available these days.

Qualifications and Requirements for a Cross Country Scholarship

Generally, the three major qualifications for cross country scholarships are athletic competence, academic excellence, and financial incapability. More often than not, a student who has shown great potential while still in high school is immediately offered a scholarship grant by an interested college or university. However, recruitment does not happen to everyone. Those who were not lucky enough to be spotted by talent scouts will have to apply for a scholarship grant if they want to receive financial assistance in college.

Applying for a cross country scholarship is not a speedy process, nor is it an easy one. Most scholarship programs for cross country athletes require a lot of things such as an essay, a couple of recommendation letters, and a GPA average of not lower than 3.0 or a B grade. In addition, an applicant may also be asked to furnish a financial statement. This is because the majority of scholarship programs give preferences to students who are from low-income families. To be considered for a scholarship grant, an applicant must also be willing to enroll full-time in an accredited academic institution.


The amount given to each scholarship grant recipient varies depending on the program. Generally, however, scholarship grants range from $250 to $1.500 per student. In most cases, these grants are already inclusive of tuition and other educational expenses. Sometimes, the most generous scholarship programs also provide uniforms and sports equipment to their recipients. Housing and traveling expenses may also be part of the package.

Scholarship Grants

One of the best sources of scholarship grants for cross country runners is the National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA. This organization offers more than 16,000 scholarship grants to cross country runners all over the country. Almost every state has its own scholarship grant, which is available to both men and women. In Texas, for instance, The Cross Country Club awards financial assistance to students who actively take part in interschool running competitions. The scholarship program, named Tal Morrison Scholarship, is open to Dallas high school students who wish to pursue higher education.

Meanwhile, the state of Delaware has the Open Cross Country Championship Scholarship. This program awards $1,500 financial aid to qualified applicants. To qualify, a student must possess a GPA of not lower than 2.5 and must be enrolled full-time in an approved academic institution.

There are also colleges and universities who have existing scholarship programs exclusively for cross country athletes. The Western Carolina University is among them, which offers The Betty Peele Leadership Fund. This scholarship program doles out $500 to runners who excel not only in the track field but in their classes as well.


Many students wish to get in scholarship programs that will help them pay for their college expenses. However, while there are many institutions, organizations, and individuals who are willing to help, there are also those who intend to do otherwise. When looking for scholarship programs, most especially online, be very careful of frauds and scams. What some students are not aware of is that educational grants are now being used by unscrupulous people to obtain money from unsuspecting victims.

To avoid frauds and scams, thoroughly examine the scholarship grants first before applying for them. In addition, keep in mind that scholarship grants are the ones who are supposed to give you money; not the other way around. So, if you come across a scholarship grant that asks money from you, be suspicious at once—it could be a scam.