Every year colleges in the US give out tens of millions of dollars to thousands of students as athletics scholarships. Only a fraction receive a 'full-ride', covering all of their college costs. But many others receive a significant contribution. Here's how to get an athletics scholarship.
Athletes that are successful in receiving athletic scholarships tend to have years of experience playing the sport for which they are receiving the scholarship. It pretty much goes without saying, but you need to be seriousy good at your sport in order to stand a chance of getting a scholarship.
Also the process of getting a sholarship takes time - students should start the recruitment process around three years before they graduate high school.
Make yourself stand out
You need to show exceptional mastery of a sport, along with years of proven dedication to the sport.
With the aid of friends and/or family, film a highlights reel exemplifying your talent. Here's an example sports reel.
Understand which universities provide athletic scholarships for your sport
- Register for eligibility on the athletic association's website your sophomore year (age 15-16) of high school
- Make a list of 10-20 university coaches to send your sports reel to. These links may be helpful - AthNet and BeRecruited
- Send emails introducing yourself to coaches
- Explain your athletic history, your goals for the future
- Attach your highlight reel OR hire an outside agency, such as College Prospects of America and Sporting Elite USA to create one.
- Ask your high school if any college sports recruiters will be coming to your area, if so contact them immediately expressing your interest.
- If invited by a coach, you may need to try-out and make a visit to the school before recruitment
If you get an athletics scholarship...
If given a scholarship, it is also important to note that:
- Athletic scholarships need to be renewed every year at the discretion of the coach. Student-athletes need to remain in good academic standing to be given permission to remain on a sports team. More information can be found here.
- Along with athletic scholarships, student-athletes are eligible for special merit-based and need-based scholarships, such as the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund and the Federal Pell Grants.