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Sports Scholarships

Traditional athletic scholarships are more competitive than other categories, and it isn’t easy to be recruited as the top athlete at your dream college. The level of competition varies dramatically by sport, with the more high-visibility fields like football and basketball being harder to break into and land a full ride. For those willing to do a little more research, there are resources outside of approaching your intended college where you might find you’re eligible for a generous amount of funding.

For the Serious Athlete

Athletes pay the most attention to scholarships offered by their intended college, and award value increases if you have more skill, rank, and desirable athletic qualities. These students should be actively contacting coaches at the schools they’re interested in, as even the best athletes can be overlooked if they don’t market themselves well. Make yourself a portfolio, or your own highlight reel. If there are newspaper clippings of your achievements, submit those to colleges. The easiest way to become organized is to make a list of schools you’re interested in and start with a college search; don’t sell yourself short, but be open to possibilities at smaller schools and those outside of the top tier Division I athletics. Be mindful also of what’s expected of you to be eligible for those top prizes. Scholarships offered by colleges will be run by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics(NAIA) or the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), all require a set, minimum GPA before handing out scholarsjip money to athletes. NCAA scholarships, and internships in particular are the most well-known and sought after opportunities. You’ll also need to maintain a decent GPA to keep your award and your spot on the team, so your work isn’t over even if you do score a coveted place on your dream team.

For More Creative Options

Landing an athletic scholarship isn’t all about being the best basketball player, wrestler or bowler on your high school team anymore. There are many awards available for athletes who play not to make a career of a sport, but because they enjoy the game. Local leagues and organizations in sports like baseball and golf, for example, offer many scholarships just for playing on a team, no matter how good you are. Sure, it helps to be talented in a given area, but if you’re not cut out for the lifestyle required to make yourself a marketable athlete at the top level of play, don’t be discouraged. You don’t even have to play on your college’s team. Many rewards require an interest in a sport and the intention to continue playing it when you go to college, even it’s on a club or intramural team.

Explore our examples of school-based and sports scholarships from outside organizations. Don’t rule out academic scholarships when applying for funding, as you won’t be playing on the team if you can’t pay the tuition. For additional information about sports scholarships and awards based on different criteria, try conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

Davis Law Group Scholar Athlete Program™
Application Deadlines:
Scholar Athlete Program recognizes exceptional student athletes that are performing well in the classroom and on the field. To register for the scholarship, students need to apply online or be nominated by a coach, teacher, parent or friend. Students must be a senior in high school, currently attend a Washington State High School, have a 3.0 GPA or higher and participate in a sport. Students can [...] More

Furman University Athletic Scholarships
Application Deadlines:
The Furman University Athletic Scholarships are partial to full scholarships awarded in 17 men's and women's intercollegiate sports. For more information, contact the director of athletics or the head coach in the sport in which you are [...] More

Hood® Sportsmanship Scholarship®
Application Deadlines: March 06, Annually
For more than 160 years, Hood has been committed to supporting families and communities across New England. Hood is proud to be able to give 18 student athletes an opportunity to win a $5,000 college scholarship. To be eligible, high school seniors must have proven their ability to put the spirit of competition above winning while participating in a varsity sport. These students must have also [...] More

RTNDF Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship
Application Deadlines: May 31, Annually
Louis F. Prato has dedicated more than 30 years to RTDNA and RTDNF. Lou served as secretary of the RTDNF Board of Trustees, and for more than 20 years he was treasurer of the RTDNA Board of Directors. Lou has worked as a news director, a journalism professor, a consultant, and Director of the Penn State All Sports Museum. Lou and his wife Carole live near his alma mater, Penn State University. [...] More

William Woods University Athletic Scholarships
Application Deadlines: February 15, Annually
The William Woods University Athletic Scholarships are available to students who demonstrate talent and skills in the areas of basketball, baseball, cross country, track and field, golf, soccer and women's [...] More

Last Edited: August 2015

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