Golf scholarships offered by outside organizations are more common than in many other sports as the game has grown in popularity with players like Tiger Woods bringing more spectators to the sport. While the NCAA still controls a large portion of the funding awarded by colleges, golfers willing to do a bit more research will find that scholarships in the sport are easier to find than they thought.
A goal and trend of golf scholarships recently has been to broaden the diversity in the field, with many awards now targeting women and minorities. Such awards often only require an interest in the field or intent to pursue golf in the future, with less emphasis placed on being the best golfer on your high school team. Other awards from golf associations looking to reward college-bound golfers often place some weight on financial need, extracurricular activities and academic records beyond talent. Don’t rule out the lesser-known funding sources, as they may be far less competitive and just as generous as awards given by your college.
Check out some examples of golf scholarships below. For additional information about golf scholarships and awards based on different criteria, try conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.
About $1 billion in full and partial athletic scholarships are awarded each year by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to more than 126,000 undergraduate student-athletes at Division I and Division II schools. Although these scholarships are awarded and administered directly by each academic institution, not the NCAA, you’ll be required to meet the requirements of the NCAA to receive any funding. Those requirements include a minimum GPA for both the college-bound and those already on campuses, and qualifying standardized test scores. Contact your intended school’s athletic department for more information if you have the academics and the skill to play on a college team.
The NCAA won’t be the only resource for you to investigate if you’re pursuing golf on the post-secondary level. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) also awards full and partial scholarships to talented athletes. If you’re a golfer interested in community college, consider contacting those schools about potential scholarship opportunities in your sport. If you’re at a high level of skill with a decent academic record, consider your options on the junior college level, but know that if you transfer to an NCAA college after two years, the GPA and standardized test score requirements may be stricter.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) also offers scholarships on both the Division I and Division II level. While the association will have fewer scholarships to go around than the more expansive NCAA, the requirements of getting onto a team and staying there at an NAIA school are less strict. Students must two of the following three criteria: have a minimum ACT score of 18 or minimum SAT score of 860, have a minimum 2.0 GPA, or have graduated high school in the top half of your graduating class. Don’t rule out NAIA schools when looking for colleges where you could be a student-athlete.
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