Gymnastics is a sport where your skill level definitely matters. Of the formal athletic organizations out there, only the NCAA awards gymnastics scholarships to male and female athletes, making the funding pool even more competitive. Gymnasts are then competing for not only a limited number of spots on the team but a limited number of scholarships, as the NCAA only allows a certain number of awards per school, per team, and per gender.
Many coaches scout for good gymnasts at gyms that have become known for churning out impressive gymnasts. But, the best strategy is not to wait to be contacted. Have your coach send in footage of your best tumbling passes or bar work, as many gymnasts are “specialists” at a certain discipline rather than excelling in every aspect of gymnastics. Gymnasts who aren’t at the skill level to be accepted into a top gymnastics program but are still interested in keeping up with the sport on a club or intramural level should look into scholarships run by local teams and organizations. To be eligible for NCAA scholarships, gymnasts must also have minimum GPAs and maintain good grades throughout their time at their intended schools, so don’t rule out academic scholarships to supplement your financial aid package.
Check out some examples of where to find gymnastics scholarships below. For additional information about 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.
If you have the talent to try out for a college gymnastics team, don’t assume that the scholarship funding you’re eligible for will be offered to you by your intended college. Most schools have funds and endowments set up by alumni who played the sport before you ever set foot on that campus or in honor of relatives and important figures to your school. Kent State University, for example, awards the Michael D. Aquino Gymnastics Scholarship to gymnasts attending the college. Make sure you do your research, and talk to your financial aid office and athletic departments about local and college-based awards you could be eligible for.
Local Gymnastics Scholarships
If you’re thinking about pursuing gymnastics on the college level, you’re probably spending hours at the gym of a local gymnastics club, especially if your high school doesn’t have a dedicated gymnastics team. Many of the larger gyms will offer funding for their gymnasts to help them pay for college, so be sure to talk to your coach about any available scholarships. Your coach could also point you to other local and state resources where the competition may be less fierce than awards through national organizations or colleges, so do your research. The Michael Sims Scholarship, for example, is open only to Texas gymnasts who plan on continuing the sport in college. Even if you land some scholarship money through your college, chances are it won’t be a full ride, so explore all of your options locally and state-wide.
Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship Program
January 15, Annually
In 1988, the National Collegiate Athletic Association established the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship Program as a means of recognizing the contributions of the former executive director through encouraging excellence in academic performance by student-athletes. Under this program, one male and one female student-athlete annually will be awarded a postgraduate scholarship in recognition of [...] More
Davis Law Group Scholar Athlete Program™
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
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
Iron Cross Foundation Scholarship Program
The Iron Cross Foundation (ICF) is dedicated to helping young men of all socioeconomic backgrounds participate in the sport of gymnastics by providing financial aid, social support and educational resources. Any male gymnast who is a USA Gymnastics athlete member in good standing and has completed one year of competitive gymnastics is eligible to apply for the scholarship. Applications must be [...] More
Kyle R. Magoto Scholarship Fund
March 13, Annually
To be eligible for an award from the Kyle R. Magoto Scholarship Fund, applicant must be a Russia High School (Shelby Co., Ohio) graduating senior who is pursuing an associate or a bachelor's degree as a full-time student at an accredited educational institution, have a high school GPA not less than 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale and must have participated in no less than five (5) athletic seasons [...] More