The world of equestrian sports, including riding, jumping, rodeo and barrel racing, has grown in popularity across the country, and it's no longer concentrated in Western schools. As the sport grows in popularity, so does competition for scholarships, and the sport is definitely one where talent matters if you're vying for an award from a top equestrian program. If you consider yourself a top equestrian, you could be eligible for a full or partial scholarship from your intended college. To be eligible for college-based NCAA scholarships, equestrians must have minimum GPAs and maintain good grades throughout their time at their intended schools, so it would be smart not to rule out academic scholarships to supplement your financial aid package if you only receive a partial scholarship.
Equestrians who aren't at the skill level to be accepted into a top riding program but are still interested in the sport as a hobby or on the club level should look into scholarships run by local teams and organizations. Many of the scholarships from equestrian foundations are disbursed based on not only an applicant's dedication to the sport but other criteria such as financial need, school and community involvement. College-based rodeo scholarships will often come from funds set up by alumni.
If you're a member of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) or the American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA), chances are you could be eligible for scholarships through that organization. Awards are typically awarded through the state chapters of both groups, so make sure you contact your state sponsor to know the kinds of awards you could be eligible for. AGHA scholarships, which range from $500 to $75,000, are awarded based on financial need, academic merit, and American Quarter Horse involvement.
Check out some examples of where to find rodeo/equestrian scholarships below. For additional information about awards based on different criteria, try conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.
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