A college education is considered essential for many career paths and you won’t be able to study law or medicine without one. The problem is, college is expensive, and if you don’t have any money put aside, it can be very difficult paying tuition fees and keeping a roof over your head while you study. Sure, you could take out a loan, or tap your parents for the money, but if you have some athletic ability, it could be worth applying for a sports scholarship to help you pay for a college education. So what’s the catch?
Not everyone is eligible for a sports scholarship. In fact, the vast majority of students won’t be considered at all, but before you lose hope, it is possible to qualify. Here are the main things you need to be aware of before you start shortlisting potential colleges.
You Need Talent!
It’s all well and good hoping to score a full scholarship to your preferred college, but unless you have a lot of talent, no coach is going to take your application seriously. Just because you play basketball with your friends at the weekend, or your dad coaches Little League Soccer, it doesn’t automatically mean your scholarship application will be fast-tracked through the system. So don’t bother applying for a sports scholarship unless you have masses of serious talent in your chosen sport.
Check the College Offers Your Sport
College athletic departments don’t all offer the same sports. Some specialize in soccer; others offer basketball, tennis, track and field. It’s important to choose a college that offers your preferred discipline, so do your homework and check the web site of each of the colleges on your shortlist to ensure they offer scholarships in your sport.
Students applying for a sports scholarship must meet a minimum level of academic achievement. It’s not an easy ride getting into college on a sports scholarship and colleges expect their scholarship students to perform well academically as well as in the sporting arena. Since there is no such thing as a pure sports college degree, you will have to take a related degree, so be prepared to study hard to gain the necessary grades and prove your academic ability.
Engage in the Recruitment Process
You can’t sit back and wait for colleges to offer you a sports scholarship (unless you are unbelievably talented and have already caught the attention of top coaches). Colleges won’t know you exist unless you tell them, so you have two choices.
You can either approach coaches and let them know you are interested in applying for a sports scholarship at their college. Or you can work with an agency to help you find the right establishment that best fits your talents.
Since there are not that many sports scholarships available in the US, it is sensible to begin your search as soon as possible. It takes time to work through the recruitment process, but the more time and effort you put in, the easier it will be to achieve your goal of a place at your preferred college.