6 Steps to Take While at High School to Get a Sports Scholarship

June 13, 2022 by Staff

Let’s simply admit it: university sports in the US are no less popular than adult ones, and colleges earn a lot of money from ticket sales. That is one of the reasons why educational institutions do their best to attract remarkable young players, motivating them with scholarships and the prospects for a successful sports career.

Many students start preparing for their admissions a few years in advance, and that is a very wise decision. After all, the more information you collect and analyze, the higher your chances of getting a dream scholarship are. To guide you through this complicated process, we’ve come up with a step-by-step guide, helping you focus on the most important issues. So, without further ado – let’s dive into it!

  1. Study the Basics

Well, did you know that athletic scholarships in the US are more common than in any other country? But still, they are very rare - less than 2% of all student-athletes in the US get them. 

Therefore, you will have to try hard. Of course, you will face tiredness and lack of time. And if you're wondering: "‎Can I pay someone to write my paper on EssayPro? "‎ the answer is yes! You can always rely on experienced writers, and while they are doing their job, you can focus on what matters most at this very moment.

And here’s another key thing. The amount of payments depends on the sports division to which the university belongs. Full tuition fees can be found only in colleges with the strongest teams in the country. On average, the payment is 10,000 USD per year. And most importantly, to get a place in the first division team, you need to play at a level worthy of a professional sports club.

  1. Take Off Your Rose Colored Glasses 

It is believed that the industry of athletic college competitions started developing in 1852. Then, Yale and Harvard competed in team rowing for the first time. Since then, the industry has been growing. Every university in the US has multiple sports teams, matches are broadcast on federal TV, and coaches sometimes earn more than their NBA counterparts.

Many students think that college athletes live like kings. They don’t pay for an expensive education, have individually selected meals, and college organizes tutor classes for them. In addition, they are the first to choose elective courses and are free to make a schedule as they wish. However, this is only one side of the coin. 

The truth is, everything is much more complicated. Sports participation has many pros and cons. Even though college sports are considered amateur, players are required to perform at a professional level. Thus, the weekly load is from 40 to 50 hours. This is a hard full-time job that must also be combined with studying. Students suffer from lack of sleep, emotional burnout, difficulties with academic performance, and in most cases, they have no free time.

However, the good thing is that universities understand all this, so they devote extra hours to individual lessons for athletes. This helps to keep up with the program but still doesn’t free any time for rest.

Becoming a university athlete, be ready that in the next years, your life will be scheduled by the minute. And if you are fine with that, move on to the next step.

  1. Learn More About Scholarship Peculiarities

Of course, a full-ride scholarship isn’t a myth, but there are only six sports for which you can get one. These are American football, men's, and women's basketball, as well as women's gymnastics, volleyball, and tennis. The full-ride scholarship covers tuition, housing, food, and learning materials. But when it comes to college applications, tests, and administrative fees, you must pay for them yourself.

The amount of the scholarship depends on the division to which the university belongs. There are various scholarships offering from $1,000 to $20,000. The maximum payout is approximately $40,000/year, not counting other benefits. This greatly depends on a specific division. On average, a student can get $10,000.

The decision on whether you will get a scholarship is made by the coach, not by the department or dean's office, as many believe. The coach also determines the exact amount of payments. Here’s how the system works: there’s a specific budget that the college has to finance athletes, and the coach distributes it among the students.

And last but not least, a sports scholarship is quite easy to lose. First, the coach may decide not to renew it at the end of the season if they are not pleased with your results. Second, if you miss classes or get arrested, you’ll be deprived of it. And third, you’ll lose your scholarship if you are no longer able to play sports due to health problems. For example, you fell and injured your knee. 

  1. Realize Which Division Is Best For You

Three divisions have to do with the budget of the educational institution and its approach to sports. The higher the class, the higher the requirements for athletes and the number of available scholarships, of course. Let’s examine them briefly.

  • D1: The largest universities with the largest budgets. Here, students get full-ride scholarships and can focus on sports more than on studies. Competitions are held at the federal level.
  • D2: This is the smallest group of universities. The requirements for athletes are somewhat lower compared to D1, but students must show better academic performance. Such colleges don’t offer full-ride scholarships, but the financing is still good. 
  • D3: Such universities treat sports as something amateur. Competitions between these colleges are held only at the regional level, and athletes don’t have any advantages over other students. They are expected to achieve the same academic performance as everyone else and, are not entitled to any special payments. 

At this point, you must weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of such a future. How ready are you to devote yourself to sports at the university? Perhaps you don’t want to do it 50 hours a week, as you will have almost no time to study, not to mention personal life or other activities. Or you are still into sports but fear that it will be hard to build a career somewhere else with a GPA of 2?

  1. –°ollect The Required Documents

Select the universities to which you will apply and write down the contact details of the team coaches and their assistants. Also, be aware that they are likely to study your social network profiles. So better delete all weird posts and work on the right image.In addition to the documents required for admission to a bachelor's degree, you will need plenty of other things. These are all kinds of certificates about sports achievements and personal indicators, as well as videos from your performances or training. They all must show you from the best possible side. Plus, D1 and D2 require you to pass the certification. To do this, register on the NCAA Eligibility Center, complete the form, and submit your SAT/ACT scores. 

  1. Reach The Coach In Advance

Coaches get a bunch of emails from ambitious young athletes, so your letter must be different. Prepare it individually for each person, make it easy to read, and be specific. Tell them why you are interested in the sports program and why you think you will be a good fit for a team. Keep in mind that your scholarship greatly depends only on how you build a relationship with the coach.

As you probably know, applying for a sports scholarship isn’t related to deadlines for submitting a college application. So, better do it a year and a half before admission. 

To Wrap It Up

Unlike the academic scholarship, the athletic one is less formal. To get it, you need to convince the coach that you are worth being part of the team. They will take into account everything from your personal performance and achievements to your grades and how you interact with others. Yes, it’s not an easy path, but we truly hope that all your efforts will definitely be appreciated.