U.S.A. UNIVERSITY / COLLEGE ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP PLACEMENT
Athletic scholarships are awarded to athletes based on two main criteria. The unique sporting ability of the athlete in a particular sport, and the academic strength of the athlete to meet the minimum admissions and eligibility requirements of that particular division and specific institution. The number of athletic scholarship opportunities available to athletes in a particular sport differs from division to division and institution to institution. Sometimes finding a scholarship comes down to knowing which level best suits the individuals' sporting ability, and understanding the environment, culture and ethos of the institution that best suits the athlete's expectations and academic interests.
What is an athletic scholarship?
Athletic scholarships are said to be some of the most recognized and coveted of all scholarships. They are derived from a wide variety of sources, ranging from the institution you wish to attend to numerous private funds. These scholarships are funded in various ways from private individuals, to multinational corporations.
Athletic scholarships are said to be competitive as they are merit-based forms of financial aid, and are typically awarded to individuals for outstanding achievement in sport and academics.
The level of competition varies dramatically by sport, as do the number of scholarships allowed under the regulations of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), and NJCAA (National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association). Of schools with an NCAA affiliation, only Division I and Division II schools may offer athletic scholarships. Division III schools are precluded from offering athletic scholarships, while schools with NAIA affiliation have their scholarships governed by association rules.
Scholarships vary from institution to institution, and there are limits to the amount of money that may be awarded through an athletic scholarship. Scholarships typically cover one of, all of, or a combination of the following:
How do I obtain an athletic scholarship?
Your access to an athletic scholarship is influenced by a number of factors: your preferred sport, your academic institution of choice, the degree you wish to study and the division you wish to compete in, plus your own personal characteristics and responsibilities. It's important to ensure that you are the right fit for the coach, the team, the athletic program and institution as a whole. Athletes increase their access to financial assistance by maintaining a successful combination of outstanding athletic achievement and scholastic excellence.
What are the requirements?
Firstly, you need to meet certain academic requirements before you can become eligible to receive an athletic scholarship.
The academic requirements differ in each division, from NCAA DI, II and III, to NAIA and NJCAA, and college coaches and athletic departments are placing more emphasis on recruiting athletes who are good students and are able to maintain a good GPA (Grade Point Average). Your athletic ability is decided by the wants and needs of the coach at the time of recruiting; thus making sure coaches know who you are and convincing them that you are the ideal candidate is important.