Sports scholarships are one of the forms of financial help for students from low-income families. But actually, the majority of student-athletes dream of receiving this type of scholarship.
Athletes seek out athletic scholarships even if their families can pay for the education. They want them as rewards and status symbols. This status demonstrates to others that the school is interested in them as much as they are interested in studying at that institution.
Playing for a university team is the first step towards fame. Talented student-athletes often become stars of their teams. They achieve popularity they can only dream of at home. Many continue their careers in professional sports after graduating from university.
Some of them, having tasted fame and popularity within the university, decide to try their luck in Hollywood. George Clooney, Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Sheen, Ashton Kutcher, Emma Watson, and Dwayne Johnson. They all played for the schools; sports teams.
If you are interested in politics, remember that US President Ronald Reagan was the captain of the swimming team at Eureka College, Illinois. And George W. Bush was the captain of the baseball team at Yale.
How to Apply for a Sports Scholarship?
- Make a preliminary list of colleges/universities according to the criteria that are important to you:
- availability of an academic program in the field that interests you;
- availability of programs in your sport;
- which association and division the teams of these educational institutions belong to;
- type of academic environment;
- number of students in the educational institution,
- tuition fees, etc.
- Prepare a motivational letter. For this task, you might want to contact a professional essay writer to create something exquisite. This letter must describe why you want this scholarship and why you are the best candidate for it.
- Create a resume that reflects all your accomplishments as an athlete.
- Write letters to the head coaches at each university on your list. State good reasons why you would like to attend that particular institution.
- Explain that you are interested in competing for the athletic teams of these colleges/universities. Inquire about financial aid opportunities, including athletic scholarships. Without too much shyness, describe your achievements in sports and studies. Add proof of your sports awards.
- Contact your current coaches for letters of recommendation. They should show how valuable and promising you are. And what value you can bring to college/university teams.
- Pass the standardized tests required for admission with good results. Remember that American collegiate athletic associations have certain academic requirements for students applying for athletic scholarships. In addition, the coaches pay attention not only to your sports achievements but also to your academic abilities and character (perseverance, leadership qualities, etc.).
- Apply to as many colleges/universities of your choice as possible. There are many amazing scholarships that you can get as an athlete. Choose wisely.
- Take note of alternative sources of financial support. It is important in case the scholarship turns out to be partial and covers only academic costs.
- To receive a sports scholarship, it is important to have outstanding academic and sports results. What’s even more important is to make the right impression on university coaches because they are the ones who have the final say in awarding this type of scholarship.
Competition for sports scholarships in the US is very high, so as an athlete, you need to show:
- desire to win,
- excellent knowledge of the history of the chosen sport,
- knowledge of outstanding athletes and their achievements.
And keep in mind that you need to start preparing an application for a sports scholarship 18-24 months before the competition. So you need to take certain steps and start preparing for your application early in high school. You must be extremely punctual, regardless of busyness and time difference. You should respond quickly and in a timely manner to letters and requests from the university and the coach. This is probably the most important indicator of your discipline and motivation.
Famous Americans to Look up to
Universities invest huge amounts of money in their teams. And are proud of their success no less than scientific achievements. Many famous American athletes have started playing for a university team.
Tiger Woods, one of the highest-paid athletes of our time, received an athletic scholarship at Stanford. He played for the university’s golf team. Michael Jordan received a sports scholarship from the University of North Carolina. He studied socio-economic geography there. Shaquille O’Neal played for the Louisiana State University team. Tom Brady, one of the most famous players in American football, also known as Tom the Spectacular, played for the University of Michigan.
Other Important Things About Sports Scholarships
It is quite obvious that getting into a university sports team and getting a scholarship is quite difficult. But before you get scared, there are some things that you need to know about sports scholarships. Make sure that you know everything about the rewards that such a program can give you as well as all the hardships.
This is an ideal option for those who want to continue their careers as athletes. And at the same time, they get a higher education not necessarily related to sports.
Students who play for the university team can choose any major that is available at the university. For example, a basketball student can study:
- programming, etc.,
And if desired, also pick up a second major.
The quality of professional training of students does not cause any doubts. High-class coaches will make a lot of effort so that you reach the peak of your athletic capabilities during four years of studying at the university.
They are even more interested in the success of their students than the students themselves. After all, the results of each individual athlete can become a guarantee of the future victories of the university team. In addition to personal training with a coach, a student-athlete receives extra bonuses. These are the services of massage therapists, doctors, nutritionists, and other specialists.
The already mentioned Tom Brady said in one of the interviews that part of his preparation was serious work with a psychologist. It helped Tom to get rid of stress and nervousness before the game. He had weekly sessions to build up his confidence and thus improve his game. Besides, student-athletes receive the most expensive health insurance. As well as better nutrition.
Many universities take into account the tight performance schedule of student-athletes. To support them, unis allocate tutors for individual classes. So, you have no reason to worry that a sports career at the university will prevent you from getting a high-quality education.
Playing for a varsity team, you will also travel a lot, not only within your state but also outside of it. At the same time, regular students can only travel during vacations.
Apart from a significant part of the cost of education, in exceptional cases, the scholarship can also cover the following:
- medical insurance,
- educational materials,
- other extra expenses, for example, buying a laptop and sports uniform.
The size of the scholarship depends on the following:
- division the university competes in,
- type of sport,
- student’s sporting achievements.
Yet, in any case, a sports scholarship in the USA allows you to save a lot on your tuition bills.