You are a great athlete and feel it could help you pay for your education. The problem is, many athletic scholarships are set aside for elite athletes and they are very competitive and political. But have faith, there are many smaller colleges and universities willing to bring in athletes with funds and, most importantly, they are not only looking for athletic skills but also academic achievement and drive.
The most advertised and competitive athletic awards are the NCAA scholarships, by far, but there are so many more opportunities that go under-advertised for student athletes: those with schools in the NAIA and the NJCAA open up exponentially more scholarships. And an especially hot trend: emerging women’s sports.
The NCAA is by far the largest collegiate athletic association in the U.S. with well over 1,000 schools in its fold. Divisions I, II, and III serve to demarcate the sizes and monetization of athletic programs: formal athletic scholarships can be extended to athletes that play for Div I and II schools, but not for athletes in Div III schools. What determines which schools fall into which divisions? Generally a combination of school size along with types and sizes of athletic programs. If you are interested in how to position yourself for a NCAA scholarship make sure to check out the eligibility rules and get yourself registered in the Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse. The NCAA’s list of athletic scholarships is separated into categories: Undergraduate, Post-Graduate; and then further separated by Division.
Athletic programs at Div I and Div II schools are mid- to large-sized and extremely competitive. Coaches at these schools are in the business of wooing top athletic talent, the best of the best across the country. Div III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, per se. Their athletic programs are much smaller, but make no mistake—many are quite competitive.
Here are a couple of the unique “athletic” scholarships that the NCAA funds:
* The Freedom Forum NCAA Sports Journalism Scholarship Program. This award is given to college students with a fierce desire to pursue sports journalism.
* The NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship Program is open to students heading into post-grad studies with an eye on sports administration, coaching, or a closely related career. Eligible applicants must be ethnic minorities to be considered for these awards.
The NAIA represents a much smaller contingent of member schools—about 300, and is located in Canada and the U.S. The NAIA sponsors athletic divisions I, II, and III—not to be confused with the NCAA divisions. Sponsored athletics are those generally outside the scope of NCAA Div I levels with a marked emphasis on the academic records of student athletes. Only about a dozen sports are represented and member institutions tend to be smaller. NAIA Div I and II sports programs may offer scholarships.
Two-year colleges are represented by the NJCAA. There is divisional breakdown in some of the most competitive men’s and women’s sports, but not in others. Scholarships, called grant-in-aid by the NJCAA, may be available in the Div I and II sports. NJCAA scholarship sports for men are: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, outdoor track and field, soccer, and tennis. NJCAA scholarship sports for women are: basketball, cross country, fast-pitch softball, outdoor track and field, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. Make no mistake, community college athletics can foster fiercely competitive athletes. If you’re considering transfer to a four-year school, a two-year athletic program can get you really prepared to compete.
Full Scholarships vs. Partial Scholarships
So how much money does an athletic scholarship include? Scholarships awarded for athletic ability typically fall into one of two categories: full scholarships and partial scholarships. These are completely dependent on the schools themselves. In the NCAA, over 125,000 student athletes are on full or partial athletic scholarships. Full scholarships regardless of division may include tuition, books, transportation, room and board, plus other expenses. Partial scholarships may cover various portions of those expenses just listed.
There are other sources to search for when you’re looking for scholarship money as well. First, browse our athletic scholarships by sport. In almost every instance you will find athletic scholarships from untapped sources alongside larger, “reach” scholarships. For example:
* Under hockey scholarships you’ll find memorial funds, money from hockey associations, and a scholarship from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
* Search rodeo scholarships you’ll find a blend of scholarships from colleges and universities that have rodeo teams, and a few good scholarships from regional rodeo associations.
* Browse archery scholarships and find a slew of archery and bow-hunters association scholarships alongside college and university scholarships.
The secret is to check out the less competitive scholarships, those especially from regional clubs and associations. Remember there are plenty of awards that are based as much on other personal attributes as they are on athletic skills: leadership qualities, extracurricular involvement, and community service.
Many schools offer partial scholarships to talented athletes in efforts to grow successful athletic programs. The opportunity just to play is as important.
So with a little education and some work, you might find that athletic scholarship just for you.
Evelyn Saunders, a retired teacher, is the editor for student-loans.net, a provider of private student loans and information on student loans and consolidation. For more information, please visit http://www.student-loans.net
Article from articlesbase.com
tags: Abound, Athletic, Scholarships