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Sports Scholarship in the USA. 

How to get it? 

Sports scholarships from the University of the United States are an opportunity for free or almost free of charge to get higher education in the States, while simultaneously doing your favorite sport at the highest level.

Sports are an essential part of the American education system. Each higher educational institution in the United States provides its students with an opportunity not only intellectual but also physical development. Students can use fully equipped sports and gyms, stadiums, tennis courts, golf courses, swimming pools, and other elements of sports infrastructure.

The attitude to physical education in US universities is more than just serious. Students not only periodically visit the pool or do a circle or two on a treadmill, they purposefully engage in this or that sport, participate in inter-university competitions, and win prizes.

By the way, competitions of university teams are a big source of income for educational institutions. For example, tickets for an intercollegiate American football game cost between $ 50 and $ 100. Both the students themselves and residents come to watch the competition.

Since higher education in the United States costs a lot of money, scholarships that fully or partially cover the cost of education are an excellent way to attract to the university those children who distinguished themselves in the sports field in school, which means that in the future they will be able to glorify their alma mater.

Flag of USA

There are 33 sports for which you can get a sports scholarship in the USA:

  1. Acrobatics
  2. Archery
  3. Badminton
  4. Baseball
  5. Basketball
  6. Beach volleyball
  7. Bowling
  8. Cross country running
  9. Cycling
  10. Horseback Riding
  11. Fencing
  12. Field hockey
  13. American football
  14. Golf
  15. Gymnastics
  16. Hockey
  17. Lacrosse
  18. Rifle shooting
  19. Rodeo
  20. Rowing and canoeing
  21. Rugby
  22. Sailing
  23. Skiing
  24. European football
  25. Softball
  26. Squash
  27. Swimming
  28. Tennis
  29. Athletics
  30. Triathlon
  31. Volleyball
  32. Water polo
  33. Freestyle wrestling

About 1,500 higher education institutions participate in the sports scholarship program in the United States.

Benefits of getting an athletic scholarship

Sports Scholarships in the USA are of 2 types:

  • The full-ride scholarship covers the student expenses not only for university tuition but also for food and accommodation. In some cases, the full-ride scholarship includes the cost of insurance.
  • Partial scholarship (partial scholarship) covers the cost of training (either 100%, or 50-90%). The student pays for accommodation and meals himself.

US universities have the following requirements for applicants for sports scholarships:

  • Age

The American Collegiate Sports Associations – NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association), which oversee university competitions, do not formally impose age restrictions on athletes. However, in practice, it is quite difficult for a student over 23 years of age to receive a scholarship. The optimal age of the applicant is from 15 to 20 years.

  • Knowledge of English

For a foreigner, a prerequisite for admission to an American university is a good knowledge of English. Universities accept TOEFL test results as documentary evidence of language proficiency. As mentioned above, the passing scores for athletes are usually lower than for all other applicants – this greatly facilitates the admission process.

  • Academic progress

US universities are interested in the academic performance of an athlete – however, the requirements for an athlete’s grades are much softer than for an ordinary applicant’s GPA. A graduate of your school will need an SAT academic test result, a certificate, and a list of grades for grades 8-11. If a foregin student from a higher education institution enters an American university, instead of the SAT results, he must submit a certificate from his university, indicating the number of hours and grades in the disciplines passed. At the same time, American universities are only interested in exam results, credits are not accepted.

  • Sports achievements

Of course, the main criterion for the selection of athletes is their athletic achievements, reflected in a special athletic resume.

Steps to get a sports scholarship in the USA

1. Don’t wait for the completion of basic training! The earlier you start preparing for admission, the more chances you have of winning a place. You will also have more time to fix issues that could decrease your chances of getting an athletic scholarship.

2. Get a professional grade. Your coach may not have much experience in measuring athletic performance. You are much better off spending your money on a professional appraisal. Based on this, it will become clear to you:

  • What type of financial support should you strive for;
  • What are the chances of getting it;
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the applicant;
  • What you need to work on now if you want to get an athletic scholarship.

3. Visit the sites NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA and choose the option that suits you (more on that below).

4. Make a list of universities where you would like to study. This can be done easily by going to the NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA websites, clicking on the unit you want, and then under the “Participating Universities” section.

5. Collect the package of required documents.

6. Send your documents to the trainers of the selected universities with trainers.

7. Expect feedback. Coaches can contact you through a local trainer or agency that helps you. Therefore, be sure to include the contact information of your coach or agency!

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