Tips to Help You Get an Athletic Scholarship

For many high school athletes, the dream of playing college sports is a strong motivator. The prospect of receiving an athletic scholarship can be even more enticing. Unfortunately, the process of getting an athletic scholarship is often misunderstood.

In this post, I'll dispel some of the myths and give you the information you need to increase your chances of getting one. I'll also share some tips on how to use your athletic abilities to get into a private college of your choice.

How to Get an Athletic Scholarship for College

If you're a high school athlete and are planning on competing in college, you may be wondering how to go about getting an athletic scholarship. The process can seem daunting, but with some hard work and dedication it is definitely possible. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Do your research. There are a lot of different scholarships out there, so it's important to figure out which ones you might be eligible for. Talk to your coach or guidance counselor, and look online for resources like the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Start early. The sooner you start the process, the better. Make sure all of your paperwork is in order and that you understand the requirements for each scholarship you're applying for.
  • Stay focused on your academics. In order to be eligible for most scholarships, you'll need to maintain good grades in all of your classes. Work hard in school and keep your grades up - this will show colleges that you're serious about your education as well as athletics.
  • Be involved in your sport. College coaches want to see athletes who are dedicated to their sport and have a passion for Competition. Get involved in club teams or summer leagues, and make sure you stand out from the crowd.
  • Market yourself, create a highlight reel of your best plays and send it out to college coaches. They may not all respond, but it's a great way to get your name and skills out there.
  • Make sure you have a high enough GPA, some schools will still want that.

Can a High School Student's Athletic Talent Play a Critical Role in the College Admissions Process?

The influence that college coaches and athletic programs can have over the admissions process is well known. But just how important is athletic talent when it comes to getting into college?

A recent report found that $3 billion dollars worth of scholarships and financial aid are awarded each year by colleges in order help recruit talented athletes. Although many schools fall into this category, not all of them are created equal in regards to the role athletics plays in admissions.

For some colleges, athletic scholarships are seen as a way to level the playing field for students who may not be able to afford tuition otherwise. For others, they're simply a way to attract the best and brightest athletes to their campus. And still for others, they're seen as a necessary evil - something that's required in order to stay competitive with other schools but not necessarily something that's valued or celebrated.

What does this mean for high school students who want to use their athletic abilities to get into college? Unfortunately, there's no easy answer. The truth is that each school has its own unique approach to the role of athletics in the admissions process, so it's important for students to do their research and understand the specific policies and procedures of the schools they're interested in.

There is no doubt that athletic talent can be a major factor in the college admission process. So if you're a high school student with your sights set on attending a particular school, don't be afraid to use your talents - both on and off the field - to give yourself an edge in the admissions game.

How Hard is it to Get an Athletic Scholarship?

High school sports are a big deal. While many people want to compete in intercollegiate sports, only a select few have the ability to do so. You must take into account their athleticism. The process of finding and ranking talent begins long before high school. Sport scholarships are available for those who have the skill and the drive to compete at the collegiate level. But how difficult is it to obtain an athletic scholarship?

It depends. There are a lot of factors that come into play when colleges are recruiting athletes. They look at your performance in high school, but they also take into account your potential. The college is looking to see if you have the potential to improve and compete at their level. So, if you're a good athlete with a lot of potential, you have a better chance of getting an athletic scholarship than someone who is just average.

Of course, there's no guarantee that you'll get an athletic scholarship just because you're a great athlete. It also depends on the sport you're playing and the availability of scholarships at the college you're interested in. For example, there may be more scholarships available for football players than for golfers. And some colleges may be looking for specific types of athletes to fill out their team. So it's important to do your research and find out as much as you can about the college recruiting process before you start applying to schools.

But don't let all this talk of competition discourage you. If you have your heart set on playing college sports, then go for it! Although it may be difficult to earn an athletic scholarship, it is not impossible to do so. With hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

Some Stats

Approximately 150,000 high school student-athletes who play sports are recipients of financial aid to help with college expenses each year. This amounts to about 2 percent of all high school athletes.

The majority of these scholarships are athletic scholarships, which are awarded by colleges and universities based on a student's ability to compete in a particular sport. However, there are also academic scholarships available for student-athletes who excel in the classroom.

For those students who do receive some form of scholarship, it can be a huge help in paying for college. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the average athletic scholarship is worth around $11,000 per year.

Of course, not every high school athlete is going to receive a scholarship. But for those who do put in the hard work and dedication, it can be a great way to reduce the cost of college.

How Many College Athletes Receive Scholarships?

When it comes to college athletics, there are three main divisions: Division I, II, and III. But how many student athletes in each division actually receive scholarships?

According to recent data, 58% of Division I student athletes receive financial aid in the form of scholarships. This number jumps to 59% for Division II athletes and an impressive 80% for Division III athletes.

So what does this mean for aspiring college athletes? Well, if you're good enough to compete at the Division I or II level, your chances of receiving a scholarship are pretty good. And if you're aiming for Division III, your odds are even better.

Of course, these numbers only give a general overview of the situation. There are always going to be some students who don't receive scholarships despite being talented athletes. And there are also going to be some who do receive scholarships even though they aren't the best athletes around.

At the end of the day, it's up to each individual student to decide whether or not pursuing a college athletic career is worth it. If you have the skill and drive to compete at a high level, then go for it! Who knows, you might just end up with a full ride to your dream school.

How Much Do Athletes Rely on Their Talent in the College Admissions Process?

Athletic talent may be taken into consideration during the college admissions process, but it is hard to make generalizations about its significance. The NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association has different levels of Division I, II, and III schools which all have their own specific rules for athletics and admissions. The number of students who use their athletic abilities to get into college is unknown. However, sports scholarships do exist and can be used to offset the cost of tuition.

In general, Division I schools tend to be the most competitive when it comes to admissions. They also typically have the largest budgets for their athletic programs. This means that they can offer more scholarships and recruiting opportunities for athletes. As a result, students who are talented athletes may have an advantage when applying to these schools.

Division II and III schools typically have smaller budgets for their athletic programs. This means that they often cannot offer as many scholarships or recruiting opportunities as Division I schools. However, this does not mean that athletes will not be considered for admission. Schools still have their own separate set of rules and guidelines they follow during the admissions process.

It is important to remember that there is no guarantee that being an athlete will help you get into college. Admissions decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, and each student's application is evaluated holistically. This means that your academic record, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and personal essay are all taken into consideration. If you are a talented athlete but your grades are not up to par, you may still be at a disadvantage when compared to other applicants.

Each school has different standards and criteria that they use to make decisions. If you are a talented athlete, it may give you an edge in the admissions process but there are no guarantees.

Other sources of funding for college athletes

Many college athletes rely on financial aid to help fund their education. But there are other sources of financial assistance available to student-athletes, including academic scholarships, traditional financial aid, and federal grants.

The NCAA Division I Student Assistance Fund is one example of a financial resource available to athletes. The fund provides need-based grants to eligible student-athletes who are enrolled full-time at an NCAA Division I school. Grants from the fund can be used to cover expenses such as tuition, books, and room and board.

To be eligible for the NCAA Division I Student Assistance Fund, students must meet certain academic requirements and demonstrate financial need. Students can learn more about the program and how to apply by contacting their school's financial aid office.

In addition to the NCAA Division I Student Assistance Fund, there are other programs that provide financial assistance to college athletes. For example, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics offers need-based grants to eligible student-athletes enrolled at member schools. These grants can be used to cover

NCAA Recruiting Process

The NCAA governs the recruiting process for high school athletes in order to protect their interests. There are rules and regulations in place that parents or legal guardians should be aware of, depending on the sport their child is interested in playing at the collegiate level.

In order to be eligible for an athletic scholarship, a student-athlete must meet certain academic requirements set forth by the NCAA. He or she must also be enrolled full-time at an NCAA member institution.

There are different rules and regulations that apply to each sport when it comes to recruiting. For example, in baseball, there is a limit on the number of phone calls a college coach can make to a prospective student-athlete. In basketball, there are restrictions on the number of times a college coach can contact a recruit in person.

NCAA Recruiting Process And Dates

The NCAA oversees special Recruiting Calendars to manage when colleges are able to have contact with student-athletes and their parents. There are typically two types of periods where recruiters must limit contact with potential recruits; quiet and dead periods.

Athletic scholarships are awarded to students based on their athletic ability and potential contribution to the team. Scholarships can be partial or full, and they may cover tuition, room and board, books, and other expenses.

The recruiting process begins when a college coach identifies a potential recruit and extends an offer of athletically related financial aid. Once a recruit accepts an offer of athletics related financial aid, he or she becomes a prospective student-athlete and is subject to NCAA rules and regulations.

During the recruiting process, college coaches can call recruits or their parents, write them letters, or have face-to-face conversations with them. They can also invite recruits to campus for official visits. An official visits includes paid transportation to and from campus, up to three nights of hotel accommodations, meals at the school’s dining facilities, and tickets to sporting events.

Prospective student-athletes are allowed to take five official visits beginning January 1 of their junior year in high school. College coaches can begin contacting recruits September 1 of their junior year in high school. However, there are several important dates that prospects need to be aware of during the recruiting process:

September 1: College coaches can first contact recruits in writing or by telephone September 1st of the recruit’s junior year in high school. They can also send printed materials like media guides and schedules at this time.

November 15: College coaches can begin making in-person contacts with recruits and their parents November 15th of the recruit’s junior year in high school through May 31st following graduation from high school. During this period, college coaches can make an unlimited number of contacts with recruits both on and off the college campus.

January 1: A prospective student-athlete can take five official visits beginning January 1st of his or her senior year in high school through November 30th following graduation from high school; however, only one official visits per institution is permitted. Official visits last 48 hours on campus and include paid transportation to and from campus as well as lodging & meals at the school’s dining facilities for the prospect & up to 3 guests plus 4 complimentary tickets to home athletics events occurring during the 48 hour period.

May 1: National Letter of Intent signing day for football & basketball prospects;

How to Help Your Child Get Recruited

When it comes to college athletics, you may be wondering what you can do to increase the chances of your child getting recruited by a college coach.

Unfortunately, the college coaches cannot fully control the recruitment process. They receive many requests from talented athletes who want to be a part of their programs. So how can you help your child stand out?

Encourage your child to research colleges that offer athletic scholarships and reach out to the coaches at those schools. They should also be prepared to submit a highlight reel or other materials that showcase their talents.

Common Challenges

As anyone who has gone through the college athletic recruiting process knows, it can be a challenge. There are a lot of moving parts and often times things can fall through the cracks. Here are some common challenges that arise during the recruiting process and how to overcome them:

Competition within the team: One of the most common challenges faced by recruits is competition within their own team. With so many talented athletes out there, it can be tough to stand out from the pack. The best way to overcome this is to focus on what makes you unique and sell yourself as such to college coaches.

One other challenge that is not uncommon, are breaks in your high school athletic career. This can happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from injury to simply taking a break from sports. If you have any breaks in your athletic career, be sure to explain them in your communication with college coaches. They will understand and may even view it as a positive if you took the time off to focus on your academics or another extracurricular activity.

The disparity in resources between college sports teams is a third challenge that arises during the recruiting process. Some teams have significantly more resources than others, which can give them an advantage in recruiting. If you're being recruited by a team with fewer resources, don't be discouraged; instead, focus on what they can offer you that other schools can't. Perhaps it's a smaller class size or more individualized attention from coaches. Whatever it is, use it to your advantage in making your decision about where to commit.

Scholarships are extremely competitive and often go to the athletes who have the most talent and potential. However, there are other factors that come into play when awarding scholarships, so don't give up hope if you don't get one right away. Instead, continue working hard and staying focused on your goals, and eventually you'll find success.

Different Types of Funding

When it comes to funding your college education, there are a number of different options available – including sport scholarships. It can be a great way to help cover the cost of tuition, fees, and other expenses associated with attending college.

There are a few different types of scholarships that you may be eligible for, depending on the sport you play and the level at which you compete. Full rides are the most coveted type of scholarship, as they cover the full cost of tuition and fees. Other types of scholarships may cover only a portion of these costs, or may provide additional funds for personal expenses such as room and board.

If you're interested in pursuing a sport scholarship, it's important to start researching early. College coaches typically begin recruiting athletes during their sophomore or junior year of high school, so it's important to have your ducks in a row well in advance.

Relevant College List

The National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA monitors and enforces rules related to collegiate recruiting. They have a set of rules and guidelines that member schools must follow in order to maintain their eligibility. This includes things like how many contact hours coaches are allowed to have with recruits, what type of benefits can be offered, and so on.

If your child accepts, they might have to sign a contractual agreement with the chosen educational institution. This is known as the National Letter of Intent or NLI. The NLI is a binding agreement between the student-athlete and the school they have chosen to attend. Once it is signed, the athlete is committed to attending that school for one academic year. If your child violates their contract, they could lose NCAA eligibility for a duration of time.

There are many different types of athletic scholarships that colleges can offer. The most common ones are full scholarships, which cover tuition, room and board, and other fees; partial scholarships, which cover some but not all of those costs; and need-based scholarships, which are awarded based on the student-athlete's financial need.

Here is a list of the top 10 colleges in the United States that give out the most athletic scholarships:

  • University of Alabama: Full Scholarships - 120
  • University of Florida: Full Scholarships - 100
  • Ohio State University: Full Scholarships - 95
  • University of Southern California: Full Scholarships - 85
  • Louisiana State University: Full Scholarships - 80
  • Stanford University: Partial Scholarships - 65
  • Penn State University: Partial Scholarships - 60
  • Duke University: Partial Scholarships - 55
  • Notre Dame University: Need-Based Scholarships - 50
  • University of Michigan: Need-Based Scholarships - 45

How Recruiting Affects College Admissions Timelines

High school athletes often have to navigate a unique college admissions timeline. Verbal offers extended to lacrosse players by colleges during their Junior years are contingent upon their applying to said colleges Early Decision during their Senior Fall semester. Basketball players may have a different timeline for being recruitment and landing scholarships then other students. Instead of the regular fall timeline, basketball players may get recruitment offers and Land scholarships in the late winter or early spring.

This can create a lot of pressure for athletes who are trying to balance their academics with their athletics. It's important to understand how recruiting works for your specific sport so that you can plan accordingly.

If you're a high school athlete considering playing at the collegiate level, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Understand the recruiting process for your sport. When do most athletes receive offers? Are there any benefits to applying early?
  • Talk to your coach about your options. They likely have experience with other athletes in your situation and can give you guidance on what to expect.
  • Make sure you're keeping up with your academics! Even if you're receiving interest from colleges, you'll need to maintain good grades throughout high school to ensure eligibility.
  • Stay organized and keep track of deadlines. With college applications and sports scholarships, there are a lot of moving parts. Creating a system that works for you will help reduce stress down the line.

Recruiting timelines can vary greatly depending on the sport, so it's important to do your research and understand what to expect. By being proactive and staying organized, you'll set yourself up for success both on and off the field.

How will playing sports in college affect my child academically?

As a parent, you want your child to succeed in college. You want them to get good grades, make friends, and have a positive experience overall. But you also know that college is a lot of work. And with the cost of tuition these days, you want to make sure your child is getting the most out of their education.

One way to do that is by ensuring they participate in extracurricular activities – like playing sports. Doing so can have a number of benefits for your child academically, including:

Improved Time Management Skills

Playing sports in college requires time management skills. Your child will need to balance practices, games, and travel with their studies. This can be tough, but it’s also a great way for them to learn how to manage their time effectively.

Enhanced Organizational Skills

In order to succeed at both academics and athletics, your child will need to be organized. They’ll need to keep track of their assignments, due dates, practice schedules, and more. This can be challenging, but it will help them develop strong organizational skills that will benefit them throughout their academic career.

Greater Responsibility

Playing sports in college also requires a sense of responsibility. Your child will need to show up on time for practices and games, meet their academic obligations, and represent their team well both on and off the field. This can be a lot of pressure, but it will help your child develop important life skills like responsibility and accountability.

Improved Study Habits

Being a student-athlete can also improve your child’s study habits. In order to succeed academically, they’ll need to learn how to study effectively and efficiently. This is an important skill that will benefit them long after they graduate from college.


The best way to get an athletic scholarship is by doing your research, staying focused on your academics and involving yourself in your sport. With hard work and dedication, you can increase your chances of getting the college education you want and playing the sport you love.



About the author
Got kids about to go to college, so making my own research and sharing here!
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