Athletic Scholarship

Athletic scholarships are some of the highest value scholarships available today. In fact, around $1 billion in financial assistance is granted through financial aid scholarships and loans each year, according to Athletic scholarships are typically granted on a combination of athletic ability as well as academic standing. Academic representatives will look at your GPA, standardized testing scores, and college essay (if applicable), while athletic recruiters will gauge your athletic ability.

Online College and Athletic Scholarships

If your goal is to attend online school, it is a give in that you cannot play sports. But, there are schools out there that offer a blended online and classroom-based learning experience, which may allow you to pursue your athletic endeavors. All you have to do is cross check your college wishlist against our network of colleges.

Private Athletic Scholarships

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is one of the largest scholarship providers in the United States for both sports and specialized, sports-related scholarships. According to the NCAA, only schools that are members or affiliated with the organization can offer scholarships (in Division 1 and 2 programs). Other schools may offer different scholarships if they are not associated or affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and are not bound by the same rules. These scholarships, others are offered by sport type, undergraduate, or post-graduate level as well as by division.

Most higher education institutions offer their own athletic scholarships. The best option when searching for athletic scholarships is to search by geographic area. Some scholarships are considered to be guaranteed, which means they are not limited to a specific number of students. You do have to meet all the requirements to obtain the scholarship and they typically are not full scholarships.

Recruitment Process

Since athletic scholarships are based largely on athletic ability, there is a considerable amount of recruitment that occurs prior to scholarship deadlines. Typically, coaches at the high school level will contact recruiters about potential scholarship candidates, then the coaches or recruiters will come out and observe the athlete during a game or match. After that a scholarship offer may be made based on the recruiter or coaches observation and possible interview with the candidate. In some cases, the athletes can also apply for the scholarship without the observation and ask coaches to follow up and complete the visit.

Students with athletic abilities in less common sports such as fencing, gymnastics, skiing, swimming, tennis and even wrestling can also apply for scholarships either from the NCAA or through their individual school, college or university. Keep in mind that athletic ability will be a major factor so becoming involved in as many competitions and events during and between the academic season will be beneficial when applying for scholarships.

"What If I am not Athletic?"

Financial aid for college students is not just limited to the athletic. There are multiple scholarship and grants awarded to those who are in financial need or who excel academically. Find more applicable grants and scholarships now!

Athletic Scholarship Resources

So, if you are dead-set on obtaining an athletic scholarship, check out these additional resources, and check back with us at to find a great list of schools.

Customize Your Education