Scoring Big Time—How College Sport Scholarships Work

Discover and Apply for Scholarships Scoring Big Time—How College Sport Scholarships Work

Awards for MVPs—How College Sport Scholarships Work

In the academic year 2019/2020, the average costs of attendance for four-year institutions went up to $53,900. That number is even higher now, and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to get a college degree without any financial aid from the outside.

The good news is, if you’re a college athlete or a high school senior looking forward to a college career, you can apply for a number of scholarships and grants. We’ll explain how college sport scholarships work, where you can find them and how you should apply for them.

We’ll also show how DoNotPay can help you land a scholarship effortlessly.


College Sports Scholarships—What Are They?

Sports scholarships offer college athletes money to cover their tuition fees and costs of attendance so they could focus on their sports careers. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) claims it awards around $3.5 billion in scholarships to over 180,000 athletes.

These numbers show there are a lot of opportunities for athletes to forget about at least a part of their cost of attendance. Students who apply don’t have to be the next Tom Brady or LeBron James as college sports scholarships offer aid to:

  1. Recreational athletes
  2. Potential professionals

Scholarships for Recreational Athletes

Recreational athletes can look forward to financial aid programs that are akin to need-based scholarships. As they don’t show much promise or stand out from the group, these students need to show a certain level of financial need as well as academic excellence.

Each scholarship program defines the limit of the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Students need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form or the College Scholarship Service (CSS) profile to prove their financial status. If their families’ yearly incomes are above the limit, they won’t be able to apply.

Similarly, they need to demonstrate a level of academic excellence by:

Scholarships for Potential Professionals

Even if there are a lot of college scholarships for athletes, it doesn’t mean that getting one is an easy ride. Students first need to compete for a spot at the college of their choice and then fight off the competition for financial aid.

This highlights the importance of scouting various universities before settling on one. Scholarships for pro athletes focus on students’ athletic performance and sports achievements. Many programs require students to show academic performance too.

What Is the Best Sport To Get a College Scholarship For?

When looking at what the best sports for college scholarships are, there are two things to consider:

  1. The popularity of the sport
  2. The number of scholarships for that sport

For instance, the most numerous ones are football scholarships, but they are not easy to get because the biggest percentage of college athletes are football players. The success rate in landing a scholarship for a specific sport also differs for men and women.

Check out this table to see how many male athletes compete in a certain sport and how many scholarships for that sport there are:

Sport Number of Athletes Number of Scholarships for the Sport Ratio
Football 1,112,024 25,918 43:1
Basketball 541,054 9,504 57:1
Lacrosse 106,720 1,251 85:1
Baseball 482,629 8,062 60:1
Ice hockey 35,393 981 36:1
Golf 152,647 2,998 51:1
Soccer 417,629 6,152 68:1
Gymnastics 1,955 101 20:1

Check out the following table that shows the stats for female athletes:

Sport Number of Athletes Number of Scholarships for the Sport Ratio
Basketball 433,344 10,165 43:1
Soccer 374,564 9,266 40:1
Lacrosse 81,969 1,779 46:1
Ice hockey 9,150 612 15:1
Rugby 322 36 9:1
Rowing 4,242 2,080 2:1
Gymnastics 19,231 810 24:1
Tennis 215,737 4,480 48:1

College Sports Scholarships—Athletic Scholarship Requirements

The requirements vary depending on the sport and the program you’re applying for. Different metrics can be applied to various sports, but they don’t paint the whole picture, which is why many of these scholarships have an extensive list of demands, including:

  • Running times
  • Jumping distance
  • Shot percentage
  • Passing percentage
  • Successful take-ons
  • Number of interceptions
  • Number of strikes
  • Accuracy
  • Shot speed

Additional requirements can include belonging to a specific group of students, which some financial aid programs demand. For instance, some scholarships offer awards only to international students, minorities, or children of veterans.

Where Can You Find College Sports Scholarships?

College athletes—both undergraduates and graduates—can rely on a large number of financial aid programs. This can be a double-edged sword, as many students spend months researching and trying to find the scholarship that suits them.

Here are a few tips on where to focus the search if the process is lasting too long:

With DoNotPay, you can forget about having to do all the manual work by yourself. You can use our app to get a personalized list of all sports scholarships for college you’re eligible for within minutes.

How Do You Apply for College Sports Scholarships?

When applying for a sports scholarship, you need to:

  1. Make sure you’re eligible
  2. Respect the deadlines
  3. Prepare the paperwork

Another element to the application process that’s unique to college sports scholarships is creating a portfolio of yourself and your play style. The portfolio should consist of:

  • Sports achievements
  • Statistics
  • Videos of best plays
  • Videos highlighting your strengths
  • Published articles that feature your name

DoNotPay Helps You Get a College Sports Scholarship the Easy Way

Getting a scholarship is preceded by an extensive research period and preparation for the application process. With DoNotPay, you can avoid both of these and find the perfect scholarship in less than five minutes.

All you have to do is:

  1. Use your browser to sign up for DoNotPay
  2. Navigate to the Apply for Scholarships product
  3. Answer a few questions about your academic and athletic performance

Our app will use your answers to create a custom list of all college sports scholarships you’re eligible for and show you information about award amounts and requirements. If some programs on the list don’t require you to write an essay, you can authorize DoNotPay to complete the entire application process on your behalf without any effort on your part.

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