Sport Scholarships by Ncaa of US for talented


There are many opportunities to play sports at universities in the US. University sports programs are offered at the
varsity (organized competition between universities) and the intramural or club (participation-oriented, less
competitive) level. Some universities offer sport scholarships at the varsity level to students who are academicallyqualified and very gifted in a particular sport. However, no scholarships are offered for participation in sports at the
intramural or club levels.
The process by which a student athlete is considered for a sport scholarship is a lengthy and complicated one. Unlike
academic scholarships, where one submits an application indicating interest in receiving funding to study at a
university, students must engage in a highly-regulated recruitment process.
Sport scholarships are granted by the university or athletics association in which a university participates with
athletic directors or coaches playing a central role in decision-making. Scholarships can be awarded for the following
sports: baseball, basketball, bowling, crew (rowing), cross-country, fencing, football (American), golf, gymnastics, ice

indoor track, lacrosse, skiing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water
polo, women’s field hockey and wrestling. Equestrian, rugby, sand volleyball, and triathlon have been designated as
'emerging sports' and scholarships in these sports are often available to women only in an effort to achieve equality
between men's and women's scholarships. Some universities offer martial arts, riflery, rodeo, rugby and sailing, but
very few of those will offer these sports on a scholarship basis.
Scholarships are provided on a yearly basis and are generally renewable for four years, the normal amount of time
required to complete a US undergraduate degree. If you enter university with transfer credit or advanced standing,
you will still be considered a first-year student for sports scholarship purposes.
Award amounts vary and can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $50,000 for one academic
year, depending on the tuition for the individual institution. It is very important to keep in mind that sport
scholarships do not necessarily cover the full cost of tuition and maintenance. Scholarships are often offered on a
percentage basis (i.e. a 75% scholarship will cover 75% of the total cost for one year), and universities have strict
limits on the total amount they can award each year. Therefore, a university may split a small number of large
awards into a larger number of lesser-value awards. For example, a university that has three 100% scholarships to
offer per year may split them up to award six 50% scholarships to twice the number of student-athletes.
It is important to note that while playing for a college team on scholarship can pay for the cost of earning an
undergraduate degree, you do not attend university solely to play your sport. Students with sports scholarships must
be working toward an undergraduate degree (in any field offered by the university).

 There are no degrees in sports
themselves, but students whose main interest is in sports can often take a degree in exercise science, physical
therapy or an allied field. For more information about choosing, applying for and other funding opportunities related
to US universities, please visit
Athletic Associations:
Athletic associations govern college sports and set rules regarding scholarships and athletic recruitment. There are a
number of associations that colleges or universities can join, most notably:
1) National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – There are over 900 member universities and 250+
provisional members classified within three NCAA divisions with Division I being the most competitive.
Athletic standards are high and the level of competition is intense. Only students with the very highest
standard of athletic ability tend to be recruited. (

2) National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) – There are around 350 smaller colleges in the NAIA,
organized by districts. Many NAIA colleges have excellent sports programs and may offer some sports
scholarships. The level of athletic ability is high, although the standard is not as high as NCAA teams.
3) National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) – Member colleges are accredited two-year
institutions. The NJCAA is also comprised of three divisions, with scholarships offered only at the Division I
and II levels. Division I colleges may offer full scholarships, and Division II may offer partial scholarships such
as tuition or fees and books. There are not many Division I or II junior colleges, so an international student
must have very competitive athletic and academic ability to receive a junior college scholarship. Students
who attend a junior college with the intention of transferring to a four-year college must be certain that
their course credits will transfer, as not all will. (
Students hoping to be considered for a sports scholarship must meet normal university/college entrance
requirements (published on the university admissions page) and continue to obtain satisfactory grades at university
in order to receive and retain their scholarships. As a guideline, various sporting authorities have set their own
minimum academic requirements for competing students:
1) National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA):
• Students must complete 16 core courses within four academic years, collectively years 10-13. This includes
4 years of English, 3 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of natural or physical science, 2 years of
social science (history, geography, economics, sociology, psychology, etc.), and 4 additional years of English,
math, natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy.
• The NCAA applies a sliding scale for the minimum SAT scores that are required for acceptance to NCAA
Division I colleges. This will depend on your average academic grade (or GPA). The higher your average
academic grade is, the lower the minimum SAT score required (math & critical reading sections only). So, on
the 1600-point scale, students who have achieved an average academic grade of Merit (B) must obtain a
minimum SAT score of 620 points. A minimum SAT score of 820 is required to compete at NCAA Division II
2) National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA):
• Students must meet two of the following three requirements:
1) Achieve a minimum of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT (math & critical reading sections only)
2) Achieve an overall minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
3) Graduate in the top half of your high school class
3) National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA): 

• Talented individuals who do not qualify for either of the above may be able to gain admission to a junior
college. Each college will set its own entrance requirements. Only 25% of scholarships at a junior college can
be given to international students.
• NJCAA colleges in general do not have a minimum passing score for the SAT although individual colleges
may set one.
To estimate your Grade Point Average (GPA):
Grade Translation Numeric U.S. Grade
E Excellent 9-10 A 4
M Merit 7-8 B 3
Blank/NG/A Standard Achieved 5-6 C 2 (lowest passing
NA Standard Not Achieved 0-4 F 0
For further information about admissions criteria and the SAT, please visit the Undergraduate Study in the US
Application Process section on

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