Start your scholarship search locally. Ask teachers, guidance counselors, church and community leaders, parents and their employers, and use the library and the internet to find privately funded awards.
Websites like collegescholarships.org have a list of Scholarships you don't want to miss when you browse their site by sport, and fastweb.com provides a free online scholarship database.
Also check with your perspective schools to find out what scholarships they offer in addition to the athletic ones.
Finally, the NCAA offers a number of special interest scholarships including the Freedom Forum NCAA Sports Journalism Scholarship program for college juniors interested in a career in sports journalism.
Will a scholarship cover me for all 4 or 5 years of college?
Scholarship amounts vary for each athlete. They can range from a partial scholarship that only covers books to a full ride that covers tuition, room and board. Athletes can receive a maximum of five years of funding over a six-year period.
They are awarded on a yearly basis and renewed annually. The amount that you receive each year is based on your performance and a year-end evaluation; it does not hinge on how much you received the previous year and a renewal is not guaranteed. Find out up front what parameters you will be evaluated on at the end of the year and be sure that you are striving to achieve them.
Can I supplement my athletic scholarship with other aid? And is there a limit to how much money I can get from a school--athletic and otherwise?
This fluctuates by school. Some schools have limitations on how much you can supplement an athletic scholarship and some have caps on how much money you can accept in total.
Can a recruiting service increase my chances of getting a scholarship?
Recruiting services specialize in marketing student athletes to college coaches. The NCAA, however, does not endorse any of these services. Beware that it is not permissible for a service to offer a money-back guarantee or base its fee on the amount of a student's scholarship.
Most of the tools and information you need are already available online, and through the NCAA, as long as you are willing to do the research.
Although scholarship matching services aren't endorsed, resume and video-building tools can be a great asset. They provide a forum where you can feature your stats and video clips, and a place where you can direct coaches to view your profile.
What could jeopardize my chance of getting a scholarship?
A number of things can bring your scholarship dreams to a dead end. These include but are not limited to the following.
- Playing for a professional team
- Receiving prizes or money for athletics
- Doing drugs
- Participating in illegal sport's betting
- Accepting gifts or money from prospective coaches
- Signing or having an agreement with an agent before eligibility expires
Get started now. By the time you have to choose a school and apply for scholarships, you will know what your options are. Get yourself out there: attend camps, compile a resume or info sheet, make your video, visit schools, introduce yourself to coaches and know the rules.
Most importantly, don't rely on others to do the work for you. Seek out scholarships on your own. Figure out what schools you are interested in, find out what they offer, and apply, apply, apply. Remember, you have to work just as hard at finding the right school, and potential scholarships, as you do when you are on the field.