Sport Scholarship ExplainedCollege Recruiting Starts Here
What are my chances of getting a Sports Scholarship?
Strong, if you are between 14-24 years old, in school, or have been in the last two years, and have a clean record while competing at the highest level in your sport then you are well-positioned to earn a sports scholarship. But before we dive in more, are you ready for the commitment? Division 1 athletes spend up to 80+ hours on academics and their athletics.
Can I get a sport scholarship to the US as an International?
There are thousands of international athletes competing in college sports in the U.S., with more than 20,000 NCAA international students currently enrolled and competing at one of the three NCAA division levels.
If you’re an international athlete wondering how to get recruited at a U.S. college or university, we have some great news–there are plenty of opportunities for international students to pursue their sport while getting a college education. However, in order to compete at a U.S. school, all international recruits must also go through the college recruiting process.
It’s never too early to start the recruiting process, especially as an international student-athlete. While college coaches are interested in recruiting the best players they can, worldwide, international recruits should also understand that they’ll need to put extra time, energy, and effort into an already time-consuming and complex process.
Many international athletes delay the process because they don’t feel ready to connect with college coaches, or they assume a coach will reach out to them first. While it’s true that some recruiting rules do prohibit coaches from contacting athletes, athletes are allowed to reach out to a coach or ask for college admissions or athletic materials at any time. Rather than wait for a coach to (maybe) notice you, be proactive and take the first step–coaches will appreciate the effort.
Even though college recruiting timelines are different depending on the sport, division level, and program, athletes should follow a general recruiting timeline that breaks down what they should be doing, and when. Learn more about college sports recruiting timelines.
Here at ASM Scholarships we can also help break down what high school athletes need to do every academic year and sports season by providing the recruiting education families need to feel more confident and prepared throughout their athlete’s recruiting journey. Our team is made up of international ex-student athletes that went through the same process and we’re here to make this process smoother.
When does the recruitment process start?
It is different for athletes and coaches. Many university coaches start recruiting from classes a few years in advance. Many athletes don’t realize this, and they continue to wait to hear from a coach. You most likely won’t be found by coaches unless you are in the top 1% of your sport- in the entire country. This is why you should begin preparing for your recruitment process as soon as you start high school.
Ideally, you should start the recruiting process as soon as your 1st year in high school. There is a ton of information to know about the recruiting process so be prepared once you start high school is a good idea. Doing research or obtaining the help of a recruiting service are both great ways to help you get ready for the recruiting process as you enter high school.
Start by scheduling the core courses you need to be eligible for the NCAA. Once you have your classes set, start researching colleges you’re interested in. You’ll also want to put together a resume that highlights your athletic and academic accolades, with a recruiting video and a short cover letter telling the coach why you’re interested in their program.
If you’re late in this process don’t fear, there is still hope. If you’re a senior in high school that is looking for a sports scholarship. Just know the possibilities of getting a full ride will be extremely hard.
How do you get a full-ride sports scholarship?
Most student-athletes do not receive a full-ride scholarship—in fact, only 1 percent do. Still, full-ride scholarships can cover tuition and fees, books, room and board, supplies, and sometimes even living expenses.
A sports scholarship will not cover:
- SAT Registration – average $125
- Toefl registration – average $195 (International student only)
- NCAA or NAIA clearinghouse fee – average $125
- Visa – average $450 (International student only)
- Flights – average $750 (Unless a stipend is received)
- Spending money – average $1000 (Unless a stipend is received)
Looking for your sport to find more information? We have a sports page with all the college sports and all the information you need. For the soccer players, are you wondering how to go D1 with a full ride? You can find all the information on our soccer page.
Do all universities offer sports scholarships?
While all colleges and universities offer different kinds of scholarships, they don’t all have athletic scholarships. Only NCAA Division 1 and 2, NAIA and NJCAA schools can offer scholarships to all sports athletes. However, Ivy League schools and NCAA Division 3 schools do not have athletic scholarships. These programs use financial aid from other parts of the university, but not from the athletic department. Ivy League and Division three can give you a nice academic scholarship if you meet the Universities requirements.
Being a strong student and athlete will help you find more college opportunities and get financial aid. Make sure you work hard to be a well-rounded student-athlete; college coaches are only interested in athletes who succeed in both the classroom and on the field.
The Difference in the College Division Levels
In the United States, there are three college divisions, NCAA, NAIA, and the NJCAA/JUCO.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association, known as the NCAA, has a three-division system of Division I, Division II, and Division III. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. In the NCAA there are 351 Division I schools, 308 Division II schools, and 443 Division III schools. To give you a better idea of the size and how these divisions compare, about 176,000 student-athletes compete at the Division I level. A little more than 118,000 student-athletes compete in Division II and Division III has just under 188,000 student-athletes on its various rosters. And that’s just the NCAA divisions.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, known as, NAIA, has 250 member institutions, sponsors 14 sports in which it conducts 25 national championships, and has its headquarters in Kansas City. It has 21 member conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
The National Junior College Athletic Association, known as, NJCAA, is an association of community college and junior college (2-year schools) athletic departments throughout the United States. It is divided into divisions and regions. The current NJCAA has 525 member schools and holds 24 regions across 24 states.
Here is a full breakdown:
Choosing the right university for you
Choosing a college that’s right for you can be a difficult process, luckily here at ASM, our team can help you get real expectations on what universities. But if you take the proper approach, things will go a lot more smoothly and you’ll be more likely to be satisfied with the results. Stick to these steps when choosing a college:
- Find colleges that offer the right fit, academically
- Find colleges that offer the right fit, athletically
- Find colleges that offer the right fit, financially
- Find colleges that offer the right fit, socially
If you want to know how to find the best college, identifying colleges that offer the right fit will surely increase your chances of having a successful college career. We have traveled around the country and have filmed Universities giving you an inside look at them.
Student-athletes typically have a couple of dream schools in mind when they begin their recruiting process. But the chances of coaches at those schools recruiting their position and offering a scholarship might be slim. That is why we tell every student-athlete to keep their options open, research several programs and build a school list to maximize opportunities and find their best college fit.
When you start looking for colleges you should pick around 10-15 schools with these three things in mind:
- Target schools: These are the schools where you have the most realistic chance of getting in and will be the right fit not only athletically, but academically, financially, and socially.
- Dream schools: Now these schools might be hard to get into academically, where you will need to improve significantly to qualify athletically or maybe too expensive without significant financial aid. You should have these dream schools on your list but recognize they might be hard
- Back-Up schools: These are the schools you have on your list as your backup plan. Keep your options open and consider schools that you otherwise might not have before starting your research. While these schools may not be the dream, they’re still a good fit and could save you more money in the end.