To study for free or at a discount, and in return to represent the university in group or single competitions – both the student and the university win in this version of events. Let’s take a look at the steps on how to get a sports scholarship in America.
Physical education in the US educational system is of great importance. Even in school years, the guys begin to seriously engage in sports, attend competitions and tournaments. In universities and colleges, the bar is not lowered, and physical education is not limited to a couple of circles in the stadium or passing standards once a semester. On the contrary, sport is reaching a more professional level, interuniversity and intercity competitions are being held. And educational institutions are ready to financially support promising athletes. Educational agency STAR Academy offers to learn more about sports scholarships in America and the possibility of obtaining them.
SPORTS SCHOLARSHIP – A CONTRACT BETWEEN THE UNIVERSITY AND THE STUDENT
Thousands of educational institutions in the United States offer talented students to play for their alma mater, and instead of a salary, receive a scholarship that will cover the cost of education. At the same time, the level and scale of university sports in the United States is not comparable with any other state in the world. Golfer Tiger Woods, tennis player John Isner, basketball player Michael Jordan, football player Mia Hamm started their careers as college athletes.
The top student athletes are celebrities in their area. And their lifestyle is very similar to the life of a professional player: training at modern venues, traveling around the country, consulting physiotherapists and nutritionists, the opportunity to compete with the talented young cadres of the country. American football teams, for example, often play in front of 100,000 people. Their performances are shown on national television, on the Internet, they are written about in newspapers. Fan support and media interest make collegiate sports a multi-million dollar industry.
Of course, as in any contract, the athlete has obligations. He doesn’t go to university solely for sports or fame, but also earns a bachelor’s degree in any field offered by the university. In order not to lose the scholarship in the next academic year, the student must demonstrate sports achievements, help the team, and also study well!
A variety of sports are involved in the scholarship program, from basketball and football to tennis and freestyle wrestling. Typically, a university specializes in only a few disciplines. This information is posted on the website of the educational institution. It also indicates what funding is provided: full, covering all costs, or partial.
SEARCH AND COLLECTION OF INFORMATION
Athletic teams of educational institutions are sorted into three divisions. The first and second allocate the most funds to support students. These are, as a rule, universities with a large number of pupils and good budgets. The third division is represented by not very popular institutions that do not receive funding from the federations, but at the same time they themselves can encourage talented candidates from the internal budget.
And there are three major organizations that give out athletic scholarships in the United States: the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA. Each has its own terms and conditions:
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the most well-known and respected sports organization, with a strong presence in major public universities. There are more than 1200 institutions in total.
The NAIA is largely made up of smaller private universities. Athletic and academic standards are not as high as in the NCAA, and foreign athletes are more loyal requirements.
The NJCAA includes colleges with 2-year programs. Since studying there is cheaper, many applicants first enter them and then transfer to universities. Coaches often choose to take players from the NJCAA because they have proven their commitment and the ability to balance lectures and practice.
HOW TO APPLY
Not only foreign applicants, but also local athletes dream of winning free education at a university, so the competition is high. In order not to deprive yourself of a chance at the very beginning of the journey, carefully consider the application process. It consists of several steps:
1. START PREPARING EARLY
1.5 or 2 years before the proposed start – the sooner you get down to business, the more likely you are to take a place. During this period, you can also soberly assess your strengths and adjust your assessments or improve athletic weaknesses. A local trainer is a valuable resource that can tell a lot about an applicant’s abilities. But his opinion after working together for a long time can also be biased. Athletic organizations are advised to seek professional sports evaluation.
2. Narrow the list down to a couple dozen institutions
Once you have the first idea of what division to aim for, you need to find out which institutions work in this division. This can be done through the websites of sports associations.
Do not forget that the applicant will first become a student, and then an athlete. When choosing an institute, pay attention to such factors: the location of the future alma mater, suitable specialties, course fees, average student scores for SAT or ACT exams, and entrance requirements. After all, even if the coach offers a sports scholarship, only the selection committee has the right to decide whether the applicant is suitable for them or not.
3. COLLECT A PACKAGE OF DOCUMENTS
Contrary to what many young athletes think, it is not enough just to be good at sports, you need to present yourself competently and prepare yourself:
- a resume that includes information about sports experience and achievements;
- a professionally made HD video that will clearly demonstrate the skills of the candidate,
- because the coach does not have the opportunity to personally attend his game. It is better
- to upload the video to Youtube and send the link in the letter;
- high school diploma;
- transcript with grades and completed disciplines;
- SAT test results;
- TOEFL certificate confirming knowledge of the language;
- letters of recommendation from mentors;
- motivation letter.
Requirements may vary, so check this information on the websites of universities. Once the list of schools has been compiled and the package of papers has been prepared, you can begin to communicate with the coaches and send them your documents by e-mail.
A sports scholarship is a great opportunity to continue your sports career and at the same time receive a foreign diploma. The American government is interested in attracting promising young people to the country, so talented, disciplined and motivated athletes have every chance of winning.