Paying for college is a struggle for a lot of students. It is well known that a lot of the top universities are also some of the most expensive universities. The cost of college leaves a lot of students desperate for scholarships and other types of financial aid, and with good reason. The most common type of scholarship talked about is usually an athletic scholarship. For just about every sport out there, there are colleges that have teams and are recruiting high school students to play for them. Getting an athletic scholarship is not exactly easy, and you have to work very hard in the sport you play and in academics to be offered a scholarship. Here are some tips for a better chance at getting an athletic scholarship.
Know Your Skill Level
If you are hoping to get an athletic scholarship, chances are that you’ve already thought about a few schools that you would prefer to go to. Take into consideration the team at this university and make sure that you are good enough to play for them. Some schools have reputations for being extremely good in certain sports, and you have to be realistic with yourself. Ask your current coach to assess your skill level so you can focus on schools that are a good match for you.
Contact the Coaches
College coaches have a lot of athletes to look at and if you don’t contact them, you may be passed by. If a coach has not come to you and you are interested in their school, send them an e-mail. In the e-mail include information about your sport (stats, coaches opinion, etc) as well as information about your grades, where you go to school, and other information you think they might need to know. Don’t freak out if they don’t answer your right away, there are a lot of other students writing them e-mails. If it has been quite a while, you may want to try sending them a letter. Keep in mind that they may not be interested in you which could mean you will never get a response. Also, do not contact college coaches until your junior year.
Don’t Overlook Smaller Schools
You might dream of playing a sport for a very prominent school, but that can’t happen for everyone. Don’t forget to contact smaller schools that might be interested in you. Playing for a smaller school may not be as glamorous, but it can get your education paid for and some exposure.
Get Good Grades
Many athletes are under the impression that they do not need good grades to get into college, their athletic talent will do it for them, but that is not the case. Students need to understand that before a school offers you a scholarship, they will take a look at your full transcript and your ACT or SAT scores. If you work hard, you’re much more likely to get an athletic scholarship than if you don’t.
Send Schools Video Footage
A good way to get college scouts to come to see you is to send them clips of you playing your sport along with a personally and professionally written essay. This will let them see a little bit of what you can do and may interest them further. A coach can do this for you, or a parent can put together clips of your best games to send out to the colleges you are interested in.