College is expensive, there’s no denying it. So it’s no wonder that many high school students worry about how they’re going to be able to afford to study at the university of their choice. For a lot of student-athletes, landing a college sports scholarship is the ultimate goal. However, the reality is that these are extremely competitive and only a very small percentage of people receive them. Therefore, if you or your son or daughter are hoping to be one of the lucky few, you’ll need to make sure you do everything right. Here are some top tips to help you out.
This one goes without saying. In order to stand a chance at a sports scholarship, you need to take your practice seriously. Show up on time, with a good attitude, and always give 100%. This will all help with your coaching references. Natural talent is part of it, but in order to make it professionally, you need a strong work ethic and never-give-up attitude. To qualify for the very best full-ride scholarships, you will need to be competing at a national or international level.
Too many student-athletes forget about this part, but your grades matter when it comes to getting a decent athletic scholarship. You will usually need to complete 16 core courses and have a minimum 2.3 GPA, and continue to meet minimum requirements throughout college. Having high grades also indicates that you can handle the workload of both school and sports. The added bonus is that if your grades are good enough, you might also qualify for an academic scholarship.
This is important. Many experts suggest that you should be starting the process of obtaining a sports scholarship at 14 years old, in order to make sure you have the widest choice and best chances of success. This gives you plenty of time to choose your sport and truly hone your skills, competing in tournaments and gaining an impressive record of results. It also demonstrates a commitment to your sport, and maximizes potential exposure to college scouts while you’re at high school. Websites such as asmscholarships.com can be a huge help in guiding you through the process.
Scholarship opportunities vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the sport you play and the school you attend. Do your research to see which colleges offer the best aid for your sport. Remember to check the different divisions too, as some will be more generous than others. The options for college can be overwhelming, so think carefully about where you’d like to go – factors such as location and team culture are also important, not just money!
College coaches don’t always initiate contact with student-athletes, and you may want to reach out to some yourself – obeying the rules of doing so, of course. Be sure to make a good impression when you meet people, too. Little things like a firm handshake, confident eye contact and speaking clearly and passionately can all make a big difference.