High school athletes work hard to be the best at their sport. They would love to be able to continue playing through college while they earn their degree. Unfortunately, attending college has become unaffordable for many student-athletes and their families.
As a college athlete, you have an opportunity to earn an athletic scholarship. But because college sports are highly competitive, there are thousands of other athletes who are working to earn those scholarships. Each NCAA college sport has a different number of scholarships available and different ways of them being allocated. That means your chances of earning an athletic scholarship for your sport might be more difficult than you think.
During the recruiting process, you will have discussions with college coaches about available opportunities to compete on their team. College coaches may or may not bring up the topic of scholarships as well, but you should only bring up the options for scholarships when you have developed your relationship with the coach. If you bring up the scholarship subject too early, you are only an athlete looking for money, not a team player who will be dedicated to the team.
In order to best approach the subject, you will need to prepare yourself for the multiple options that might come up.
What kind of financial aid do I need?
It is an important part of the recruiting process to sit down as a family and discuss what you can afford for college. Not only will this help determine which schools you will apply to but it can also help you make the ultimate decision when it comes time to selecting a school. Only top-tier athletes will earn a full-ride scholarship so it is important to be prepared for only partial scholarship money for tuition.
What do I need to do to earn a scholarship?
This is an important question to ask any college coach that you are talking to. You will be competing against other potential student athletes for available scholarship money and open positions on the team. By asking the coach what you need to do to beat out the other athletes, you are demonstrating to them your dedication to earning a spot on their team. Whether it’s hitting a new mark in your event, dropping time of your personal record, or scoring higher on the SAT, knowing what you need to achieve to earn that scholarship can make it or break it for you.
Am I one of the athletes being considered for a scholarship?
By asking a college coach whether you are being considered for an available scholarship, you will know where you stand on their recruiting board. If you know you have other athletes ahead of you in line, this will help you make the right choices for your next move. You can continue working with the coach to do what you need to earn the scholarship, or you can focus on working to earn a scholarship at another school where you might have a better chance. Either way, you won’t know where you stand unless you ask.
Do I qualify for any other type of scholarship?
There are more scholarships available to athletes than through the team itself. If you have good grades or test scores, you might qualify for an academic scholarship which can help pay for part of your tuition or the cost of books. There are also merit scholarships that you need to consider to help pay for college. These additional scholarships can often be found on the school’s website, or you can ask the coach to help you find them.