COMMUNITY COLLEGE ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS
Junior College Sports Recruiting
Junior and community colleges offer an ideal alternative for the student athlete seeking to develop both academic and athletics skills in an affordable and competitive environment. It is a great place to begin your college experience if for whatever reason will not be going straight to a four year university. Many scholarship opportunities are available, and the wise student will be able to navigate the admissions process and significantly negate, if not eliminate, tuition costs.
There are several reasons why an athlete might opt to spend a year or two in Junior College. One huge reason reason is financial. Many four year, degree-granting state institutions offer severely discounted rates to students that have received an associates (two year) degree from an in state community college. If the student happens to be an aspiring athlete at the NCAA or NAIA level, you can find great opportunities to continue to develop athletically while saving money and searching for scholarships.
Apart from financial need, scholarships to a college or university within the NCAA or NAIA may be more likely for some student athletes after a few years in Junior College. Junior College offers a platform for aspiring athletes to improve skills, build their athletic resume, and get noticed by coaches for performances at a level above high school. Moreover, competing at the Junior College level reflects an added dedication to the sport and to post high school graduation pursuit; an assurance of maturity that is by no means guaranteed from the average high school graduate. Additionally, admissions councils will carefully consider academic records from Junior College. Community college offers an opportunity to improve grades and increase the chances of admission to a better school afterwards.
Due to budget constraints and instances of under-staffing, Junior College coaches often are unable to actively recruit. It is therefore the responsibility of the athlete to make himself available to potential community colleges, and to sell himself and his talents to the coaches and athletic department. Scholarships are unlikely to be awarded to Junior College athletes that do not take these proactive steps. All the tools needed to take these steps can be accessed on this site.
It is also advisable that athletes entered Junior College who are considering the next step into the NCAA, should contact coaches of schools that they may be interested. This gives coaches a chance to come to competitions, meet athletes, and gain a sense of how an athlete would fit in their program. Junior College coaches are often willing to meet with NCAA coaches themselves, for they are well aware they only have, at best, two years with the athlete in question.
Junior College athletics has been governed by the NJCAA, the National Junior College Athletic Association, since 1938. Utilizing a three division system kindred to that of the NCAA, it is comprised of 15 men’s sports and 13 women’s sports. There are roughly 45,300 students that compete in the association’s 24 regions, and over 50 national championships are hosted every year.
Men’s sports: Baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, half marathon, ice hockey, indoor track and field, lacrosse, outdoor track and field, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and wrestling.
Women’s sports: Basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, half marathon, indoor track and field, lacrosse, outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball.