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Top Athletic Scholarships for Students in December 2022
Sports are an important part of the high school experience. Practice, games, matches, and lots of hard work are put into your sport(s). Whether you are a football player, a tennis player, or a cross country runner, you will also have to think about how you will pay for college when the time comes. For athletes, athletic scholarships are one of the best ways to use your talent on the field to win money for college!
Jump ahead to:
- Top athletic scholarships in 2022
- How to win a college athletic scholarship
- Frequently asked questions
- Summary of top scholarships for athletic students
- Upcoming scholarships
- Explore these other scholarship categories
While many Division 1 and Division 3 colleges offer athletic scholarships to the top athletes on their varsity teams, many students are not able to going to be star varsity athletes in college. But don’t worry–there are tons of great athletics scholarship opportunities available for other students who do not intend to play sports in college. Keep on reading to learn more!
Top athletic scholarships to apply for in 2022:
- Eligibility: Students who subscribe to and read Gist Sports Media
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: Rolling monthly deadline until August 2022
- Eligibility: Female golfers who are high school seniors
- Amount: $2,000
- Deadline: April 30, 2022
- Eligibility: Student athletes who are high school seniors or in college
- Amount: $500
- Deadline: June 19, 2022
- Eligibility: Various criteria for high school and college students. All applicants must have USBC Youth membership
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Varies
How to win a college athletic scholarship
College scholarships for student athletes are available for students playing college sports at the Division 1 and Division 2 level. These scholarships can range from a partial scholarship to a full ride. Being a scholarship varsity athlete is a bit like having a full time job, which is why these scholarships can be so generous.
The catch is that in order to receive an athletic scholarship at a Division 1 or Division 2 college, you must be recruited to play. The recruitment process tends to be very competitive and can be quite complex.
If you are interested in this or wondering if you may be good enough to be recruited, we suggest that you talk to your high school coach for more information. Chances are that they have coached a student or two who has gone through the process and will be able to provide some insight to you.
Also, the National College Athletic Association has rules about eligilbity for potential varsity student athletes. Students will need to meet the eligilbity requirements, which include specific academic standards.
Related: Top sports related careers
Frequently asked questions about athletic scholarships
What sports give out full scholarships?
Theoretically, students could earn a full scholarship for any sport. There are no specific rules as to which sports qualify students for a full scholarship. That being said, there are certain sports that schools tend to allocate more resources to. These sports, such as football, soccer, hockey, and baseball, might be the ones that offer the highest number of full scholarships.
But you should also note that these more popular sports also have the toughest competition. You’ll be one of many talented student athletes vying for a limited number of spots. So, don’t make your sporting decisions purely based on the sports that give the highest scholarships!
Head-count vs Equivalency scholarships
Some D1 sports have rules as to how their teams can spend scholarship money. Some mandate that all teams offer full rides to each player, but only offer a certain number of full rides. These are called head-count sports. Others mandate that schools only offer a certain amount of scholarship money, but they can divide it however they want. This means that they may have a larger spread of players who don’t all get full rides.
To read more about how this works and which category your sport falls under, you can check out Athletic Scholarships’ article on the topic.
Which sports are good for getting scholarships?
According to RecruitRef, lacrosse, ice hockey, and baseball are the easiest sports to get a scholarship in. This is a complicated question, however, as the sports that often have the most money for scholarships are also the most competitive. So, you might have a better shot at a partial scholarship at a more obscure sport, but if you try to earn a scholarship in a more popular sport, you could end up with a more substantial aid package — even a full ride!
Ultimately, you’ll always have the best shot at a scholarship in the sport that you are best at and most passionate about. Sports scholarships are far from a sure thing, and if you devote yourself to a sport, you should do it because of your interest in the sport rather than a scholarship payoff. You’ll be a better player, enjoy yourself more, and have a better shot of earning a scholarship if you make you choice based on your interest and abilities.
Do student-athletes qualify for need-based financial aid?
Yes, student-athletes do qualify for need-based financial aid! You’ll have the same need-based aid opportunities as any other student. Any student athletes should ensure to fill out the FAFSA, and the CSS Profile (if your school requires it). If you show financial need, you should qualify for the Pell Grant, subsidized student loans, and other opportunities.
Furthermore, student athletes can apply for external need-based scholarships through other organizations. In addition to the scholarships on our list, you should check out our scholarship search tool. It’ll custom-match you to vetted scholarship opportunities and auto-update as deadlines close and re-open.
Do Division 3 athletes get scholarships?
Division athletes might get scholarships connected to their athletic potential, but it won’t function the same as D1 or D2 athletes. They will typically be a lower award, but they will also come with more flexibility. The student won’t be obligated to continue playing the sport through their college education. That means that you can earn a scholarship for your athletic achievements in high school, and should you decide not to continue the sport in college, you won’t be under financial stress to do so.
Also see: How to get soccer scholarships
What GPA do you need for an athletic scholarship?
The answer to this question can depend on a lot of different factors. If you are looking at D1 and D2 athletic scholarships, the schools will probably be less concerned with your grades; you’ll want to have maintained a passing average, but if your main selling point is your athletics, your GPA won’t be the deciding factor. That being said, a high GPA is always a plus when applying for schools.
If you are hoping to play as a D3 athlete, your GPA will be very important in determining whether you receive a scholarship. When you’re applying to a D3 school, your athletic achievements are just a demonstration of your well-rounded potential and versatility as a student. They are not the main selling point, and even if you are a good athlete, you probably won’t have a good shot at a D3 athletic scholarship if you don’t keep a high GPA.
Do Ivy League colleges give scholarships?
Ivy League colleges give strong need-based scholarships but do not award merit or athletic scholarships. This applies as a rule to each school that is a member of the Ivy League. However, they have committed to meet 100% of accepted students’ financial need.
Although the term “Ivy League” as acquired a colloquial meaning for any prestigious college, these rules only apply to the actual Ivy League in the technical sense of the term. These schools are as follows:
- Brown University (Providence, RI)
- Columbia University (New York, NY)
- Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
- Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
- Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
- University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
- Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
- Yale University (New Haven, CT)
Summary of top scholarships for athletic students:
- $1,000 GIST Sports Media No-Essay Scholarship
- Sara Scholarship
- Big Sun Scholarship
- United States Bowling Congress Scholarships
Upcoming athletic scholarships
- Eligibility: College students who combine outstanding bowling talents with academic excellence
- Amount: $1,000
- Eligibility: High school seniors or college students who are leaders in community service, athletics, or another extracurricular activity.
- Amount: Up to $50,000
- Eligibility: Open to all high school senior student athletes who have an unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher from ninth grade to first semester of 12th grade
- Amount: $20,000 (twenty awards!)
- Eligibility: High achieving high school senior student athletes
- Amount: $500 to $5,000
- Eligibility: High school juniors (class of 2022) residing in the USA who play a high school or club sport (must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher)
- Amount: $1,000 (over 100 awarded!)
- Opens: January 1, 2o22
- Eligibility: High school seniors with a 3.25 GPA or above who writes the most moving essay about sportsmanship
- Amount: $1,000