How to apply for a sports scholarship

high school athlete
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You’ve loved sports since you were little. Now, you want to see how far it can take you. With college on your mind, you might be thinking about applying for an athletic scholarship. Going to college on an athletic scholarship offers a lot of perks. You get to play the sport you love and earn your degree. You could even be picked up by a scout by your favorite team. However, there are steps you need to take if you want to make your dream a reality. Here’s everything you need to know about applying for an athletic scholarship.

Apply early

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is waiting until the last minute. You should start the process as soon as you’re eligible to do so. By the end of your senior year in high school, most university coaches have already made their decisions for the upcoming year. Applying earlier also give you time to work out any possible kinks in the process, like missing paperwork or improving your GPA.

Have a sports assessment

Your high school coach may know you well, but they might not have the appropriate credentials to perform a sport’s assessment. You can look for a local expert who can assess your performance and give you advice on how to improve. He or she will also highlight your strong points as well. This can help you take your health to the next level overall. If you’re not sure where to look, you can ask your family physician or the university you’re considering.

Create your portfolio

In addition to applying to university, you also need to create a portfolio. Even top athletes need to do so prior to reaching out to coaches for consideration. Your portfolio should include a cover letter, your academic CV, grade transcript and video clips of you playing. Make sure the video is clear and if possible, highlights some of your best moments on the field or court. Going to college can be stressful, especially when you’re playing an athlete. There are resources in place for both physical and student athlete mental health. You can speak to peer counselors and also utilize telehealth services to talk to assess any issues you encounter. If you’re not familiar with how telehealth works, you can look online for guides that explain how to use it to your advantage.

List your dream schools

There are thousands of community colleges and universities that offer scholarships. You can’t apply to them all, so make a list of the top ones you want to apply to. Once you determine which division you should be applying to, you then need to see which colleges offer that sport in that division. If you’re not sure how to do this, head over to the NCAA or NJCAA websites. You’ll find all of the colleges that participate in your division. You also need to consider the total cost of tuition, where the college is located and whether your GPA is high enough to be considered.

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