Sports Scholarships in the USA

You are a talented athlete and would like to study in the USA? Then sports scholarships in the USA are an option for you. With a sports scholarship, you can finance your studies primarily through sport.

Sport scholarships do not provide for the payment of money, but represent a reduction of the following costs:

  • tuition fees
  • accommodation
  • meals

Reasons for sports scholarships in the USA

At amateur level, competitive sport in the USA is usually not organised in clubs or club leagues. Instead, it is located at American universities and colleges. That is why university sport has a completely different meaning in the USA, which is more important than in Germany.

The sports teams, most of which are highly professional, are the flagship institutions of their respective universities, far beyond the borders of cities and federal states. Numerous spectators watch the league matches and competitions. The professional leagues recruit their players or athletes directly from the college teams. For this reason, the coaches of the university teams have funds at their disposal for recruiting not only local but also international athletes. Therefore, even very good sportsmen and women from Germany with high school or university entrance qualification can benefit from sports scholarships in the USA.

Requirements for a sports scholarship in the USA

The basic prerequisites for receiving a sports scholarship at a university or college in the USA depend on the general academic qualifications and the requirements of the relevant player authority.

The academic prerequisites are:

  1. At least advanced technical college entrance qualification, better Abitur
  2. A grade cut of at least 4.0 (GPA average at least 2.0). However, the individual requirements of the university must be taken into account here, which are usually higher.
  3. TOEFL test result of at least 80 points, including individual requirements of the universities
  4. Letter of recommendation from usually two persons
  5. Depending on the university, further application requirements may apply.

The sporting prerequisites for achieving eligibility are:

  1. SAT test result with at least 820 points
  2. No professional sporting commitment to date
  3. Some further criteria of the NCAA and NAIA respectively

Sports sponsored by sports scholarships

The following sports are recognized in the USA as college sports and can be sponsored with sports scholarships at universities. Unfortunately, no sports scholarships can be awarded in the USA for all other sports.

Sports for women

Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Equestrian, Fencing, Field Hockey, Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Rifle*, Rowing, Rowing, Rugby*, Skiing, Soccer, Softball, Squash*, Swimming, Syncronized Swimming*, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, Water Polo

Sports for men

Baseball, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Rifle*, Skiing, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, Water Polo, Wrestling, Wrestling

(*These sports are offered only by very few universities.)

Amount of sports scholarships in the USA and type of funding

The amount of sports scholarships in the USA usually depends on the individual strength of the athlete. For example, if a tennis player is higher in the team line-up due to his or her strength, he or she will receive a higher scholarship than a team mate in a lower position. (For tennis, the team is set up according to the level of play.

In addition, the amount of sports scholarships depends on whether a sport is sponsored for both women and men. For example, if the sport is only promoted for women in America, more money is available for coaches. In this way, more athletes can be supported, usually with higher sums of money.

Usually, a reduction of 50-100% of all tuition, board and lodging costs is granted for sports scholarships in the USA. Exceptional athletes sometimes even get extra money for books, flights and other things. However, this is rarely the case.

A characteristic feature of sports scholarships in the USA is that the scholarship amount changes over the years and with the strength of the athletes. Coach and players renegotiate each year. Athletes have to reckon with a reduction if performance decreases significantly. They can also talk to the coach about increasing their scholarship if they perform better. If a scholarship holder is injured during sports at the university, he or she will still receive his or her scholarship.

The following points may have a further (negative) influence on the amount of the scholarship:

  1. Academic achievement is below the minimum limit.
  2. A scholarship holder cheats on academic examinations and flies up.

Both points can feel that the sports scholarship is being reduced or that funding is being discontinued altogether. Scholarship holders should therefore always be exemplary students in addition to their sporting role in the team of the university team.

Duration of sponsorship through sports scholarships USA

Sports scholarships in the USA are paid for a maximum of 4 years. The duration is based on the length of time usually required for a Bachelor’s degree in the United States. Coaches are interested in recruiting athletes directly after leaving school. In this way, they can work with the athletes for as long as possible and increase their performance for the university’s internal team through intensive training.

Possible courses of study with sports scholarship

A sports scholarship secures the financing of a study course in the USA by the coach organizing a more or less high reduction in fees for the athlete with the help of his or her budget. The athlete receives this money for participating in university sports competitions for his team and for improving himself in the rest of the time with a lot of training to help the team to succeed.

The possible courses of study that can be taken by sponsored athletes are the same ones that regular students can choose. So every study programme is open to them, be it business administration, medicine, physics or foreign languages – even language courses are possible. In order to do so, they must meet the admission requirements of the respective degree programmes.

Organisation of a sports scholarship in the USA

In principle, a sports scholarship in the USA only secures the financing of a Bachelor’s degree. Sport itself has nothing to do with studying. However, prospective students must meet the corresponding requirements of their studies as well as regular students.

Through contact with US coaches and a lot of persuasion, it is possible to obtain a sports scholarship in the USA, including a player’s license. In order to do so, prospective players must be familiar with the complicated rules for eligibility (playing licence) of the NCAA, NCAA II or NAIA, depending on the league in which the future college will play.

Furthermore, in order to be able to take advantage of the scholarship at all, you must also be admitted to study.

If you are interested in a sports scholarship in the USA, you may know colleagues who have also studied in the USA. Maybe you already know one or two coaches of sports events. However, this should not hide the importance of using an agency (such as Sport-Scholarships. com) to organise a sports scholarship in the US. There are the following reasons for this:

  1. Coaches in the USA are very cautious with private applications from individual athletes due to many years of experience, as no agency checks the academic and athletic achievements before applying. Coaches have usually had bad experiences with private statements about the athletic and academic performance of potential applicants. An agency is much more trustworthy for the coaches.
  2. Experienced agencies have a network of coaches. This allows you to get a wider range of scholarship offers.
  3. Agencies present their clients in the best possible way to the coaches and can therefore achieve maximum high sports scholarships for the clients.
  4. Many scholarship offers mean many scholarships of different sizes – you can choose the best sports scholarship in the USA or the best deal.
  5. Many scholarship offers also mean many universities with many courses of study – only then can you find the ideal university in the academic sense.
  6. Agencies advise with regard to the academically correct choice of the university.
  7. The academic application process is a rather extensive bureaucratic process, in which an agency supports the scholarship organization with many useful tips.
  8. The Agency shall examine the basic requirements for a gaming licence before the application process for this licence is started.
  9. Obtaining a gaming license is a rather complicated process. Communication with the supreme supervisory authority is not easy and many questions have to be answered (correctly).
  10. If the client has not been satisfactorily mediated and is not able to deal with the problem on site, some agencies will refer him to another university free of charge.
  11. Agencies are available at all times before and after departure with other tips on studying in the USA.
  12. The price of the agencies for a placement is many times lower than the possible savings with independent organization. The reason for this lies in the provision of the highest possible sports scholarship with a large number of scholarship offers.