College Athletic Scholarships: The Truth

posted on: Oct. 12, 2012, 10:37 a.m. | tags: Web Star Recruits NCAA college athletic scholarships Scholarship

In some cases, it can be difficult understand the scholarship process. How do you get a college athletic scholarship? Does the NCAA award them? Does every school provide athletic scholarships? These are important issues that student athletes, parents, and high school coaches should learn about.

First of all, it's vital to understand that the NCAA does not award athletic scholarships. Individual schools that are members of the NCAA award college athletic scholarships.  Schools in the NCAA Divisions I and II, as well as those in the NJCAA, offer athletic student aid. Schools affiliated with NCAA Divisions I and II award over $2 billion a year in athletic scholarships to about 126,000 students. Schools associated with the NAIA also give athletic scholarships. 

Athletic scholarships are usually based on a yearly agreement. A student and school can sign the initial National Letter of Intent, and then the school must notify the athlete by July 1st of each year if the plan is to renew an athletic scholarship. Scholarships can be renewed for a maximum for five years within a six year period, as long as the student athlete is enrolled and takes classes without time off.  

A full athletic scholarship covers tuition and fees, room, board, and books for classes.  Partial scholarships cover some of the items on the list, but not all of them. According to the NCAA, statistics show that about 2% of all high school athletes receive athletic scholarships in college. Academic scholarships and Federal Pell Grants are other ways student athletes can generate income towards their college tuition.

Think about your college financing options. As you work to get recruited by the school of your choice, consider the ways you can pay for school. College athletic scholarships are one way to pay for school, but you have other options as well.