Sports scholarships for Student Athletes

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    Most student athletes dream of playing sports at a higher level. Many also dream of gaining sports scholarships. Those are two of the reason we work so hard to develop our skills, no matter what sport we play.

    As high school comes to an end, some lucky players receive opportunities through sports scholarship and some are able to play in college as walk-ons.

    Picture courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

    Yet, for many more the chance of playing college sports remains a dream.

    Those students may not realize it, but they have a great opportunity to continue their athletic careers in college. However, it may not be at the division I university they had always dreamed of.

    It could be at the division II, III or lower levels. Regardless, you could be continuing your athletic career. In some case, players at the lower levels may still have a chance at playing professional sports in some capacity.

    According to ScholarshipStats, there are 177,559 athletic scholarships available. Breaking that down between male and female, that makes 92,658 for men and 84,901 for women.

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    Picture courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

    Keep in mind that the 177,559 total is for all NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA schools combined. Schools can also give out partial scholarships, splitting one full-ride between two players.

    Let us look further into the amount of sports scholarships available to athletes.

    Division I schools give out a total 74,243 scholarships to players. That sounds like a lot until you realize that 38,354 go to men and 35,889 go to women.

    Those numbers get shrunken down even more when you consider the 348 universities at the DI level. For that reason, USNews explains that most coaches “slice and dice” the scholarships.

    By dividing the scholarships, more players can benefit. And in turn, the university’s sports teams benefit.

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    While DI schools maybe difficult to get into if you want to play sports, division II could offer you a chance to play at a high-profile college.

    However, the amount of sports scholarships are fewer. Only 36,343 are handed out; and remember, those are then divide between men’s and women’s sports.

    USNews suggests student athletes consider playing at the division III level if they want to prolong their athletic careers. Unfortunately, DIII does not give out sports scholarships.

    File:University of Alaska Fairbanks Men's Basketball Team.jpg
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    It does give out special financial awards, however. Students will need to prove themselves in the classroom as well as on the sport field or court.

    In addition, DIII schools are typically private, small institutions. Student athletes can achieve a great deal while attending the schools.

    The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association could be two of the best options for players that want to continue their careers.

    The NAIA is for “smaller” sports programs, yet the schools still give out more than 25,000 sports scholarships a year.

    The NJCAA gives out more than 40,000 sports scholarships a year and the level of talent is quite high. Athletes playing at an NJCAA school typically use the junior college as a springboard to a higher profile four-year institute.

    Picture courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

    Playing sports in junior college is a great way to get an education and to get seen by top coaches and even professional scouts.

    There are somethings to remember when it comes to sports scholarships.

    Firstly, they are not guaranteed. A player’s sports scholarship has to be renewed each year. If your grades are not cutting it, then you can lose it. Moreover, if you are not performing on the field, court or track, a coach can take it away.

    Secondly, if you want to be discovered, you have got to do everything to get your name out there.

    File:Women's soccer action at Hudson Valley Community College.jpg
    Picture courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

    Contact colleges or SleeperRecruit early on to get your name out there. If you don’t, someone else will.

    Third, you should use social media. YouTube is one of the best ways to promote yourself. If you need help promoting your skills and abilities, contact SleeperRecruit.

    Finally, college sports experts stress that you should be realistic when choosing a college and athletic scholarship. In the end, few college sports offer full-rides.

    For most college athletes, a sports scholarship simply helps to lower the education costs rather than pay for everything.

    A college sports scholarship is a great way to gain an education. It is also a great way to continue your sports career. If you have the desire to work hard on and off the field, there will be a school for you. And, there may be a sports scholarship for you too.

    For more information, check out some information from the NCAA.