An athletic scholarship is something that has been forever immortalised as part of the American education system. Whilst some other countries do consider sporting prowess, the American school system is the only system in the world where sporting skill can be taken into account solely for the purposes of a scholarship. If you are unaware of how things like soccer scholarships in the USA work, we are here to show you what it’s all about.
The Concept of the Scholarship
Most players who participate in the four main sports in the US (American football, basketball, baseball, and hockey) are able to do so because they come through their college to play. Practically every team recruits direct from colleges. It is extremely difficult to make it onto a team either from abroad or through not going to college at all.
Scholarships are designed to help get people who don’t have the minds to earn academic scholarships or who don’t have the money to pay for college onto these teams. Typically, college education is prohibitively expensive. It means talents who happen to come from poor families would find it almost impossible to play at a professional level.
What about Academic Requirements
Many people believe that an athletic scholarship relies exclusively on someone’s ability to play football or basketball. This is not the case at all. Most soccer scholarships and football scholarships have an academic prerequisite. Most of the time, this isn’t a specific grade. It is a requirement to graduate from high school. In the UK, everyone graduates from high school regardless of what grades they get, but in the US if you fail to get a minimum grade you will not be allowed to graduate.
Therefore, it’s impossible to get through on sporting prowess alone. Someone who earns a scholarship must have a certain amount of academic intelligence or it can be withdrawn.
How to Get a Scholarship
Athletic scholarships must be applied for formally. Most of the time, students at their current schools are notified by a coach that they may stand a good chance of winning a scholarship. Not anyone can simply apply for a scholarship. They must follow specific procedures to become eligible for one.
Only specific schools can provide scholarships. These are divided into divisions. Only division one and division two schools can offer them. Division one schools are the largest schools, and therefore usually harder to get scholarships for. Division three schools are schools that do not perform at the top collegiate level.
Receiving a scholarship requires some element of luck and some element of timing because competition is fierce. A perfectly able student may fail to get a scholarship one year because of the intense competition on offer, whereas if they had applied a year earlier or a year later they may have sailed through the process.
Overall, each school will have its own set of academic and athletic requirements. Students should turn to their schools for more information on how they can best go about increasing their chances of winning a scholarship.
United Sports USA are experts in getting talented students into soccer scholarships. They can show you what you need to do to stand out from the rest of the crowd aiming for football scholarships.