Yes, its true! You don’t have be an ESPN rated…Rivals.com or a 5 Star rated athlete to earn a full or partial athletic scholarship from a college or university. All you have to be is determined…determined to earn that scholarship. How do you go about earning an athletic scholarship?
There are several things you must do in order to earn your athletic scholarship. If you are a senior or junior, you must first register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. See our previous blog post on how to register with the NCAA. Once you have registered with the NCAA a succession of things must be done to get the get-ready assembly line rolling.
Here are the six steps for getting an athletic scholarship
Take College Entrance Exams
Begin to prepare to take one or both of the major college entrance exams SAT or ACT. The few weeks prior to the start of school is a good time to begin studying for these exams. It is suggested that you sit for one or both of these exams within the first few weeks after the start of school.
Create a Top-Ten List
Create a list of colleges and universities in which you have a strong interest. I suggest you develop a top-ten list. Research the schools on your list. Go on-line and gather as much information as possible about the schools you have selected. Be sure you check their academic entrance requirements.
Connect with your Guidance Counselor
Once the school year has started, visit your guidance counselor or college advisor to make sure you are on-point for meeting all requirements for graduation.
Build your Athletic Portfolio
When your sport season begins start building a portfolio of your athletic accomplishments. In that portfolio be sure to include accomplishments from your previous years of athletic participation. The most common way to start building a portfolio is through the use of video. Most high schools videotape their football games. Some high schools may videotape their basketball games. If you participate in what is referred to as a ‘minor’ sports, i. e., volleyball, golf, tennis, track, and field, etc., you may need to have a family member, close friend, or faculty member videotape the athletic events in which you participate. Once you have accumulated a good amount of footage, you can begin to make a compilation DVD. The DVD can be uploaded to YouTube or you can duplicate the DVD into several copies for distribution. The second part of building a portfolio is to gather all sorts of data on your athletic accomplishments, including scoring statistics, rankings, awards, and still photos.
Contact Potential Athletic Departments
Contact the athletic department of each college on your top-ten list via email. Look for the email address of the coaches in your sport. Send the Recruiting Coordinator or Head Coach of your sport an email expressing your interest in becoming a part of their program. You will get a quick response with a questionnaire. Be sure to complete the questionnaire to the fullest. At their request send copies of your portfolio.
Solicit Letters of Recommendation
Request your high school coach to send a letter of recommendation that highlights your athletic skills. Have the coach include a line or two about your good citizenship. Give each school two to three weeks to evaluate your information, some of which they will retrieve from your NCAA registration, and then contact them on your status for receiving a scholarship. Continue to follow-up each week after the initial contact following their receipt of your portfolio and other academic information.
In these United States, there is a school waiting for you to participate in their athletic program.