If you’re a high school student-athlete looking to take your game to the next level, you should be doing everything you can to earn an athletic scholarship from a top college or university.
In this article, we are going to take you through the types of athletic scholarships as well as explain how to get recruited by college programs, and ultimately, how to land one of those scholarships in your sport.
Types of Athletic Scholarships
Basically, there are two types of athletic scholarships: “head count” and “equivalency” scholarships.
Head count scholarships are awarded in the following sports: basketball (Division 1 men’s and women’s), football (Division 1, gymnastics (Division 1 women only), tennis (Division 1 women only), and volleyball (Division 1 women only). These scholarships are typically full scholarships, which means the school pays the full amount of your education.
With equivalency scholarships, programs are given a certain amount of scholarship funds, and divide these funds among the athletes.
The following sports qualify for equivalency scholarships: all Division 1 sports except those that qualify for head count scholarships, all NCAA Division 2 sports, all NAIA sports, and all junior colleges. The amount of the scholarship funds available can vary depending on the program and school.
How to Get a Sports Scholarship
Use these strategies to help you get noticed by college recruiters and put yourself in position to win a scholarship. Of course, there’s no exact blueprint, and everyone’s experience is different, but doing these things will set you up for success.
1. Create a shortlist
Shortlist the schools where you are going to apply for a scholarship, with your athletic talent, academic level, and personal requirements in mind. Ideally you should have a list of 20 or 30 schools. Be aware though that not all colleges and universities offer athletic scholarships, and Ivy League schools are among them.
2. Get in contact with coaches
Source information about the coaches that work at the shortlisted schools. Write down their emails and phone numbers. Then contact the coaches with your information, which should include detailed statistics of your sports career and some game tape.
3. Stay connected
If you’re really good or play for a notable program, coaches will reach out to you. Respond to each email or call that you get and ask any questions you may have as you communicate with recruiters. Even if you’re not originally interested in the program, keeping in touch with all programs that contact you to keep your options open.
4. Participate in summer camps where you can get noticed by coaches
There are so many notable sports programs that will both help you develop your game or get noticed by programs that did not previously have you on their radar. Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs offers a series of sports camps that help athletes take their skills more seriously and develop them for the college level. Later in this article, we’ll dive into more specifics about what is offered.
5. Maintain high academic standards
Be aware of academic requirements and NCAA/NAIA rules and regulations. Register with the NCAA and NAIA Eligibility Centers for athletic scholarships.
Football and Basketball Scholarships
Other than consistently working on your game, that’s the basic rundown of what you need to do put yourself in a position to get an athletic scholarship. Now, we turn our focus to the two most popular college sports in the United States: football and basketball.
How to get a football scholarship
Football scholarships are the most popular types of athletic scholarship in US colleges and can often have the most intense competition. To get recruited for a football scholarship, it is important that you have a video recording of your full games or season highlights.
You should also have detailed stats such as 40-time, board jump, vertical, 5-10-5 shuttle, bench and squat numbers. You should share your game schedule and a list of football summer camps or combines that you plan to attend in the offseason.
Finally, be aware that the recruitment process differs depending on your position. For example, a great quarterback is more likely to receive a full scholarship than an offensive lineman.
How to get recruited for college basketball
College basketball scholarships are offered at levels such as NCAA D1, NCAA D2, NJCAA, and NAIA. The number of available scholarships is based on the program’s funding. Not all schools offer full scholarships, and some schools have limits on scholarships for international athletes.
To get recruited for these scholarships, it’s important to be seen. You need to standout on your high school team or play for a high-profile AAU program. Like football, it’s important to send college programs your game tape, highlights, schedule and statistics.
Increase Your Chances for a Scholarship with Sports Summer Camps
Extracurricular activities are important for any college and any scholarship, and a sports scholarship is not an exception. As we have already mentioned, many coaches require a resume with a list of accomplishments, sports summer camps that you have attended and game tape.
Please take a look at sports programs that JKCP offers to help athletes develop their skills:
- Villanova's Nike Showcase Boys Soccer Camps - Consider Villanova soccer camp as a great opportunity to increase your chances of gaining a soccer scholarship. You will play in front of dozens of college coaches while getting a feel for college-level drills and competition. Train with Villanova head coach Tom Carlin, sharpen your recruitment strategy, play and hear from leaders in sports science, psychology, nutrition, and more. Villanova’s Nike Soccer Showcase is a critical head start on your way to an athletic scholarship.
- Nike Basketball Camp at JKCP Enrichment - This program allows you to combine the Nike Basketball Camp and one of JKCP’s enrichment activities. During the camp, you will work with some of the country's best coaches and teachers in a fun, safe and educational setting. You will build upon your basketball skills, prepare for your future, experience something new, and gain more confidence in your game.
- Julian Krinsky School of Tennis. - This program offers five tennis tracks with personalized electives. Our teaching professionals are affiliated with USPTA, PTR, ITF and trained at the Julian Krinsky School of Tennis. You will be instructed in small groups, which means you will get personalized attention. Our pros come from around the world and are some of the best tennis coaches there are. They have played in international tournaments, and they know what it takes to make it in tennis.
Now you are aware of how to get recruited, you can start putting yourself in a position to compete for sports scholarships. We hope that our tips will help you and increase your chances of winning a scholarship and becoming a star athlete at the college level.