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MAIN Arrow to EducationEducation Arrow to College ScholarshipsColleges College Sports Scholarships

College costs in the US are expensive and are continuing to go up.

Most families don't have enough set aside to cover a year's worth of tuition, fees, books, room and board and the bulk of the money for college winds up coming from loans.

Meanwhile, there are athletic scholarships, grants and other programs to help high school graduates and their families finance the cost of a college education.

The problem is getting the right information, getting it in time, and getting in touch with the right people.

While there are many consultants who are willing to hold your hand and walk you through the process, for a fee, doing it yourself is not as complicated as it might seem.

College athletic scholarships - how to apply

Starting in junior year of high school, or even earlier, is the best way to make sure that you have all the information you'll need in time to get the applications processed.

Examine ALL of your options. Search for all of the schools that meet your academic requirements first, and then narrow your focus to those schools that offer scholarships in your sports. Begin by looking at the colleges you qualify to attend. A brilliant high school sports career won't get you accepted to an Ivy League school if you have a 2.0 GPA.

If your grades don't qualify you to attend a school, don't waste your energy, or the coaches' time, by applying for scholarships.

Once you have narrowed down the schools you are interested in AND eligible to attend, get busy contacting the coaches individually. Brush up on National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recruiting and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) recruiting rules before you begin the process. These are the people who govern college sports for most of the schools where you'll be applying.

Make sure you have a good, realistic resume and action videos of your sports events. You'll also need letters from your current and past coaches to back up your claims. Also, be sure to include copies of any press notices from your local newspaper sports pages.

No matter what sport you play, athletic scholarships are highly competitive, but most college teams are eager to find good recruits. You don't need to be the star of your high school team to qualify for a college sports scholarship, but you do need to be able to play on a college level team. Most coaches will be thankful that a good prospect got in touch with them.

Good luck!

also see in Your Money -> A beginner's guide to college financial aid

More about college sports scholarships around the Web:


College Athletic This is a free e-book to download or read online. It has all of the information you'll need to get you college sports scholarship recruiting drive in gear plus tips on other grants and links to other resources that will help you succeed.

Scholarships - From a different perspective, here is the rundown of the number of scholarships (basketball heads the list) available at US colleges and universities nationwide.

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