Sports Scholarships: What You Need to Know
Sports scholarships aren’t easy to come by. Most student athletes who get a scholarship don’t get a “full ride”. There are other scholarships and bursaries available, but the value and quantity vary from school to school. The best way to find information regarding the institution and what is available, is to contact the school directly. You can call, email or do research online. Many student athletes in Canada consider American Division 1 and 2 schools to have better athletic programs. However the costs are substantially different. Many of the Division 1 and 2 schools in the U.S. cost between $25,000 and $40,000/ year, while many Canadian schools cost between $5,000 and $7,000/ year. The cost of travel for both students and their families, exchange rates and the cost of living can add up. Staying and playing in Canada is often more feasible, financially.
In 2012-2013 CIS (Canadian Inter-University Sport) schools, which consists of Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Réseau du sport étudiant du Quebec (RSEQ), Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canada West Universities Athletics Association (CWUAA), provided $14.6 million in scholarships to student athletes. According the CIS web page the average scholarship awarded covered approximately 51% of tuition and compulsory fees. Of the scholarships awarded 57% went to male student athletes and 43% to female student athletes. The website also points out that scholarships are available in all CIS sports but the largest ones are awarded in basketball, hockey and volleyball.
Below is a list of CIS Sports for both men and women:
CIS SPORTS MEN
Cross Country Cross Country
Football Field Hockey
Track and Field Swimming
Volleyball Track and Field
CIS SPORTS WOMEN
Track and Field
Here are a few tips to try in order to have the best chance at securing an athletic scholarship:
1. Get an early start. Your freshman and sophomore years are building years. In you junior and senior years you should be proactive in the recruitment process.
2. Know what schools you might like to attend and look into their recruitment and eligibility requirements.
3. Educate yourself and make sure you are informed.
4. Make sure you maintain a high GPA so you can remain eligible to play. Academics still matter.
5. Actively contact coaches at the schools you are interested in. In your email or letter include info like: sports stats, position, awards, your coaches contact information, the name of your high school and the year you will graduate. You may even want to send a video or highlight reel if you have one.
6. Do research online, send for school brochures and make sure to pick schools that have academic programs you are interested in as well.
Being knowledgeable about the process can increase your chance at success. It is important to go after what you want. Remember it isn’t your parents, coaches or school’s responsibility to get you a scholarship. If you think you have what it takes, go for it. Apply for all the scholarships and bursaries available to you. Proactively seek recruitment. Keep your grades up and you might be just what a coach is looking for.