How to get an athletic scholarship

Being a college athlete in the USA has many benefits; competing at a high level and combining it with your studies, having a team of physiotherapists at your disposal, being part of a stable team with daily training and also being eligible for an athletic scholarship.

The process of obtaining athletic scholarships can be very long and complicated. Therefore, we will explain below the key points to achieve this scholarship.

Step 1: Understand what division level your sporting skills are best suited to.

One of the most difficult parts of the process is understanding which division best suits your skills as a player. NCAA Division I (DI) teams are not for everyone. In fact, only a select few athletes compete at DI colleges. At MAE we will help you find out what level you are at to start looking at different universities that may be of interest. We will compile a list of universities, which will be reduced throughout the process, taking into account the location, academic and athletic level, budget and culture of each university.

If you want to learn more about the different American college sports leagues, click here.

Step 2: Gather all necessary information

Before you start communicating with coaches, you will need to gather the following information to create a sports resume:

  • Sports video highlighting your best skills
  • Sports statistics and results
  • Academic records
  • SAT Notes
  • English test(TOEFL or Duolingo)

Once we have all this information, we will proceed to contact universities and coaches. At this stage, it would be interesting to check all your social media accounts and make sure there is no inappropriate content, as coaches will be looking for you on all social networks and we don’t want them to make their decision based on something you posted.

Step 3: Begin communicating with varsity coaches.

As we receive offers and interest from coaches, we will contact you for the first interviews. Every trainer receives hundreds of messages a week, so make sure you pay attention to your mail. At MAE we help you prepare for interviews before meeting with coaches.

Step 4: Manage the university’s hiring process.

As you develop relationships with different coaches, we need to make sure that we take certain actions to ensure that the recruiting process keeps moving forward:

  • Verify that you are still eligible. There are very specific requirements that must be met in order to be eligible to compete in college.
  • As you make your college choice decision, it is important to continue to communicate with college coaches by keeping them updated on your latest videos and statistics, both athletic and academic.
  • Sometimes coaches require to apply to the university before they can give an estimate on their offer, so we will have to make a series of previous arrangements with the university.

Step 5: Evaluate your athletic scholarship offers.

At this stage of the process, you are preparing to close your offer and negotiate a scholarship. To get the best offer, we will compare the financial aid packages available at each of the colleges that have made you an offer. If a coach does not have the budget to provide you with an athletic scholarship, the university will most likely try to make up the difference with academic or international scholarships, based on merit or simply because you are international. Be sure not to rule out other types of scholarships as you make your final decision. We will advise you so that you can make the best decision based on your preferences.

As you go through each of these steps, you must remember that the recruiting process varies greatly for each student-athlete. At MAE we are in charge of advising each student individually, assessing their skills as a student and athlete, contacting coaches and being aware of any updates that may occur during the process.

Ready to take the first step towards an athletic scholarship in the United States?

Don’t miss our blog posts where we explain the different types of universities, the entrance exams to American universities, and the different organizations that offer athletic scholarships in the USA.