If you’ve always been good at sports, it’s only natural to think about getting a sports scholarship so that you can study at a top college and pursue an athletic career at the same time. But with many other young people vying for the same scholarships, you must make sure that you stand out from the pack. Here are 6 essential steps to secure a scholarship.
Have a Game Plan
The sooner you start, the better. You can start planning for athletic scholarships as young as 12-13, to build a solid track record. The first step is contacting a recruitment organization, like ASM Scholarships, for instance, that works with potentially thousands of universities you wouldn’t be able to reach on your own.
Each athlete is unique, so you will need a customized recruitment plan with a clear timeline. To put it simply, you need someone to teach you what you need to do, and when to do it. That means things like developing an online profile, preparing videos showcasing your skills, and looking at the exams you need to take to be granted a scholarship at a top university.
See if You’re Eligible
Being good at a sport in school is crucial, but not enough. You also need solid academic credentials to secure a scholarship. When you sign up with an organization, they will look at your grades to see what universities you qualify for. Maybe it won’t be an Ivy League school, but there are plenty of other great colleges looking for talented athletes like you.
An organization like ASM Scholarships will identify the exams you need to take and help you register for your SAT, ACT, or even TOEFL if you’re coming from a non-English speaking country.
With an impressive athletic resume, you might be offered a scholarship before these exams, on condition you do well in them. That will give you enough motivation to study very hard.
Knowing where you stand from an athletic and academic point of view will help narrow down those universities you are eligible for. If you have a management team, things will be much easier as they will launch a soft marketing campaign reaching out to those colleges best suited for your profile. Based on the results, you will be entering the real recruitment campaign, when you can expect interviews with coaches.
Getting a Commitment
This is the crucial stage of your campaign to secure a scholarship, as you will be receiving offers from interested universities, which your team will help review. In some cases, you might be invited to visit your future school.
This stage requires a lot of paperwork, but your management team will help with that. Important papers include the National Letter of Intent, which indicates the prospective student’s commitment to participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
US Entry Preparation
Athletes coming from a different country will need a student visa so your recruitment team will guide you through the whole process. That includes contacting the US Embassy in your country and making travel arrangements.
Pro Career Management
Your dream has come true and you got a sports scholarship, congratulations! You’re finally in college, but now you’re starting a pro career so you will still need advice and support. Have the team that helped you get there to guide you during your university years. They can arrange a transfer if your results are great and, most important, they will put you in contact with sponsors.
Getting a Sports Scholarship
Following the steps above will increase your chances of getting an athletic scholarship significantly. Following through the process is fulfilling, and it positions you to excel in your desired sport.