If you think athletic scholarships are easy to get – (and they are one way of financing your college education if your being scouted by colleges to play sports) consider the following. Approximately 3% of all student athletes receive any type of athletic college scholarship from the college of their choice. Like any other scholarship, there are few awards and many potential recipients, so the best advice for any student, athlete or not is to be proactive in all other various types of scholarship applications because the odds are clearly against you. If your being advised that sport scholarships are one of the easy scholarships to get, then look elsewhere for advice.
Even if you are confident that your college expenses will be completely covered by a full ride sport scholarship, you should still minimally apply for federal financial aid by filing a FAFSA1 and also apply for state2 and local grants. Grants are free money that do not need to be repaid. Filing a FAFSA automatically submits your information to the federal and state grant programs. Upon receiving your financial aid package, you will learn of all state and federal grants awarded to you. Grants can be applied in addition to any athletic scholarship a particular college may award, even if the combined aids exceed your balance. Excess dollars may be used for books and any other college expenses that may arise. Once awarded, grant money is yours to use as you see fit. However, grants should be applied for as early as possible while money is still available.
For non-athletic scholarships, considerable time and effort should go into searching out and completing the required forms. Many students are turned off from the paperwork and only apply for a few of the easier scholarships. However filling out many scholarship applications on a daily basis, can in essence become like a part-time job, taking time and effort in order to reap the monetary benefits. You should look at it this way too!
If your high school has a Career Center, visit it often, as local and national scholarship3 applications are added and updated often. Your high school guidance counselor can also be a wealth of easy scholarship information, especially in the absence of a formal Career Center. When searching for simple scholarships for which to apply, make sure to read the guidelines and qualifications carefully to spend your time on those you have the best chances of winning. But in contrast also ask your counselor if there are random scholarships that often go unawarded. If you come close to meeting the qualifications, it may pay off to fill out the information as most committees would rather award the money than not.
Many students also choose to focus their efforts only on large scholarships, forgetting that several small easier scholarships add up quickly. After all; the more scholarships you apply for, the more money you have the potential of earning towards your higher education.
Unfortunately every year some students, athletes and non-athletes, do not plan ahead accordingly and utilize every simple scholarship opportunity available to them. If you apply for multiple types of easy scholarships, your safety net should be quite strong. But what happens if you’ve counted entirely on an athletic scholarship that falls through? A FAFSA1 form can be filed at any point during the current school year, so that should be the first course of action for a student in this position.
Also, students should contact their intended school’s financial aid office and ask for information on any available easy to apply scholarships, as some scholarships may not have been awarded yet. Additionally some unclaimed scholarship funds may become available close to the school year from students who choose not to attend. Most financial aid offices can also help students in financial need find an on-campus job that can help bridge the monetary gap. A student in this situation should learn from the mistakes made and remember that next year those missed financial aid opportunities will again become available. File and apply early.
If your an athlete wondering if you will be getting any athletic scholarships coming your way, just remember the odds are very much against you. Take matters into your own hands being proactive, and carry out the above plan of student aid actions because they simply seem to work for the many that do them. Don’t just sit on your hands and wait for an athletic college scholarship – work smart and you just might get an easy scholarship other then playing for a sport.