Athletic Scholarships for Men and Women

Last updated: April 23, 2019

Over 150,000 student-athletes are recipients of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Divisions I and II scholarships on an annual basis. While $2.9 billion in athletic scholarships is certainly something for students to get excited over, this doesn’t take into account the popularity and competitive nature of these athletic scholarships, nor will all accomplished athletes choose to attend a Division I or II school.

Many opportunities exist outside of key players like the NCAA and individual universities. For student-athletes performing at all levels, scholarships can originate from a wide variety of public and private benefactors, including local and athletic organizations, foundations, corporations, women’s groups and minority advocacy associations, to name a few. Whether it be football, gymnastics, golf or equestrian sports there are a wealth of scholarships available. Student-athletes just need to know where to look.

Better yet, we’ve compiled over 40 scholarships that can be narrowed down by a variety of filters to meet the individual needs of student-athletes and while matching their athletic discipline.

Student-athletes often face unique pressures when it comes to balancing academics and athletics. It is important to remember that success is not solely anchored in athletic accomplishment, but a combination of the both. In his speech, The Essence of the Student-Athlete, Ameer Abdullah reminded peers and the the athletic community about the importance of completing one’s college education.

“I have come to realize that life is bigger than football, and that my chances of long-term success in life will be greatly enhanced by completing my college education...the true essence of a student-athlete is someone who has the desire to educate themselves athletically, academically and personally.”
Ameer Abdullah, Heisman candidate and running back for the Detroit Lions

Abdullah’s speech and actions serve as a legacy and a pathway for other student-athletes to follow in pursuing their athletic and academic dreams.

Resources for Student-Athletes

Athlete Network Blog

Contains the latest articles for college athletes on fitness, nutrition, sports, life and leadership.

Game Plan

A student-athlete development blog with focus on advising, financial management, recruiting, leadership and time management.

Planning Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete

Comprehensive guide from St. Ignatius College Prep that includes a checklist grid students can use for tracking your recruiting contacts with colleges.

NCAA Eligibility Center

Helps student-athletes, parents, coaches and other who help students successfully navigate the initial-eligibility process.

NAIA Eligibility Center

Guides students through the process of determining eligibility for an NAIA college or university.

Probability of Competing Beyond High School

These charts show the estimated probability of competing in athletics beyond high school—both in college and professionally.

University Athlete

A communication tool connecting college coaches and student-athletes.

Sports Recruit

This recruiting platform built by former college athletes allows student-athletes to gain exposure and showcase their talent with a built in messaging system that connects players with coaches.


How to Pay for College



There are hundreds of scholarships for student-athletes, which are awarded by local organizations, private companies, societies and more.



Grants don’t need to be paid back and are based on your financial circumstances. They are usually funded by the federal government, your state or college.



While scholarships usually fund tuition, fellowships typically cover graduate study, research projects and abroad experiences without needing to be paid back.


Student Loans

You can borrow money from the government or a bank, but it needs to be paid back with interest. The federal government offers many loan options—fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for financial aid. If you need help, use our interactive guide to learn how to answer every question.


Federal Work-Study Program

Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay education expenses.


If you’re just beginning the process of finding suitable scholarships, make sure you’re prepared for the application process by starting a folder with the assets below.

Scholarship Application Preparation

Not all scholarships are based off of your GPA, but most need to verify your high school education to qualify. Try to get certified copies of your transcript early, so you have plenty of time to meet the deadline.
Although there are scholarship opportunities that aren’t merit-based, it’s valuable to take the SAT or ACT standardized tests in case it’s a scholarship qualification.
Your scholarship essay is what will bring attention to your application out of the pool of applicants. That’s why it’s important to craft a stand out piece that attests to your experience, adheres to the scholarship guidelines and most importantly, highlights your true personality.
Letters of recommendation are a true judgement of your character—something that can’t be revealed through your test scores or transcript. Reach out to former teachers, counselors or bosses, so that they can speak to your qualifications. You may also want to provide them with a resume that outlines your achievements and goals as well.

Athletic Scholarships

Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to sort by award amount and if you qualify for need-based aid.

NSCA Minority Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: October 15, 2021

This scholarship is designed to encourage minorities, ages 17 and older, to enter into the field of strength and conditioning. Applicants must be members of the NSCA. Also, they must demonstrate that they have been accepted into an accredited institution working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree in the strength and conditioning field.

NSCA Women's Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: October 15, 2021

This scholarship is designed to support women, ages 17 and older, to enter into the field of strength and conditioning. Applicants must be members of the NSCA and demonstrate they have been accepted into an accredited institution, working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree in the strength and conditioning field.

NSCA High School Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: October 15, 2021

This program provides funding to high school seniors preparing to enter college. Students must be members of the NSCA. They must also demonstrate their acceptance into an accredited institution, their intention to graduate with a degree in the strength and conditioning field, their goals beyond college, and their track record of community service.

U.S. Figure Skating Buch Family Academic Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: August 31, 2021

Based on athletic and academic achievements and financial need, the scholarship recognizes active amateur skaters who pursue excellence in both their academic and athletic pursuits. For full-time undergrad or grad student or a high school senior intending to attend a higher learning institution within six months of graduation. Applicants must be members of US Figure Skating.

U.S. Figure Skating Scholastic Honors

Amount: Varies

Deadline: August 31, 2021

Applicants must be eligible skaters and a current member of US Figure Skating. They must be a full-time student entering their junior or senior year of high school with a minimum GPA of 3.4.

Sideline Interactive Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: November 15, 2021

This scholarship is available to any current high school senior or college student in the US. Applicants must submit a 1000 word essay to the following prompt: "How sport helped my personal growth"