Last updated: March 07, 2022
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.
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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.
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.
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.