With much popularity among college sports, American football ranks among the top scholarship sports.
For a student, scholarships make college affordable and allow you to access quality academic and football training resources. As such, a scholarship broadens your opportunities in the sport and job market without driving you into massive debt.
This article outlines the procedure for securing a college scholarship and the eligibility criteria for various associations.
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Types of American football scholarships
Football scholarships differ in terms of the division a school ranks in and the agreement your institution offers you. However, scholarships may cover your tuition fees, accommodation and maintenance, thus reducing the need for extra financial support.
A full-ride scholarship covers all college-related expenses, while a partial scholarship caters for a fraction of selected expenses. Partial covers may cater for full-tuition exempting maintenance or a fraction of your tuition fees.
There are various governing bodies and criteria which determine the scholarship thresholds for various institutions. However, these will be tackled later in the article. First, let’s look at the procedure for joining the American football programs at the university.
- Build a strong academic profile and excel on the field
American football scholarships are contested for by a large number of students. As such, you require to stand out from your counterparts by getting higher grades and showing more skill on the field. This makes it easier to join a higher-level institution and secure a better scholarship deal.
For this, you need to work on your high school performance and exceed the thresholds set for various tests. A good score ensures not only eligible for the various associations but also compliance with the school entry requirements.
It is thus critical to consult a guidance counsellor when starting in high school, to discover courses that meet the collegiate association requirements.
To qualify for a collegiate association, you require a minimum of 400 points on the math and reading section of the SAT or a minimum of 37 points in the ACTs.
- Register with the relevant football association
Towards the end of your sophomore year, register with the NCAA, NAIA, or another collegiate athletic body for scholarship consideration. Before doing this, however, consult their site to ensure that you have attained the requirements for a scholarship.
While NCAA division one offers more full-ride scholarships and higher scholarship amounts, it is highly competitive than Division II.
Although division two comprises smaller universities and is less financed than Division I, it is less competitive and promising in terms of the time you get on the field. This is because institutions in Division II institutions are allowed lesser scholarships per year.
- Enrolling for a college program
When enrolling for a college program, it is essential to catch the coach’s eye. In most cases, coaches have not seen you perform thus cannot gauge how well your skills fit their team and tactics.
For this, it is recommendable to attach a short clip comprising your top performances in various games. Additionally, train hard for the evaluation play and perform as best as you can. By doing this, you show how much an asset you could be to the college, thus improving your enrollment chances.
If possible, engage your high school coach for tips to improve your enrollment chances. Upon being enrolled, ensure to understand the terms of your scholarship and the actions that may nullify your scholarship.
It is critical to note that a national letter of intent is better than a verbal agreement. This is because it is legally binding as opposed to a verbal agreement with the coach. For this, enquire with your coach and learn the terms of the contract before committing to the scholarship terms.
A college athletic scholarship is an excellent option for accessing quality academic and training amenities without being buried under debt. Like all academic decisions, however, landing a scholarship deal requires time and consideration.
As such, ensure that you seek advice from various parties to ensure that you make a suitable decision.