Scholarships (academic and athletic) are funds given to student athletes in order to help cover costs and make education affordable for everyone. These scholarships can help lower expenses such as tuition, accommodation, meal plan, health insurance, and books. Scholarships can partially or fully cover costs.
Athletic scholarships: Are funds given to an individual primarily due to their playing ability, their attitude and their overall value to the team. Athletic scholarship can be increased after each year, depending upon the individuals progress.
Academic scholarships: These are given to individuals who have good SAT/ACT and TOEFL scores or good high school GPAs. Each college/high school has different requirements in order to receive academic scholarships.
Stacking scholarships: A lot of colleges/high schools are able to stack both academic and athletic scholarships together to create a bigger package for the student-athlete. Each college/high school is unique in the type of scholarship package that they offer, some colleges/high schools have other scholarship opportunities which student athletes can seek to get.
College life can be very fun and rewarding, but it comes with its sacrifices. Each college campus creates its own type of environment. Some colleges have 20,000 students compared to other colleges that have 1,000. It is all about finding the college that fits your skill set. Attending a college in the USA helps improve individual growth. Better understand other cultures by surrounding yourself with diverse students and student-athletes. With constant guidance and support from your team, coaches, students and professors, there is no need to feel out of place. Challenge yourself physically, as you push yourself in team training sessions. Challenge yourself mentally, as you push to get good grades in the classroom. Challenge yourself to grow individually, as you take on new opportunities and explore new ideas. College life is one that is safe, fun and unique. Step outside your comfort zone, and take on this opportunity of a lifetime.
The organisations for giving sport scholarships are the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA. These are governing associations for college sports across the United States.
NCAA: 4 year colleges. The most esteemed and well-known association in the USA. There are three divisions of NCAA: Divisions 1, 2 and 3. Both division 1 and 2 are the only ones which offer athletic scholarships. Division 3 only offers academic scholarship. The NCAA counts around 450,000 athletes and over 1,200 schools. The divisions are not put into a ranking order or into promotion and relegation. A school is put into a Division 1,2 or 3 bracket often by its size, academic standing or by its financials- not because of the team's ability or results.
NAIA: 4 year colleges. Also a well known association. NAIA colleges play against other NAIA colleges. The NAIA is all categorized into one division. Schools in this category are often smaller, and receive private funding. There are almost 300 colleges in this category.
NJCAA: The NJCAA is a very unique opportunity. These are 2 year colleges. Once you complete your 2 years, you transfer to a 4 year college either in the NCAA or NAIA bracket to finish your last 2 years of school. Often student athletes that attend NJCAA colleges do not meet the academic standards of the NCAA/NAIA colleges. This grants a great opportunity to receive an associates degree after 2 years and transfer to a 4 year school. Like the NCAA, the NCJAA also has different divisions (Division 1, 2 and 3). These schools also fall into these divisions dependent upon the school, and not the team’s ability.
International students are allowed to work on campus after they attain a social security number. Students cannot work more than 20 hours a week. Students can work off-campus only under certain conditions (need to get CPT). CPT or Curricular Practical Training temporarily allows international students to gain practical experience directly related to their major through employment, paid or unpaid internship, and CPT has to be done before graduation. After graduation, students with F1-visa can apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) which will allow them to work within the US for one year after graduation.