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Reach for the sky 


Athletics Scholarships in the US 


Applying for an athletics scholarship in the States is complicated. Even more so than a normal academic application! We have tried to explain some of the intricacies of application below so that families have a better understanding prior to contacting us. Even though this is a complicated process, past successful applications include securing scholarships for students in tennis, basketball and soccer. 


To be eligible, a student must excel in a sport recognized by the NCAA. Please note that not all colleges have all recognized sports. There are three divisions in the NCAA. Division One and Two have money for sports scholarships. Division Three must rely on scholarships for financial need or academic merit to attract athletes.  As a result, Division Three schools (the American term for universities) might be a preferable solution for the international student athlete. To explain this in more depth: 

  • Division Three schools attract athletes for academic merit or for financial need, and these are generally renewed every year for all four years, whether the athlete continues to play the sport or not. For example, an athlete who suffers an injury is not deprived of his/her scholarship. You still have to promote yourself and your athletic achievements, but if the coach is impressed, his/her recommendation will play heavily with the admissions department. 


  • The chance of winning an athletic scholarship for an international student in Division One and Division Two schools is far more remote. For the number of student athletes just in the US, there is money for one per cent or less, and this is for the major sports (football, basketball, volleyball). For example, US News reports that nearly 603,000 girls compete in track and field in high school, but they are competing for around 4,500 scholarships.

  • In addition these athletics scholarships are generally not “full-ride.” According to the US News, the average athletic scholarship is about $10,400 (with tuition, room and board at nearly $70,000 for private colleges, this is a small amount). Excluding football and men's basketball, the average scholarship drops to around $8,700.

  • Finally sports scholarships are not guaranteed for the full four years. The renewal is at the coach’s discretion, so pressure is on the student athlete to perform, perhaps to the detriment of his/her studies.

      How can we help? 

  • After the initial consultation, Shirley, our American counsellor, will give an honest assessment as to the likelihood of obtaining a scholarship and at what level of university.  


  • We will then research the most hopeful schools which will consider your application, and create lists of possible colleges. 


  • We provide advice on building your campaign including assistance with the letters, the digital material and the references which will be required. 

  • We will ensure you are in touch with the relevant coaches at the colleges. 

  • As with all of the American applications, we assist with the Common Application Process. 


Please note: we can advise and support the application but the majority of input has to come from the student, which requires a high level of commitment and a great deal of work.  Shirley always advises to START EARLY! 

Our support through the application process is explained here.

To book a consultation please make contact through the Contact Form.


Shirley Lambert BA Poli Sci Wellesley
MLS Simmons MBA Colorado TEFL 

Shirley's advises,


"It is very important to START EARLY. Tenth grade is not too soon to start, especially if your sport is a summer one. The start of 11th grade should be when you begin your application campaign. We can help. We can provide advice on creating your campaign, help create lists of possible colleges, and assist with the kind of letters you need. But the bulk of the work is for the student, and it is very time-consuming. So START EARLY!!"

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