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What Does An Athletic Scholarship Pay For?

An athletic scholarship can pay for all or part of your college tuition, campus housing, meals, books and other fees.

College Sports Scholarships

In speaking with families from all around the world about scholarship opportunities at US universities and colleges, we’re frequently asked “what does a sports scholarship cover?” It’s a very common question that can be confusing at times, but it’s not as complicated as you may think.

A scholarship is a financial agreement that covers some or all of the costs associated with a university for one academic school year, which runs from August to May in the United States. That total cost of attendance for each university is broken down into a few specific areas:

  • Tuition
  • Campus Housing
  • Meal Plan
  • Books
  • Other Subsequent Fees

The total cost of attendance for each university varies, as does the percentage an academic or athletic scholarship may cover. Academic scholarship money is awarded by the university based on secondary/high school grades and SAT/ACT test scores. Athletic scholarship money is awarded by the coach based on their needs and how well they see you fitting into their team.

Academic and Athletic Scholarship Breakdown

Let’s say we have four different universities, all with a different total cost of attendance for one academic school year. Each one can offer a varying amount of academic and athletic scholarship money, which combine to reduce the total amount you must pay. Here are some examples:

School “A” offers you a 50% academic scholarship from the school and the coach offers you another 50% athletic scholarship. In this scenario, you would have 100% of the cost of attendance covered. You would not be responsible for paying anything.
 
School “B” offers you a 25% academic scholarship from the school and the coach offers you another 25% athletic scholarship. In this scenario, you would have 50% of the cost of attendance covered. You would then be responsible for paying the remaining 50%.
 
School “C” offers you a 10% academic scholarship from the school and the coach offers you another 65% athletic scholarship. In this scenario, you would have 75% of the cost of attendance covered. You would then be responsible for paying the remaining 25%.
 
School “D” offers you a 40% academic scholarship and the coach offers you a spot on the team, but can’t offer you any athletic scholarship money. In this scenario, you would have 40% of the cost of attendance covered. You would then be responsible for paying the remaining 60%, but would also be able to play on the team.
 

As you can see, there are different factors that determine what type of scholarship offers you can receive. You may receive both academic and athletic scholarship offers, or you may be offered just one or the other. They could add up to be a full 100% scholarship, or they may be a partial scholarship.

The key is to do everything you can to position yourself the best way possible. Start forming relationships with universities early, and ensure you’re keeping your grades up to increase your chances of receiving an academic scholarship. Utilize the CCR team to learn how to maximize your recruiting profile and update it often.

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