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Financial aid and scholarships specifically for high school athletes preparing to compete at the college level may be obtained from several sources and athletic associations. These athletic scholarships are awarded on a yearly basis and are renewed each year, except in extraordinary circumstances such as misbehavior or leaving a team.

Many collegiate athletic programs are regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). This organization offers the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete. The Guide includes information and guidelines relating not only to financial aid but also to recruiting, eligibility, and college freshman requirements. A free copy is available by calling 800-638-3731 or online at

NCAA offers these general guidelines for student-athletes: If you are enrolled full time in a Division I or II college, you may receive financial aid from the school that includes tuition and fees, room and board, and books. In addition, student-athletes attending a Division I college who haven’t met requirements may receive financial aid under specified conditions including athletics scholarships and need-based financial aid unrelated to athletics. At Division II colleges, students who are partially qualified may receive institutional financial aid, including athletically related financial aid as well as aid unrelated to athletics ability. If you plan to attend a Division III college, you may receive financial aid up to the cost of attend-ance (tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation, and other expenses incidental to attendance) if the aid is based on financial need and not associated with athletics ability.

NCAA offers many scholarship programs including:
  • School-Administered Athletic Scholarships. This program is for undergraduate student-athletes at Division I and Division II schools. These scholarships are partially funded through the NCAA and administered directly by each academic institution. (Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships.)

  • The Degree-Completion Award Program was created in response to the NCAA’s concern about graduation rates of student-athletes. Through this initiative, scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who have exhausted their athletics eligibility and institutional aid.

  • The Freedom Forum-NCAA Foundation Sports-Journalism Scholarship Program. The Free-dom Forum, through a grant to the NCAA Foundation, supports eight $3,000 scholarships to college juniors who have career goals in sports journalism and major in Journalism or have experience in campus sports journalism.
The program assists deserving full-time students in their final year of study and is designed to foster freedoms of speech and press while promoting quality sports journalism education at the collegiate level. Follow the link on the NCAA Scholarships and Internships page for more information on this program or contact them at The NCAA Foundation, P.O. Box 6222, Indi-anapolis, IN 46206-6222; 317-917-6222.

Other Athletic Associations

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) publishes the NAIA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete listing eligibility regulations, financial assis-tance policies, and recruitment policies. You can download the Guide online at Click on Member Services, Attend an NAIA school to access the link. You can contact NAIA at National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Committee on Student Loans and Scholarships, 1200 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64106-2304, or by phone 816-595-8000.

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), the governing body of intercollegiate athletics for two-year colleges, is at 1755 Telstar Dr., Suite 103 Colorado Springs, CO 80920; 719-590-9788. On the Web site,, click on the Athletes of Distinction tab to find out about annual awards that the NJCAA uses to recognize student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through performance, service, merit, or achievement. Student-athlete awards include the Dist-in-guished Academic All-American, the Aca-demic All-American by Sport and the Male /Female Student-Athlete-of-the-Year. Other awards include the Achievement Award, the Service Award and the Loyalty Award.

The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) ( is an association of Christ-centered collegiate institutions whose mission is to use athletic competition as an integral component of education, evangelism and encouragement. Criteria for choosing a student to receive NCCAA scholarships includes (not in any order): participation in athletics; participation in ministry in home church, school, community and the world; academic proficiency; and financial need. The NCCAA can be reached at 302 West Washing-ton St., Greenville, SC 29601; 864-250-1199; fax: 864-250-1141; e-mail:

The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) offers a College Athletic Scholarship Guide that can help you learn the rules of the game and teach you the stra-tegy and tactics of pursuing a scholarship. Their Web site at has a search engine that helps you find a college or university that offers scholarships in the location and sport you want. You can also use WSF’s search engine to access an extensive college athletic scholarship database, get eligibility information, and check submission deadlines. WSF is at Eisenhower Park, 1899 Hempstead Turnpike, Suite 400, East Meadow, NY 11554; 800-227-3988; fax: 516-542-4716, e-mail:

Additional Resources offers a $1.6 billion scholarship database that contains over 600,000 awards. Go to Use the Keyword Search which gives you a quick way to narrow down to a particular scholarship or group of scholarships. For example, entering the keyword athletic produced 114 results; you can also enter the keyword for your specific sport: basketball, soccer, women’s swimming, etc. to even further narrow down the available scholarships.

Source: see Web sites throughout article

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