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Athletic scholarship (sport scholarship) is a form of scholarship to attend a college or university or private high school that is awarded to an individual based primarily on his or her ability to play in a sport. These sport scholarships are awarded on the basis of the athletic capacities of the student and how they can contribute to the team. A coach decides who is awarded scholarships, and how much is awarded.
Sport scholarships are of two types: full and partial. Some college teams offer only full ride scholarships, called head count sports, while others offer full and partial scholarships, known as equivalence sports. Head count sports can give only a limited number of players on the team full scholarships. Sports of equivalence can offer full scholarships and can also divide full scholarships into partial scholarships and give more team members the athletic scholarships.
Whether you’re a talented athlete looking for a full-ride scholarship to your dream college or you’re more of a club sports athlete looking to play at a more recreational level, there are sports scholarships for both types, and everybody in between. There may be more or less competition based on your sport which will affect the amount of scholarship money and awards that can be paid out. It may be harder to break into a program for high-visibility sports such as football or basketball, and land a full-ride scholarship. Although college and universities are the most sought-after scholarships for sport, there are organizations and companies that reward student-athletes. Know your skills, value, and if you look into possible sports scholarships, do your research.
Explore our list of sport scholarships from various organizations and institutions available for outstanding international students below.
1. Newcastle University Sport Scholarships and Funding
The university awards sport scholarships and funding every year to students who have achieved highly in sports and want to build on their success and represent the university.
To be eligible for the scholarship, you must compete in one of the following Performance Clubs:
- American Football
- Rugby League
- Rugby Union
- Table Tennis
The scheme is open to regional/national/international standard within the last 12 months. Students should be part of a National Governing Body Performance Squad or equivalent.
Services received including:
- access to medical services, including physiotherapy and sports massage
- access to training facilities
- athlete workshop program covering topics such as sports physiology, nutrition, psychology, screenings, injury prevention and management, and lifestyle management
- branded sports kit
- mentoring/lifestyle support
- performance video analysis
- professional coaching
- small group Strength and Conditioning sessions
- sport science support
- upgrade to Gold gym membership
2. Fulbright Foreign Student Program
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. The Fulbright Foreign Student Program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide. Approximately 4,000 foreign students receive Fulbright scholarships each year.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is administered by binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies. All Foreign Student Program applications are processed by these offices.
The Fulbright Program provides orientation and enrichment opportunities to enhance the Fulbright Program experience in the United States.
More than half of all incoming Fulbright Foreign Students participate in pre-academic training, either English language training or Fulbright Gateway Orientations. Enrichment Seminars are organized in 16 different cities across the United States. Grantees also participate in specialized workshops with themes, such as From Lab to Market, focusing on research and entrepreneurship, U.S. Disability Rights and Global Health Innovations. Program funding is provided by the U.S. Congress through an annual appropriation to the U.S. Department of State. Foreign governments, colleges and universities and private foundations also provide direct and indirect support.
3. Cardiff Metropolitan University Elite Sport Scholar Award
The Elite Sport Scholar Award is designed for undergraduate, postgraduate and international students that excel in sport (including performance and/or coaching). The award is based upon a combination of academic merit and sporting achievements and can be applied for by students who meet the criteria.
Students who are successful in their application for the award will receive a package of scholarship benefits worth approximately £5,000 that includes:
- £1,000 discount from their program tuition fees
- Access to excellent facilities
- Active yoga and recovery sessions
- Performance workshops
- Sports medicine, including physiotherapy massage
- Sports science support, including nutrition, psychology, physiology, biomechanics
- Strength and conditioning support from UKSCA accredited staff
The award of scholarships are reviewed on an annual basis and students will be required to demonstrate their continuing commitment to Cardiff Met performance sport and their personal sporting development in order to continue to benefit from the scheme for the duration of their studies.
4. Royal Holloway University of London Sport Scholarships
For those of you who excel at sports there are sport scholarships available at Royal Holloway University of London. Each year the institution offers a range of sport scholarships to students with varying levels of ability from regional players to Olympic hopefuls. These scholarships provide levels of financial support up to £2,000 as well as a full support package.
All students accepted onto the scholarships will be expected to:
- Engage with Strength and Conditioning coaching where applicable
- Fulfil academic requirements and ensure all degree deadlines are met
- Provide publication material of achievements
- Represent Royal Holloway in the BUCS programme (league or individual) where applicable
- Represent themselves and/or their club at a regional, national or international level
Please note your sport must be recognised by Sport England in order to be eligible for a an athletic scholarship in this university.
5. University of Canberra Elite Athletes
The University of Canberra is dedicated to helping the elite athlete students balance their sporting commitments with their academic goals. This is done by:
- offering adjustment factors towards entry rank at UC
- offering the Elite Athlete Program.
As a member of the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Network the University of Canberra is has signed an agreement with Sport Australia (formally the Australian Sports Commission) and the Australian Capital Territory Academy of Sport to support the needs of elite student athletes. This support is offered through the Elite Athlete Office in conjunction with UC Sport.
If you are a student with the University of Canberra and you are pursuing your sport at an elite level, you may be eligible for the Elite Athlete Program.
To be eligible you need to:
- be a current UC Student
- be identified as an elite athlete by Sport Australia or the UC Elite Athlete Office
As part of the program you may receive the following:
- a specialised orientation session during Orientation Week
- advocacy within the university environment
- consideration for flexibility in the timing and location of attendance at Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Placements
- course advice and academic planning guidance
- flexibility for assessment deadlines based on your sporting commitments
- flexibility for attendance at lectures and tutorials (if practical) when you are unavailable due to sporting commitments
- support for cross-institutional studies where applicable
- the ability to tailor your workload to your sporting commitments
- the chance to extend the time you have to complete course work
- the opportunity to take more than one leave of absence to support your sporting commitments.