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Am I Good Enough to Get a Track and Field Scholarship?

If you are trying to get a track and field scholarship you need to find a program where you can be one of the best athletes in your event and score points at the conference/national level. Many athletes or parents of athletes are looking for over all time, distance or height requirements to get a scholarship, but there is no universal minimum; it comes down to your fit at each program. In this article, I explain how to review a team and conference to see if you have a good chance of getting a scholarship.

Step 1: Determine How Good the Current Athletes Are

Your number one competition for any scholarship are the athletes currently on the team. It doesn’t matter if you are the 10th best at your event in the country if the team has people who are better than you, it is going to be difficult to get a scholarship. Go to the team website and look at all of the athletes who are in your event(s). When you click on their bio’s, you are looking for four pieces of information

  • What year will they be graduating?
  • What are their best times/marks?
  • Did they place/score points at the conference level?
  • Did they compete/place at the national meet?

Step 2: Find Out What it Takes to Score Points at the Conference Level for Each School

Even if you might be the best athlete on a specific team, if you aren’t good enough to score points at the conference level, you might not get a scholarship. To determine what it takes to score points at the conference level, find the conference championship website and get the results for the last two or three years. Gathering the following information from the event(s) you compete in.

  • What did time/mark did it take to finish top 10, top 3 and 1st?
  • How many of the top 10 athletes were from the school you are considering? Where did they place?
  • What place did the school(s) you are considering finish?

Step 3: What Does it Take to Make it to Nationals and Place?

Depending on how competitive a program is, you might need to be able to score points at the national championship meet to get a significant scholarship. Find the results for the national championship for each division level you are considering. Look at the results of your event(s) for the past few years and note the following:

  • What did it take to make it to the championship meet?
  • What did it take to make the finals/score points?
  • What did it take to finish top 5, 3 and win?

What to do With All of the Information

All of the data you’ve collected is intended to help you find the schools where you have the best chance of getting a scholarship. Your best chance for a scholarship is finding a school where you will be needed most and where you can score maximum points at the conference and national level.

  • Best Scholarship Opportunity – You are looking for a school that is be graduating athletes in your events and where you can come in and be competitive at the conference and national level.
  • Good Scholarship Opportunity – If you can find a school where you can be the best in your event but not competitive (yet) for a conference or national title, there might be an opportunity for a scholarship.
  • Limited Opportunity for a Scholarship – If there are several athletes in your event and you don’t yet have the potential to score points at the conference or national level, it is going to be very unlikely you get a scholarship offer.

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