Financial Aid for Athletes: How Good Grades Help You Get an Athletic Scholarship

Question..What is an academic scholarship?

Answer.. An academic scholarship is an award or grant based on a students test scores or grades.

Coaches That Recruit Better Students Can Build  Better Teams

Many high school student athletes have high aspirations of attending college and playing a sport during these years. The chances of a student athlete getting accepted into a college, and actually attending the school and playing a sport there, is much greater if the student receives a scholarship. To be eligible for scholarships, the student must have an academic record that demonstrates good grades.

Recruiting Process

College coaches are known to recruit high school athletes. This occurs because a student demonstrates high athletic abilities, and the coach desires to have that student on his team. In order for this to happen, however, the student may need an athletic scholarship. A common problem occurs when a student cannot earn a scholarship because his grades are poor.

If a student, on the other hand, has good grades, a recruiting coach may push to offer that student an athletic scholarship. In this case, the chances of the student receiving the scholarship are much greater because the student has a good academic record.

Coaches do not look for students who possess athletic abilities only. They look at a number of things, but primarily they look at a student’s academics and dedication to the classroom. Students who demonstrate high ethics and abilities in both athletics and academics are more apt to receive athletic scholarships.

Grades Matter

Because of the way the recruiting process works, college coaches have a limited number of scholarships they can offer. A coach will work with prospective student athletes and the financial aid office to first determine if a student is eligible for financial aid. If a student qualifies, the amount of the scholarship decreases, leaving more money for scholarships for other students.

Another factor that plays a role in this occurs when students are eligible for academic scholarships. If a student athlete can earn an academic scholarship, the coach again does not need to offer an athletic scholarship, leaving more money for other students. This can only happen when a student has good grades, and this is one key reason why grades matter.

To qualify for academic scholarships, a student generally must have a 3.5 GPA or higher, 25 ACT score or higher, 1200 SAT score or higher, and must rank within the top 10 percent of the class. Every college or university may have different requirements — these are approximates.

Other Options

Students who really want to go to college have a much higher chance of going if they have good grades. There are all kinds of grants, scholarships, and programs available to students. Students interested must apply, and again, the chances of receiving any of these will vary depending on the grades of each particular student.

One key aspect of receiving financial aid, or academic scholarships, is that they will continue throughout the entire school year, and possibly throughout the entire four years at college. With an athletic scholarship, if a player quits the team or is cut from the team, the scholarship is gone. If the student does not have another way to pay for the education, he may be forced to drop out.

Bottom Line

Students with poor grades and test scores will not qualify for any type of academic scholarships. In many cases, students with poor grades are not even accepted to any colleges. Students with good grades have many more options and opportunities for attending college and playing a sport.

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