College Sports Scholarship – The Real Truth

If you are a high school athlete striving to get a college sports scholarship, there are some crucial facts you need to know. Only about 3% or so of all high school athletes make it to the college level, so knowing these facts can be a big advantage for you.

Fact #1 – Scholarships Are Not Just Given Out At The Big Schools

Everyone knows the big schools have athletic scholarships available, but many athletes neglect to consider many of the smaller schools across the country who also have scholarship money available. These smaller schools can be lower Division I, Division II, or NAIA schools. Scholarships are not given at Division III schools, but financial aid is available.

Fact #2 – Most College Sports Scholarships Are Partial Scholarships

Many athletes and their parents think they will get a full scholarship to play a college sport. However, most scholarships are only partial scholarships. They only pay a portion of your college costs. Only the elite top level athletes usually get a full ride scholarship.

Fact #3 – Scholarships Are Given Out On A Year-To-Year Basis

There is no such thing as a four year scholarship. You may be given a scholarship to a four year school, but your scholarship must be renewed each year. If you get a scholarship but you perform poorly or you don’t keep your grades up, your scholarship may not be renewed.

Fact #4 – Grades Play A Vital Role In Determining Scholarship Money

Student-athletes are students first, or at least they should be. Many people will tell you that grades are not that important in the scholarship process, but nothing could be further from the truth. Coaches take a good look at a student’s performance in the classroom before deciding who to award their scholarship money to.

Fact #5 – Coaches Do Want To Hear From You

Coaches at the smaller schools need players just like the big schools. However, they don’t have the big budgets available to go out and find players. They love to hear from players who have the talent, skills and grades to play at their school.

Getting a college sports scholarship is not an easy task. The competition is fierce. One of the biggest advantages you can give yourself is to take responsibility for your own recruitment and start making contact with coaches at the schools where you feel you can play. On the other hand, if you leave your recruitment in the hands of others, even your high school coach, you most likely won’t receive a college sports scholarship. It is up to you!

How To Find the Best College Town For You: 5 Great College Towns

Choosing college is like choosing a house: location is key. While other factors must be considered–degree programs and cost, for instance–if you’re not happy in your space, other things will lose their magic. While no college town is a perfect fit for everyone, the following is a sample of great college towns that represent a diversity of sizes and vibes.

Best College Towns: Major Metro
Seattle, WA
Population: 616,627 (city); 3.5 million (metro area)
Seattle offers big-city living in a place that won’t swallow you whole. Although not the biggest, Seattle is filled with culture, entertainment, and great food. It’s a friendly city, too, making it a truly great college town. Seattle offers:
• 37 performing arts centers, 17 museums,and 30 public libraries
• A mild climate that rarely gets too hot or too cold
• Dozens of festivals a year

Best College Towns: Large City
Austin, TX
Population 786,386 (city); 1.7 million (metro area)
While many cities offer lots to do, not all can pull off a small-town feel. But Austin’s cultural and entertainment scenes are far from small-town. Did you know the following about Austin?
• Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, is home to over 1,900 bands and performing artists
• Austin City Limits is the longest-running popular music series in American television history
• Designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by The League of American Bicyclists

Best College Town: Medium City
Madison, WI
Population: 235,419
Cool medium-sized cities like Madison offer a high concentration of art, culture, and food. A regular on “Best College Towns” and “Best Places to Live” lists, Madison is a place that embraces:
The arts: Municipally-funded Madison Arts Commission provides cultural funding and support.
Public transportation: In addition to great city-wide public transportation, Wisconsin is building high-speed passenger rail service from Madison to Milwaukee.
Parks and recreation: There are beaches, conservation parks, bike and walking paths, five area lakes, and hundreds of hiking miles.

Best College Town: Small City
Missoula, MT
Population: 68,876
A CNN Money “Best Places,” Missoula is a college town that perfectly blends hippies, artists, cowboys, and athletes. It’s also a place that embraces its landscape: hiking, biking, kayaking, fly-fishing, and skiing are popular here. What else makes it a top college town?
• Regular free outdoor festivals.
• Tailgating parties supporting the top-in-division University of Montana football team, The Griz.
• Rampant arts, including symphony concerts, an annual Jazz festival, and monthly First Friday art walks.

Best College Town: Small Town
Williamstown, MA
Population: 4,700
Another CNN Money “Best Places,” Williamstown is as idyllic New England as you’ll find. Williams College is regularly named the #1 liberal arts college in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This may not be a place for those who want big lights and non-stop action, but small as it is Williamstown packs in a lot, including:
• The award-winning Williamstown Theatre Festival
• The exquisite Clark Art Museum, featuring exhibits, films, and opera.
• Endless outdoor recreation, including hiking, skiing, biking, and fishing.

Whether you’re looking for a small town or a big metropolis, finding the right college town for you can make your college experience truly great.