Scholarship Basics

  • 11 Sep, 2015

We’ve outlined five questions about the scholarship basics. We hope you find our information helpful when navigating through your college recruiting process.

1. What Does A Full-Ride Scholarship Cover?

A ‘full-ride’ academic or athletic ride or ‘100%’ scholarship covers the cost of tuition, room, board, books and sports related clothing & equipment.

2. What Doesn’t A Scholarship Cover?

A scholarship doesn’t cover your traveling expenses such flights, train tickets, etc. It also doesn’t cover your college application form that requires each applicant to pay a one time student enrolment application fee. The cost of the social aspect of living is funded by the student-athlete and not by the university.

3. What Factors Are Important In Determining Who Gets A Full Scholarship?

Anticipating the financial value of a scholarship that could be offered to a potential recruit it’s almost impossible to predict. Why? There are lot of factors that can easily affect the outcome of the scholarship. Academic results such as the SAT test scores, TOEFL test, college application, timing and execution, available annual university’s budgets, injuries, luck and most importantly the coaches’ perspective of the athlete’s playing level. Those are all important factors that have to be analyzed before offering a scholarship. The college coach is the only one who could say to a prospective student athlete that they will receive ‘a full scholarship’.

4. What Are The Academic Requirements For A Scholarship?

To qualify for a college academic scholarship, you will need to meet certain requirements. While these specific requirements will vary from school to school, the concept is very much the same. If you work hard and maintain a high GPA and do well on the SAT/ACT, then you could be rewarded with an academic scholarship. Per the NCAA you need a minimum 2.0 GPA and a 1010 on the SAT as well as a combined score of 86 on the ACT. These requirements are on a sliding scale, so if you have a higher GPA then your test scores can be relatively low. Starting in 2016, the minimum GPA will have to be 2.3.

College coaches want to see that you are a strong athlete and student. In addition to earning an athletic scholarship, you could also earn some academic financial aid if the admission office and the coach believes you meet the institution’s requirements.

If you think you might qualify to earn an academic scholarship, do some research at the schools that you have applied to or plan on applying. You can only earn a scholarship from the school if you have applied and been accepted. You can also talk to the coach and see if they might be able to add an academic scholarship to your financial aid package. Get educated and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

5. How Can I Lose My Athletic Scholarship?

There are several ways to lose your athletic scholarship from a college.

  • You can become ineligible academically by not keeping a GPA higher than 2.0. For 2016 class the minimum GPA has to be 2.3. 
  • When committing a violation of student code that required disciplinary action.
  • Student athletes can also violate NCAA rules regarding their amateurism or by accepting monetary gifts from boosters or people affiliated with the university.
  • You can also violate the terms of the athletic scholarship by not fulfilling certain obligations required by the contract.

It is possible that due to your poor athletic performance you can also lose your scholarship. Meaning if you aren’t performing at a top level or if you get a significant injury you could lose your scholarship. Those are rare cases decided mostly by the coaches but keep in mind that it could also happen.

For all of these reasons it is so important to know the exact terms of the agreement you are signing. This way, you know exactly what you need to do to keep your athletic scholarship and avoid the trouble of losing any financial aid. Read and inform yourself with all the rules so there are no surprises.

Author @Nicolae Popescu

Nicolae Popescu is a former NCAA D1 full-scholarship student-athlete and the Founder of WeGotPlayers. He has experienced first-hand the complex college recruiting process himself. Nicolae' s knowledge, skills and sports expertise make him a valuable contributor in helping guide players and parents to find the right school fit. He is passionate about coaching, mentoring and positively influencing players succeed in their sports journey and life thru the power of education and technology.
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