Athletic Scholarships for U.S. Undergraduate Study

Financing U.S. Study » Athletic Scholarships for U.S. Undergraduate Study

Athletic Scholarships for U.S. Undergraduate Study

Athletic scholarships are available to some students entering U.S. undergraduate programs (graduate students are not generally eligible for awards based on athletic abilities). Such students are then expected to play on their college’s team while attending the institution.

Scholarship availability varies widely by sport. A few of the types of sports where athletic scholarships may be available include soccer, tennis, swimming, wrestling, and volleyball, among many others. Few or no scholarships are available in some other areas, such as the martial arts and polo.

However, you will still want to provide information regarding participation in whatever sports in which you may be involved in your college application. It is likely to give you some advantage in the undergraduate admissions process as well as in competing for scholarship opportunities that consider diversity and general contribution to the campus community among selection criteria. 

If you feel that you may qualify for an athletic scholarship, prepare  evidence of your abilities and communicate with coaches for that sport at colleges in which you are interested to find out if the college offers athletic scholarships and if you seem to be an appropriate candidate. The coach can act as your advocate and will be involved in the decision process.  If your coach in Iran can contact the U.S. coach directly, that can be helpful as well.

You still also need to contact the college’s admission office and complete all the usual application requirements for international students.  You should receive news as to whether an athletic scholarship was awarded at around the time of your admission to the institution.

Evidence to Show Athletic Ability

It’s a challenge to show your skills at a distance but recommendations from coaches, a DVD clearly showing your athletic ability, and/or an “athletic résumé” can help.  (Coaches may also refer to the resume as a "bio," "package," or "dossier"—basically it provides details on your history of play to help assess athletic ability and experience.)  Here are a few additional tips related to preparing an ideal athletic scholarship application:

Ask a Question! Newsletter

Past Issues