College swimming athlete Rafael Miroslaw in water

How to Get a Fully Funded Sports Scholarship in the US

Begin your path to a college sports scholarship

A fully funded sport scholarship is your opportunity to play the sport you love and get a university degree without worrying about financial aid. Here is everything you need to know about sports scholarships and how to get one!

Do you dream about playing and studying in the US? A fully funded sport scholarship is your opportunity to play the sport you love and get a university degree without worrying about financial aid. Here is everything you need to know about sports scholarships and how to get one!

What do college sports scholarships cover?

A fully funded sport scholarship, also known as full ride, covers all university costs. Besides tuition and fees, full rides typically cover room and board, medical insurance, books, and other expenses. Some universities give athletes a monthly stipend to cover all these costs. Full ride scholarships, like all offers, are one-year agreements that are renewed each year. 

Universities also offer partial athletic scholarships which cover only a portion of the costs associated with attending college. Student-athletes often combine partial sports scholarships with other forms of financial aid like academic scholarships, loans, or external scholarships. 

Sports scholarships according to division

NCAA Division I universities offer the highest level of competition and the most substantial scholarships. Division II universities also provide athletic scholarships, though typically less generous. Division III universities do not offer athletic scholarships but can provide other forms of financial aid like academic scholarships.  

NAIA universities are typically smaller colleges that offer competitive athletic programs and scholarships similar to those in NCAA Division II. Last, in NJCAA you can find two-year colleges that also provide scholarships. 

Track and field student-athlete Anna Cabrera

Steps to Secure a Sports Scholarship

1. Start Early 
Begin the process as early as possible, ideally by your second or third year of high school. This allows plenty of time to prepare all the requirements and information that college coaches will ask for. 

2. Academic Preparation 
Maintaining academic performance is crucial. Even if you’re applying for a sports scholarship, you need to have a strong academic profile.

3. Athletic Performance 
Playing for a top club or in a top league will open the doors for more universities. But you don’t need to have the best career record in order to get a fully funded sports scholarship, you just need to differentiate yourself. Keep track of your statistics and create a highlight video showcasing your best performances. Coaches often want to watch a highlight video as well as full-game videos. 

Attend camps and showcase events where college coaches can see you play in person. These events are excellent opportunities to demonstrate your skills and gain direct exposure. Check our upcoming showcases in Europe and register to meet your next coach.

4. Utilize Recruitment Services and Experts
The recruitment process can be complex, especially for international students. This is where a recruitment agency comes in. At Keystone Sports, we specialize in connecting talented athletes with colleges and universities in the US. Our services include: 

  • Academic and athletic preparation: We guide you in all the documentation needed to create your profile as well as academic level tests. 
  • Personalized Guidance: We help you identify universities that match your profile and interests. 
  • Coach Connections: We leverage our network to introduce you to college coaches. 
  • Scholarship Negotiation: We work to ensure you receive the best possible scholarship offers. 
  • Application Assistance: Our experts assist with the entire application process, from compiling necessary documents to getting your VISA. 
College swimming athlete Rafael Miroslaw in water

A fully funded athletic scholarship is a challenging but achievable goal with the right approach and support. Our team of experts will help you achieve your dream of studying and competing in the US. 

Fill out our quick free assessment form to know your chances of a sports scholarship!

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About the author

Lorena Montañés

Current student-athlete in the United States completing an MBA in Business Analytics. Born in Pamplona, Spain, she decided to continue her soccer career in the US. She played DI soccer at California State University, Fresno, while earning a double degree in Mass Communication and Journalism, and Psychology. She aims to empower other student-athletes to achieve their dreams and have a life-changing experience.

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