Scholarships for Gymnasts
Flex Your Financial Opportunities
At the collegiate level, there are only a few gymnastics scholarships. There are only around 6 allowed for men’s teams and 12 for women’s teams. Only the most talented of gymnasts receive any sort of financial aid, and only the NCAA sponsors gymnastics scholarships. This page will help you find the best scholarships available to gymnasts. We offer practical and relevant information on the college sport and guide you to practical options for funding.
NCAA Gymnastics Scholarships
The top NCAA level is Division I, followed by Division II, down to Division III (which is the lowest tier of collegiate sports). For men, there are only 15 schools that participate in gymnastics, and they are only found in DI schools. There are 82 gymnastics programs for women. 62 are found in DI, 7 in DII, and 13 in D3. Only DI and DII schools are able to give athletic scholarships for gymnastics.
Hint: Many of the D1 gymnasts are coming out of elite gymnasium training centers around the country. There, they receive the best coaching, conditioning and preparation for D1 competition.
Head Count vs. Equivalency Scholarships
There are a few things you need to know when looking for scholarships. There are two different types of scholarships that the NCAA allows colleges to give: Head Count & Equivalency. Head count scholarships can be given as full-ride scholarships, whereas equivalency scholarships allow schools to divide the total value of the scholarships into any way they choose. In women’s DI, scholarships must be given as head count, or full-rides. In men’s DI and women’s DII scholarships are usually divided up into equivalency scholarships. Equivalency scholarships allow coaches to recruit more talent for their teams. Usually, student athletes will require an academic scholarship to cover the rest of the costs to attend school. Need-based scholarships are also available to those that need them.
If you are looking for a D1 or D2 gymnastics scholarship in the NCAA, it is mandatory that you register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Center.
How to Get a Gymnastics Scholarship at a Division III School
As we said earlier, DIII schools aren’t allowed to give athletic scholarships to gymnasts. This makes it difficult for coaches to recruit the best talent for their squads. They don’t always have to settle with sub-par athletes. In fact, many times they recruit some of the best in the nation. Many of their athletes receive academic scholarships. As DIII schools are smaller than both DI and DII, they focus more on education than athletics. Many students see the benefits in attaining a great education at one of these schools. So if you see yourself having a career in something other than sports, a DIII would be a great place to get a high-quality education (and you could attend school for free!)..
Scholarships You Don’t Want to Miss
Central New York Gymnastics Center – Pinky Stone Scholarship
CNY Gym Centre is a gym for all ages. They offer participants beginner classes all the way up to the chance to be on competitive teams. All of their staff members are CPR Accredited and have been trained according to the USA Gymnastics standards. Their Pinky Stone scholarship is awarded annually to one senior at the Pinky Stone Memorial meet held towards the end of November every year. Coaches select the recipient of this award. Here are some of the criteria used in selecting who gets the award:
- Are they a high school senior competing?
- Have they been a USAG competitor for the last three years?
- Are they going to attend an accredited college?
- Will they continue gymnastic training and competition in college? This is actually the most important criteria they look for.
YMCA Gymnastics Advisory Committee Scholarship
The YMCA offers a scholarship to gymnasts pursuing to compete in college. The YMCA Gymnastics Advisory Committee Scholarship Award provides qualified individuals funding for their first year of college. To be eligible students athletes must have been a YMCA gymnast for five years, be a graduating senior, competed in the National YMCA Gymnastics Championships for three years at any level, and must have a GPA of no less than 3.5 while in high school. Awards are usually for $1,000.
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