Scholarships for Skiers
Ski and Go to School for Free
What is better than doing the thing you love the most as a career? NOTHING! For many student-athletes this dream can become a reality. But, before become a pro at your sport, you should attend college. It’s a great way to enhance your skills and get a priceless education. There are many competitive skiers in the world, and the best have what it takes to get paid to college. Schools all over the world are searching for the best skiers to compete for their university.
So, do you have what it takes to take your game to the next level? If you think you do, then it’s time to start looking for scholarships. Just because you are an athlete doesn’t mean you can only get an athletic scholarship. There are also academic scholarships available as well to help you get the most out of a higher education!
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) offers thousands of scholarships to skiers. They vary in the amount of each award. Here are a few typical scholarships you might face:
- Full-Ride: those who get a full-ride scholarship receive the funds to pay for tuition, books, and all other costs incurred while in college. Usually these are reserved for the very best athletes coming out of high school.
- Partial Scholarship: this is where students get scholarship to only cover part of their costs, but it is still a significant amount. Usually, coaches award partial scholarships so more athletes will be attracted to a particular school.
- Walk-Ons: these are athletes who did not receive a full or partial scholarship, but were good enough to join a team by trying out. Sometimes walk-ons receive full-rides or partial scholarships. It all depends on how good you are and how hard you are willing to work.
Scholarships for Men and Women
Both men and women are able to receive athletic scholarships for skiing. The top-tier for collegiate sports is Division I. schools that are DI members are allotted six scholarships for guys and seven for girls. DII schools- the step just below- are able to give six for both men and women. These scholarships can either be given to the exact number of skiers (i.e. six and seven for DI), or they can be divided up between the team members. It doesn’t matter whether you ski Alpine or Nordic. Both types are eligible for scholarships.
Something to Think About
You probably have an idea of where you want to go to college. If you are looking to attend one of the best schools for a skiing scholarship be sure to check these prestigious universities out.
The University of Colorado has one of the best ski programs in the country. They offer scholarships to both Alpine and Nordic style skiers. Each year, they place within the top five in the NCAA rankings. UC is a great place to heighten both your skiing skills and your education. Their athletes are required to practice from 6:30 am until 9:00 am during the season. Classes are never scheduled before 11:00 am (this DOES NOT mean you can sleep in!). They practice at Eldora Mountain Resort. Each morning the slopes are perfectly groomed so you hit the nicest powder day-in and day-out. They also offer around 45 km of cross country skiing terrain as well! They finished up the 2013 skiing season as the NCAA champions!
The University of Denver is another great skiing school. They cater to both Alpine and Nordic skiers and have great slopes to hit. UD produces some of the best skiers in the world with over 50 Olympians and many inductees into the National Ski Hall of Fame. Not only do their skiers excel at their sport, but they are also some of the brightest students in the school. The average GPA of UD students is 3.2, but their ski team averages a GPA of 3.4 (this is great news for the parents!).
Another great option for dedicated skiers is Bates College. They are one of the most consistent colleges when it comes to skiing. Always in the top 20 best ski programs in the country, many skiers dream of attending Bates. This Ivy League school also has a reputation for academic excellence, so if you see yourself going pro in something other than skiing, this is the best school for you!
Recruiting for a Skiing Scholarship
There are recruiters for universities searching all over for the best prospects. That being said, they are unable to be everywhere at once. This is why you need to be sure to contact schools you are interested in to increase your chances of getting a scholarship. Even if you’re the best skier in your area, if nobody knows of you, you won’t get a scholarship.
There are different ways to go about marketing your skills. You can either do it alone, recording and submitting videos from your competitions, or you can hire a recruiting service. If you decide to do it yourself you will save money, but you may have a difficult time reaching many schools. Recruiting services may cost you funds in the beginning, but you will more than make back your money through scholarships. They make the process of approaching schools easier. This gives you more time to hone in your skills and concentrate on your studies.
Long Story Short
In reality, it is extremely difficult to attain a skiing scholarship. But, it can be done! It will require countless hours of training and dedication. To help your chances of getting the scholarship, be sure to study hard and keep your grades up. Universities love to see student athletes who excel on and off the field.