Top 5 Sports to Score a College Scholarship

If you’re looking to pay your way through college with your athletic prowess, you should know that not every sport is great for snagging scholarships. Higher-profile athletes usually made the grade, so you can forget about getting a full ride because of your awesome bowling skills. By better understanding the world of athletic scholarships, you can structure your interests to increase your chances of catching the eye of a sports-minded school. In fact, some of the highest scholarship-supported sports might completely surprise you; it’s not only the name-brand jocks that get a little help with their education.

Female rowers. Hands down, the best chance that you have of getting of sports scholarship is by being a female¬† rower. Now, if you’re male, you’re out of luck. Statistics reported by The New York Times and gathered from the NCAA found that male rowers were pretty much out of luck when it came to scholarships. Women, on the other hand, hit the big time. Of the 2.359 female high school rowers, 2.295 received full or partial scholarships to continue their sport at college.¬† That’s 97 percent!

Male football players. When you think about college sports, there’s a good chance that college football comes to mind. In fact, college football is such big business that post-secondary schools and other backers are more than happy to front a full ride in order to get the best players. Unfortunately, the field of players is vast; there were over one million high school football players in 2008, and 28,300 of them received full or partial scholarships. But, there was $367 million to spread around and that’s nothing to sneeze at when you want a piece of the pie.

Female basketball players. When it comes to the ballers, it’s the girls who reign supreme for scholarships. While they only got 500 more scholarships than boys, the field of female basketball players is so much smaller, giving girls the best chance at getting funded. 451,000 girls play basketball, with 8,000 scholarships being handed out, as opposed to 541,000 boys playing with only 7,500 scholarships to spread around.

Male hockey players. When on the ice, male players have the upper hand and one of the best chances for winning a scholarship. Male ice hockey players also have the highest percentage of players on a full-ride scholarship; 80 percent of scholarship students are having their education 100 percent covered. Of the 32,000 players, 1,369 of them snagged scholarships back in 2008. Female players only had 420 scholarships to work with; still OK chances, but not as high as some of the other top sports.

Male and female golfers. One of the surprise appearances on the list of best sports scholarship is the appearance on the green. The reasoning? Golf is generally a wealthy sport, which makes for more funds to spread around. Male golfers tallied 165,000, with over 3,600 scholarships split. Female golfers had a better chance at getting funded, with 54,000 athletes and 2,300 scholarships, giving four percent of female golfers the chance to play in college.