For many seniors, the thought of college is always weighing in on the back of their minds. While most students only have to monitor their success in the classroom, some athletes have to succeed both in their sport and in the classroom to receive the scholarship they want.
“When looking for an athletic scholarship there is a lot involved. The coaches, team and athlete all have to be a fit. Making sure you meet all the NCAA requirements is vital. Planning ahead and starting early on this process will help,” senior cross country runner and North Greenville University commit Hope Whisman said.
There are different ways for athletes to be scouted by college coaches and recruiters.
“Some sports, like soccer, baseball, and volleyball have club teams outside of school and athletes may be scouted through those teams. There are also camps where athletes can attend and sometimes they get ranked by these camps,” school counselor Robin Lowman said.
While the athlete must perform at a high level on the field, they also must perform well in the classroom. Academics are a large part of achieving an athletic scholarship.
“High school athletes do have to register with the NCAA eligibility center. The NCAA will get a copy of the student transcript and SAT or ACT scores,” Lowman said. “Students must have certain grades and test scores to be eligible to play in college.”
While the result is the same, there are differences between the two forms of scholarships.
“Athletic scholarships are different than academic scholarships because they are based off a student having athletic ability and they are capable filling a position a college needs. Academic scholarships are based on high GPA and often high test scores as well,” Lowman said.
Senior football player Cole Douglas received a football scholarship from Dartmouth College, and he is very honored to have been selected.
“It’s fulfilling because you worked so hard for so long to reach this moment,” Cole said.
Receiving a scholarship to North Greenville was also a huge deal to Hope.
“It was an honor to be chosen for an athletic scholarship, especially for something you love as much as I love running,” Hope said.
To Cole, Dartmouth has a unique and unforgettable feeling that cannot be replicated, and both athletes are happy with the schools that they have chosen.
“[My favorite thing about North Greenville is] the family atmosphere. I really feel at home there and everyone is so welcoming. The campus is comforting,” Hope said.
The two athletes are excited to be participating in their sport at the collegiate level. Both are ready to compete against athletes at the next level.
“It feels great because I worked for it and I’m glad to get to show the world what I can do on a higher level,” Cole said.
Not only did the athletic scholarship recognize the athletes success on the field, it will help them academically as well.
“The scholarship will keep my grades up because you have to keep your GPA up to keep your scholarship,” Hope said.
While there are limited scholarships for athletes, Dutch Fork’s own have proved that it is possible to receive these rewards. Their advice to receive a scholarship is to work hard and to never give up.
“Persistence has to be your greatest attribute,” Cole said.