Top 20 Scholarships for High School Athletes

Best athletic scholarships
Updated:
May 8, 2024
10 min read
Expert Reviewed
Contents

”Mary

Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/26/24

Keep reading to learn more about the available scholarships for high school athletes.

High school boys soccer game

Many students dream of playing sports in college, but pursuing higher education can be expensive. That's where scholarships can come into play. These scholarships provide assistance with crucial expenses like tuition and on-campus housing, making pursuing higher education more affordable. 

But earning a scholarship isn't just about financial support; it's also a recognition of your exceptional skills in your chosen sport—like receiving a prestigious gold star. In this article, we'll provide a list of the best scholarships available to young athletes. 

So, whether you're an amazing runner, love playing soccer, or can shoot hoops, there's likely a scholarship opportunity waiting for you. Let’s get started!

20 Scholarships for Student-Athletes in High School

Here’s our list of the top 20 scholarships specifically designed for high school athletes. We’ve also highlighted the key information you need for each opportunity, including the application deadlines, how much you can earn and the eligibility criteria you need to apply.

1. The Wendy's High School Heisman Scholarship

Deadline: October 19th

Amount: $1,000 to $5,000

Eligibility: High school seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who have participated in at least one school-sponsored sport

Sponsored by the iconic fast-food chain Wendy's, the High School Heisman Scholarship is a prestigious award that seeks to recognize the nation's top student-athletes. This scholarship isn't just about athletic prowess; it's about the balance of excellence in sports, academics, and leadership. 

Wendy's aims to reward students who excel in sports, school, and leadership. Winners are chosen based on their achievements and future potential.

2. Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program

Deadline: December 14th

Amount: $20,000

Eligibility: High school seniors involved in sports, leadership activities, and community service

Application Requirements: Personal essay and two recommendations

Foot Locker, a global leader in athletic footwear and apparel, has always been at the forefront of supporting young athletes. Their Scholar Athletes Program is a testament to their commitment to fostering the next generation of leaders. 

Foot Locker values the character and leadership developed through sports. The scholarship is for well-rounded athletes who also excel in school and community activities.

3. The Positive Coaching Alliance Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship

Deadline: May 31st

Amount: $1,000 to $2,000

Eligibility: High school juniors in the US with a GPA of 2.5 or above

Application Requirements: Essay on embodying the Triple-Impact Competitor model

The Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship is for those who believe in making a difference. It rewards students who are committed to improving themselves, elevating their teammates, and enhancing the game or sport. It's an opportunity for students who are dedicated to making a holistic impact through sports. 

The Positive Coaching Alliance is dedicated to transforming the youth sports culture into a Development Zone® where the goal is to develop better athletes and better people.

4. The BigSun Scholarship

Deadline: June 19th

Amount: $500

Eligibility: All high school athletes, irrespective of the sport they engage in

Application Requirements: Essay on the influence of sports on academic and personal achievements

Through this scholarship, the BigSun Organization emphasizes the life lessons learned through sports participation. They believe that the discipline, teamwork, and leadership skills developed can be pivotal in shaping one's future. 

BigSun aims to help athletes succeed in life and academics. They understand the challenges athletes face and want to help.

5. Brian Pearson Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: April 8th

Amount: $1,000

Eligibility: High school juniors or seniors who have participated in the Iowa Games

Application Requirements: Online application and essay

The Brian Pearson Memorial Scholarship scholarship honors Brian Pearson's love for sports and rewards athletes who show great sportsmanship and dedication. 

Brian Pearson's legacy is one of passion, dedication, and love for sports. This scholarship mirrors his values by celebrating young athletes who have shown exceptional sportsmanship and dedication to their chosen sports.

6. The Play Scholarships

Deadline: Varies

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: High school athletes with a minimum GPA of 2.5

Application Requirements: Online application, essay, and a recommendation

The Play Scholarships are designed for those who excel both in the classroom and on the field. They focus on the symbiotic relationship between academics and athletics. 

The Play Scholarships focus on the balance between academics and athletics. They believe discipline and teamwork are transformative.

7. The Team Type 1 Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: February 20th

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: High school athletes with Type 1 diabetes

Application Requirements: Personal essay, academic transcript, and two recommendations

The Team Type 1 Foundation Scholarship is a unique initiative that supports student-athletes diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. 

Understanding the additional challenges faced by students with Type 1 diabetes, the Team Type 1 Foundation aims to support their academic and athletic dreams. It's a testament to resilience, determination, and the spirit of overcoming challenges.

8. The Dixie Boys Baseball Scholarship

Deadline: April 1st

Amount: $1,250

Eligibility: High school seniors who have participated in Dixie Boys Baseball

Application Requirements: Online application and personal essay

With a rich history of nurturing young talent, the Dixie Boys Baseball Scholarship is dedicated to supporting the next generation of baseball enthusiasts. This scholarship supports young baseball players, recognizing their dedication and passion for the sport.

9. The USTA Foundation College Education Scholarship

Deadline: March 2nd

Amount: $10,000

Eligibility: High school seniors who have played tennis in an organized program

Application Requirements: Academic transcript, personal essay, and two recommendations

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) Foundation is dedicated to bringing tennis and education together to change lives. The USTA Foundation values more than just tennis skills; they also look for academic excellence and community involvement.

10. The Bill Dickey Scholarship Association

Deadline: June 16st

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: Minority high school seniors who have participated in junior golf programs.

Application Requirements: Online application, academic transcript, and personal essay

The Bill Dickey Scholarship Association (BDSA) offers scholarships for high school athletes, as well as those who are already in college. This money can help you get through your college years and earn your degree.

Named after the legendary golfer Bill Dickey, this scholarship is a pioneering initiative to diversify the world of golf. This scholarship aims to make golf more inclusive and diverse by supporting minority students.

11. The George & Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: February 15th

Amount: $20,000

Eligibility: High school seniors in the Houston area

Application Requirements: Online application, academic transcript, and two recommendations

The Hamman Foundation has been a pillar of support for Houston's youth for many years. Their scholarship program is a testament to their commitment to fostering the next generation of leaders in the Houston area. 

The Hamman Foundation focuses on all-around development and sees this scholarship as an investment in Houston's future.The foundation believes in the holistic development of individuals and sees this scholarship as a way to invest in the future of Houston.

12. The John A. McCluskey and Helen McCluskey Scholarship

Deadline: February 14th

Amount: $1000

Eligibility: High school senior athletes in the Cincinnati area

Application Requirements: Online application and personal essay

Named in honor of John and Helen McCluskey, this scholarship serves as a source of encouragement and help for young athletes in Cincinnati. The McCluskeys believed in the power of sports to shape character and instill discipline. 

This scholarship rewards hard work and dedication in sports and academics, aiming to make college more affordable for Cincinnati students.

13. The Mike Lozano Scholarship

Deadline: February 10th

Amount: $2,500

Eligibility: High school senior athletes in the Amarillo area

Application Requirements: Online application, academic transcript, and personal essay

Mike Lozano, known for his fervent advocacy for education in Amarillo, left behind a legacy that continues to inspire. The scholarship in his name is a tribute to his belief in the transformative power of education and sports. 

The Mike Lozano Scholarship is designed for Amarillo's young athletes who have shown promise both on the field and in the classroom. It's a nod to Lozano's vision of empowering the youth through education, ensuring they have the tools and resources to chase their dreams.

14. Gator Bowl Charities Award of Excellence Scholarship

Deadline: Varies

Amount: $2,500

Eligibility: High school senior athletes in Northeast Florida or Southeast Georgia with at least a 3.0 GPA

Application Requirements: Online application

The Gator Bowl Charities Award of Excellence Scholarship is inspired by a commitment to academic achievement and community involvement, reflecting the core values of the Gator Bowl Charities. This scholarship encourages students in Northeast Florida to do well in school and in their communities. 

Beyond just academic prowess, the scholarship aims to recognize the qualities of leadership, integrity, and a strong sense of social responsibility that are essential for future success. 

It is designed to empower the next generation of leaders and community advocates, providing them with the financial support they need to pursue higher education and make a meaningful impact on society.

15. The Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship

Deadline: April 10th

Amount: $5,000 to $10,000

Eligibility: High school seniors in the St. Louis area.

Application Requirements: Online application, personal essay, and two recommendations

The St. Louis Sports Commission introduced this scholarship in honor of Carl Fricks, showcasing its unwavering commitment to fostering sportsmanship. This scholarship rewards good character and sportsmanship, not just athletic skill. 

The Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship is not just about athletic prowess; it's about character, integrity, and respect. It supports those who have shown grace in victory and defeat, understanding that true sportsmanship goes beyond the scoreboard.

16. Jennifer Webb-Cook Gameplan Scholarship

Deadline: April 1st

Award Amount: $2,070

Eligibility: High school seniors who are student-athletes from single-parent households

Application Requirements:  Essay on navigating the challenges of single-parent households and the impact of sports on their lives

The Jennifer Webb-Cook Gameplan Scholarship is a scholarship opportunity for high school senior athletes from single-parent households who are continuing their athletic careers at the college level.

This scholarship underscores the importance of both academic and athletic excellence, providing these determined individuals with the support they need to thrive in their academic and athletic journeys.

17. TrophyCentral Scholarship

Deadline: September 

Amount: $1,000

Eligibility: High school senior athletes

Application Requirements: Transcript, a written statement outlining their unique sportsmanship or acts of compassion and kindness, and references

The TrophyCentral Sportsmanship and Compassion Scholarship Award is a scholarship available to qualifying high school seniors who are athletes. The scholarship offers a $1,000 award to be applied to their first year's tuition at a college or university. 

Overall, the TrophyCentral Sportsmanship and Compassion Scholarship Award is an excellent opportunity for high school seniors who are athletes to receive financial support for their college education.

18. The Sports Lover Scholarship

Deadline: November 15th

Amount: $500 

Eligibility: Open to both high school and college students who are student-athletes.

Application Requirements: 500-1,000 word essay about the influence participation in sports had on them

The Sports Lover Scholarship is a scholarship that promotes teamwork, discipline, and healthy living by helping those who demonstrate an interest in an athletics-related career. The scholarship offers up to $500 to both high school and college students who are student-athletes. This scholarship helps student-athletes who are interested in a career related to sports.

19. The Michael Moody Fitness Scholarship

Deadline: August 1st

Amount: $1,500 

Eligibility: Available to high school seniors and current college students who are planning to pursue a degree in a health or fitness-oriented field

Application Requirements: Three essay questions, a transcript, and a letter of recommendation

The Michael Moody Fitness Scholarship offers a $1,500 award to a high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement, participation, and leadership in school activities and work experience. 

This scholarship is dedicated to identifying students who demonstrate not only athletic talent but also excel in academics and community engagement. Its primary objective is to provide support to these exceptional students, enabling them to strengthen their academic accomplishments and prepare for prosperous careers in the health and fitness industry.

20. The Play Like a Girl Scholarship

Deadline: June 21st

Amount: $5,000

Eligibility: Applicants must be US citizens who self-identify as female and are current high school seniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

Application Requirements: Online application, cover letter, resume, transcript, one recommendation letter, and two-page personal statement about your career and educational goals

The Play Like a Girl Scholarship program provides financial assistance to five young women from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds who are pursuing a degree in STEM+ or medicine at a historically black college or university. 

The Play Like a Girl Scholarship is a valuable opportunity for young women from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds who are pursuing a degree in STEM+ or medicine at a historically black college or university. With a focus on supporting their educational journey, this scholarship aims to empower and uplift aspiring female leaders in these fields.

Overall, scholarships for student athletes in high school provide a valuable opportunity to pursue higher education while continuing to participate in your favorite sport. By actively seeking and applying for these scholarships, young athletes can ease the financial challenges that come with college. 

It's important to remember that every contribution counts, and your commitment to both academics and athletics can open doors to a more promising future.

A female scientist in the lab

FAQs: Scholarships for High School Athletes?

If you still have questions about high school sports scholarships. You're in the right place! We've answered the most common questions right here.

1. What Is the Easiest Athletic Scholarship to Get?

The easiest athletic scholarship varies based on factors such as the sport, your skill level, and the college criteria. However, scholarships in less competitive sports like rowing, fencing, and golf may be easier to secure. Research each college and various sports to find the best match for you.

2. What School Gives the Most Athletic Scholarships?

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and II schools, particularly those with strong athletic programs like the University of Alabama, University of Florida, and Ohio State University, typically offer the most athletic scholarships. 

However, it's essential to note that the number of scholarships can change from year to year based on the school's budget, team needs, and other factors.

3. What Are the Odds of a High School Athlete Receiving a College Scholarship?

The odds of receiving an athletic scholarship are relatively low; however, they can change depending on the sport, the athlete's skills, and the level of competition in their region.  

According to the NCAA, only about 2% of high school athletes receive athletic scholarships to compete in college. However, scholarships are more likely in sports with less competition or in cases where the athlete has exceptional skills and achievements.

4. Do Athletes Get Full-Ride Scholarships?

Yes, some athletes do receive full-ride scholarships, but they are relatively rare and highly competitive. 

Full-ride scholarships are more common in sports that generate significant revenue for the college, such as football and basketball. It's essential to understand the terms of the scholarship offer and consider other sources of financial aid to cover any remaining expenses.

Final Thoughts

Securing scholarships for high school athletes can significantly ease the financial burden of college and acknowledge your athletic achievements.

It's important to recognize that competition for these scholarships is fierce. To improve your chances, it's essential to understand the specific requirements of each college and sport, showcase your skills, and explore additional financial aid options.

Remember, being a student-athlete offers more than just financial support; it's an opportunity to enjoy your sport, acquire new knowledge, and forge lasting friendships. Continue giving your best on and off the field, and relish the journey of both academic and athletic growth.

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