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Sports 23 Nov 2020

CIS swim star scores athletic scholarship

By CIS Communications
Photograph by CIS Communications

Congratulations to Gabriel A for scoring an athletic scholarship (valued at $30,000) to the Missouri University of Science and Technology! The CIS alumnus, who was also the captain of CIS’s swim team, held 25 CIS swim records and is currently a first-year Mechanical engineering student. If you want to follow a similar path as Gabriel, here are some tips from our university advisor Mr Kemal Taskin: 

Are there special requirements when applying for an athletic scholarship? 

The student-athlete has to register with the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) if they want to try for an athletic scholarship from a university. Their athletic performance must be at a high level in order to be considered for a scholarship.

Why do you think Gabriel was able to secure the scholarship? 

Gabriel was strong in both sports and academics, and his strong academic background helped immensely with the decision to be accepted. Universities in the United States do like to see a "student-athlete" (student comes first in that word) but they also need to have times, scores, performances at the collegiate level in order to compete for the university. 

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What does an athletic scholarship entail?

Some athletic scholarships are "full rides", which means that it will cover tuition, room and board. Others will cover only tuition, or half tuition. Schools in the US are also divided into sports divisions, with Division 1 being the most competitive while Division 3 covers small, private schools. At the smaller schools, there are no "full rides" but full or partial tuition scholarships, or scholarships for academic excellence.

What kind of advice would you give someone who plans to apply for an athletic scholarship like Gabriel? 

Work with your high school coach to maximise your athletic performance. Keep track of your progression over the years. Keep film, videos and newspaper articles of everything you do athletically. Ask for a recommendation letter from your coaches from school and outside clubs.

When looking for universities to apply to, send a cover letter introducing yourself, and why you are writing to them. Include videos and times in the cover letter. Keep your grades up, the better you do, the more that impresses the coaches and the admissions office. Sometimes, if the university team does not have any scholarships to give, but the coach really wants the student to come to their university, they will advocate for an academic scholarship to be awarded. You need good grades for this.

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