As collegiate golf is growing in popularity, the potential of a golf scholarship in college is a possibility to consider. If you’re the parent of a young golfer, you can help your child prepare for a golf scholarship opportunity as they approach their high school years.
Types of Golf Scholarships
Many parents are surprised to discover how many colleges and universities offer golf scholarships. Some schools provide scholarships specifically for your child to play golf. Other schools, however, offer academic scholarships to aspiring golfers, giving them the chance to pursue an education while playing competitive golf.
Schools are grouped by divisions, which dictates the scholarships they offer. D3 programs, for example, do not offer athletic scholarships. Comparatively, D2 schools have limited scholarship opportunities based on the percentage of men and women in the sport. Golf is an equivalency sport, meaning coaches have a set amount of money to split among their athletes. To get as many good golfers as possible, coaches offer smaller scholarships to a larger number of students. Consequently, a full ride scholarship is a rare award. Although a partial scholarship may not cover all your child’s needs, every scholarship is an opportunity.
Your search should start while your child is in early high school. Work with your child to figure out what things he or she needs and wants from a college. Compare available schools against the list to see which ones are the best fit for your child. While it is important to narrow the options, do not be too exclusive. Your child’s chances of getting a scholarship are lower if there are only a few schools to pursue.
Consider all facets of the college experience. Look at the size of the school, and consider its academic programs. Is the coursework rigorous? You should also consider the location. Is it close to home? What is the surrounding community like? Be sure to assess the golf capacity. Is the program competitive? How is the coaching? What are the practice facilities like?
Remember to put less conventional options on your child’s list. There are scholarship opportunities at smaller schools that often get overlooked. In fact, some two-year schools cannot fill all their scholarships, improving your child’s odds.
Your Child’s Potential
Golfing prowess aside, colleges also consider your child’s GPA. Collegiate golfers need to maintain a certain GPA in order to retain athletic eligibility. Overall, academic performance can make your child more appealing to golf coaches at the collegiate level, which is why your child should work as hard as possible on and off the green.
If your junior golfer shows skill and passion for the game, a golf scholarship is an excellent way to help fund their college education. Gauge your child’s interest and start early. Partial scholarships are more common than full rides, but a supplemental scholarship can go a long way in supporting your child’s education and possible sports career.