Rowing Scholarships

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Rowing Scholarships: An introduction into the sports scholarship

Rowing is one of the oldest collegiate sports in the United States, however rowers only make-up around 2% of all college athletes.  Recent figures show that there are 2189 men competing for American college rowing programs, with over 7000 women competing for their respective universities. Earning a rowing scholarship will allow you the opportunity to pursue both an academic and rowing career simultaneously. This means that you will be studying for a university degree - in a subject of your choice - whilst training and competing at an elite level, akin to that of professional sport. Rowing is a highly competitive sport for obtaining a scholarship, with coaches looking for internationally experienced players. This means that the individual is more apt for the transition into collegiate, intercollegiate matches and then national competitions, if their rowing scholarship application is deemed successful.


Rowing Scholarships: When should I apply?

Prime time to apply for a sports scholarship in the US would be following graduation from high school or just a couple of years after. There have also been cases of applicants dropping out of UK higher education to pursue their dream of undertaking a sports scholarship in America. Athletes may only compete in college leagues if they are between the ages of 18-24, but if you are older, then the NAIA is where you will be assigned. When saying this, coaches are often more inclined to spur interest in younger prospects as it gives them more time to work with the athletes for a longer set period. Thus, it is advised to apply for a scholarship as early as possible, giving the individual an optimum chance at maintaining the strongest performance, athletically and academically, to achieve a highly regarded degree to then move onto the opportunity of turning professional.


Rowing Scholarships: How good do I have to be?

To be given the best chance of success in being offered a Scholarship, the candidate must try to compete at the best level in their current area, pushing on from local club tournaments to national championships. This shows coaches that you have experience and the skill set to compete for their school. Competing nationally certainly assists you when going for a 100% sports scholarship. College recruitment coaches will look at CVs, footage and will listen to Be Varsity Staff regarding athlete ability. A rowing scholarship can cover many, sometimes all, of the costs associated with earning a university degree. In return, the student-athlete will represent the university in their respective sport and maintain a good level of academic performance.

There are two types of scholarship that a prospective student-athlete can receive.  A ‘full rowing scholarship’ or a ‘partial rowing scholarship’.  Competition for scholarship money is extremely competitive with scholarships being offered to the best athletes.

full rowing scholarship will mean that the university is paying for all tuition, accommodation, food, books and everything related to your sport. At some universities, a full scholarship can equal the investment of almost $400,000 in one, single athlete.  At Be Varsity, one in every four of our athletes will receive a full scholarship. 

partial rowing scholarship is just as it sounds; it is where the university are offering you a deal that will cover some, but not all, of the costs associated with attending the university.  If, for example, a university costs $50,000 and the coach is giving you a scholarship worth $45,000, then this is a partial scholarship as there is a $5,000 shortfall that the coach wants you to contribute towards the costs of attending the university.  Most partial scholarships come with the incentive that if you perform well, both on the water and in the classroom, then the coach can reward you with a scholarship increase and cover any costs that you had been contributing towards.

There are also other scholarships that a university can offer (academic scholarships, for example) and these can be combined with a rowing scholarship to cover the costs associated with attending a university.  It is worth noting that a scholarship will not cover the costs of your flight to and from the campus (personal travel) or any costs associated with the social aspect of life in America (shopping at mall, cinema, etc).


Rowing Scholarships: Training Schedule

If you are successful in receiving your rowing scholarship, then you will be expected to practice with the team for up to 3-5 hours daily, five days a week. This will consist predominantly of strength and conditioning training. For an international scholarship holder, training has said to be tough at times because of the intensity of the training and conditioning, but don’t fear, we are sure you will acclimatise with no problems. It is also an interesting fact that many US college rowers make it on to the Olympic games, which shows the quality of the training regimes and high motivation levels given off from coaches.


Apply now for your chance to be offered an Rowing Scholarship in the USA!

To find out whether you have what it takes to obtain a sports scholarship in America, please take a few minutes of your time to complete our free application form! Our team at Be Varsity will analyse and evaluate your potential as an American college athlete. If you have any other inquiries about the process then please feel free to call us up for a chat and we can further explain in more detail.

What’s the Next Steps?

The concept of sports scholarship agencies is an American phenomenon given the selectivity and diversity of their universities – and in this case, their rowing programs.  Our job comes down to providing insight on the process specific to programs, managing expectations, and helping families negotiate the process efficiently.

To work with us, prospective student-athletes or their parents would submit an initial application, which, after a conversation is followed-up by an interview between the student and one of our scholarship consultants.  This is free of charge and we always seek to provide feedback to families after this process.  If we believe the individual has a realistic opportunity to secure a scholarship, we will send a proposal offering the family the opportunity to sign with Be Varsity and commence the sports scholarship process.