Over the past years, cheerleading has become a regular part of college athletic competitions. As such, many
colleges and universities now offer cheerleading college scholarships. These scholarship opportunities are valuable
to students looking for alternative source for their educational funds. Benefits can range from partial to full
scholarships, other universities even provide monthly stipend.
If you are into cheerleading, you actually have a wide array of scholarship programs to choose from. In fact,
American Cheerleader, a leading cheerleading magazine in the U.S., lists over 225 colleges that offer cheerleading
scholarships. Aside from educational institutions, there are several private organizations that sponsor such
scholarships. Usually, these scholarships are
offered as reward for a cheerleading competition. There are also several cheerleading organizations that
fund such financial assistance programs.
While cheerleading college scholarships have become very common, being chosen as a recipient is not that easy.
There are literally millions of cheerleaders who are applying for these scholarships. Like any other scholarship
programs, cheerleading college scholarships follow a stringent
application process that may include tryouts as well as evaluation of academic performance.
There are two ways of earning a cheerleading scholarship. First is through recruitment process typically done by
top universities and colleges. If you have excellent cheerleading skills, you might be asked by a cheerleading
squad to join their team. These scholarships are available for high school students who are members of their
school’s respective cheering squads. However, if you are not drafted by a cheerleading squad, another option is to
submit scholarship application or go for a try-out. Expect to encounter a tough competition whenever applying for
these scholarships as there are lots of candidates vying for the slot. During the audition, evaluators will most
likely require you to do a set of routines, which if executed flawlessly will bag a hefty college scholarship.
Thus, when given a chance to try-out, give your best.
Take note, however, that being shortlisted for the cheering squad does not automatically turn you into a
scholar. Apart from the candidate’s cheerleading skills, most schools require above average academic performance as
well as community involvement. To qualify for a cheerleading college scholarship, applicants need to have high SAT
or ACT scores and a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Additionally, students need to be active with extracurricular activities
and community service. Other scholarship programs may require candidates to present statement of family income to
single out students from low-income households.
The amount awarded by each scholarship program differs depending on the sponsoring organization. For example,
Indiana Wesleyan University provides up to $1,000 while the University of Delaware offers a hefty amount of as much
as $7,500. There are also other scholarship programs that only offer tuition and fees rebate while others provide
financial aid such as low interest student loans. The Fort Hays State University in Kansas offers scholarship in
the form of reduced dorm fees, worth $1,000. Aside from these benefits, recipients of cheerleading college
scholarships are entitled to receive free uniforms, transportation disbursement and other in-campus trainings.
Because each cheering squad wants to attract the best cheerleaders, benefits that come with each scholarship
program vary broadly.
To increase your chances of getting a scholarship, here are few tips that might be of help.
1. Build your portfolio early.
Working towards a cheerleading college scholarship starts as early as your first year in high school. Joining
your school’s cheerleading squads provides the opportunity to hone your skills in this athletic act. Hopefully,
before you realize these scholarships, you have already been part of a cheerleading squad. Remember that these
scholarships are looking for candidates with exceptional talent in cheerleading.
2. Don’t just focus on cheerleading.
Although talent and skill are essential to get a cheerleading scholarship, you need to equally develop other
aspects of school life, more particularly, academics and community service. Scholarship for cheerleaders requires
its recipients to harness a well-balanced study life.
3. Choose which school to enroll in.
Although your choice of school depends on the presence of a cheerleading college scholarship, the final decision
must still be based on your future life goals. Aside from comparing schools based on the scholarship benefits they
offer, you need to take into account which school meets your long-term goals.
4. Prepare for tryouts.
As mentioned earlier, you may be asked to perform routines hence it important to prepare for the tryout
physically. Find out in advance the dates for tryouts as well as the routines most demonstrated. Make sure to
prepare a solo piece, should the selection committee ask for an impromptu performance.
5. Apply to as many cheerleading scholarship opportunities as possible.
The secret in notching the best scholarships lies on the number of applications you have sent and the
tryouts you have tried. Inquire from all possible colleges about their cheerleading college scholarship programs.
Usually these scholarships are included in the school’s athletic
Dedicated cheerleaders who constantly hone their skills and talents will definitely have an advantage on
cheerleading college scholarships. However, you should not limit your choices to these cheerleading scholarships.
There are actually other scholarship programs which you might qualify for.