Athletic scholarships hard to come by



Joyce Harrell, left, and Jayde Christopher take a selfie after signing their letters of intent to play basketball for Boise State and Kansas State, respectively, on Nov. 12, 2014. Athletic scholarships are difficult to obtain, even for the best players in the sport.

Ronnie Estoque and Hewan Mengistu

Last year, numerous Eagles received either full ride or partial scholarships to colleges around the country. These scholarships aren’t easy to obtain and is even harder for lesser-known sports.

“You don’t find them, they find you,” Athletic Director Tim Bursey said. “If talented enough academically or athletically, they’ll find you.”

Full ride scholarships are highly competitive and even the best athletes are not guaranteed to be offered one.

Zechariah Brown has been playing organized football since third grade. He is currently seeking a football scholarship and has admitted the process in getting an offer can be stressful and is a waiting game.

“It a long drawn out process … you don’t know if you are going to get a scholarship from that school or not,” the wide receiver said. “You kind of want just a scholarship to happen.”

Senior Henry Mach has been swimming since the age of four, and he is finding it difficult to find scholarship opportunities for swimmers.

“Not a lot of schools offer swimming [scholarships],” Mach explained. “If you’re talented and you’re really good at an Olympic and gold level, you’re probably going to get a scholarship.”

According to Bursey, women participating in high school sports are considered to have an easier time finding a scholarship because of Title IX, a law passed in 1972 that requires gender equity in every educational program that receives federal funding.

Most scholarships have specific academic requirements that need to be met such as maintaining a good cumulative GPA and receiving credits for certain classes. Students who receive a renewable scholarship can renew that particular scholarship if they average a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Partial scholarships are offered often and are easy to find. These scholarships can range from $500 to $50,000.

“You just have to open your eyes and look and it would be right there in front of you,” Bursey explains. He believes that any student from Cleveland is capable of getting scholarships.

“It’s just a matter of applying.”