For many high school football players, the dream of playing at the collegiate level is a powerful motivator.
However, the cost of attending college can be a significant barrier for many families. Fortunately, there are numerous scholarships and grants available specifically for football players.
These opportunities not only help offset the cost of tuition but also recognize athletic and academic achievements, leadership skills, and community service. This article will explore some of the best football scholarships and grants available, as well as eligibility requirements and application processes.
Whether you’re a student-athlete looking to continue your football career in college or a parent helping your child navigate the college application process, this guide can help you identify potential funding opportunities to make higher education more accessible.
How to apply for football scholarships and grants?
The application process for football scholarships and grants may vary depending on the organization or institution offering the opportunity. However, here are some general steps you can take:
Research scholarship and grant opportunities
Look for scholarships and grants that are specifically for football players, as well as those that recognize academic and leadership achievements. Check with colleges and universities you’re interested in attending, as well as with football organizations and foundations.
Review eligibility requirements
Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for each scholarship or grant you’re interested in. These may include academic standards, athletic achievements, community service, and other criteria.
Prepare your application materials
Most applications will require you to submit transcripts, standardized test scores, a resume or activity list, and letters of recommendation. Some may also require you to write a personal statement or an essay.
Complete the application
Follow the instructions carefully and submit all required materials by the deadline. Be sure to proofread your application materials and ensure they are error-free.
After submitting your application, you may need to follow up with the organization or institution to ensure they have received your materials. You can also inquire about the status of your application and when you can expect to hear back.
Apply for multiple opportunities
Applying for multiple scholarships and grants is a good idea to increase your chances of receiving financial aid.
Remember, the application process may be competitive, so putting your best foot forward and showcasing your achievements and potential is important. Good luck!
The best football scholarships and grants to apply for in 2023
We have collected some of the best options for students to try.
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that governs student-athletes and athletic programs at more than 1,200 colleges and universities in the United States. The NCAA offers scholarships for football players at Division I and Division II levels. These scholarships can cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board.
Student-athletes must meet certain academic and athletic standards to be eligible for NCAA football scholarships. They must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) and standardized test scores and demonstrate outstanding athletic ability.
In addition to meeting these standards, student-athletes must also be recruited by a college or university that is a member of the NCAA. Recruiters typically evaluate student-athletes’s performance on the field and may also consider their character, work ethic, and potential for academic success.
It’s important to note that NCAA football scholarships are limited and highly competitive. Only a small percentage of high school football players will receive full or partial scholarships to play at the collegiate level.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a nonprofit organization that governs intercollegiate athletics at more than 250 colleges and universities in the United States. Like the NCAA, the NAIA offers scholarships for football players at the collegiate level. These scholarships can cover the same aspects as NCAA.
Unlike NCAA scholarships, NAIA football scholarships are not restricted to Division I or Division II schools. Instead, they are offered to schools that are members of the NAIA and may be available at the Division III level as well.
If you’re interested in applying for NAIA football scholarships, starting early and being proactive in your search is important. Contact college coaches and recruiters, attend football camps and clinics, and work with your high school guidance counselor to identify potential opportunities.
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation Scholarship
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation Scholarship is a unique opportunity for college football quarterbacks who have demonstrated outstanding performance and exceptional character off the field. The scholarship is named in honor of Johnny Unitas, a legendary quarterback who played for the Baltimore Colts from 1956 to 1972.
The scholarship is available to college quarterbacks in their senior year of eligibility and has maintained a strong academic record throughout their college career. The scholarship is awarded based on a combination of factors, including athletic performance, academic achievement, and community service.
To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must submit an application that includes their academic record, football statistics, extracurricular activities, and community service information. Finalists are then selected and interviewed by a panel of judges, who evaluate each candidate based on their overall qualifications and potential.
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation Scholarship is highly competitive, with only one scholarship awarded each year. The scholarship amount varies each year but typically covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board for the final year of college.
In addition to the scholarship, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation provides mentoring and leadership development opportunities for scholarship recipients, helping them to build their skills and prepare for successful careers after graduation.
The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award
The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award is an annual award that recognizes college football players who have demonstrated exceptional leadership both on and off the field. The award was created in honor of Jason Witten, a former college football star and longtime NFL tight end known for his leadership, character, and commitment to community service.
To be eligible for the award, college football players must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, athletic performance, and community service. They must be in their final year of eligibility and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Candidates are evaluated by a selection committee based on their overall contributions to their team, their academic record, and their community involvement.
The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award winner receives a $10,000 donation to their school’s athletic scholarship fund and a $1,000 donation to their charity of choice. The award is presented at a formal ceremony in February each year.
In addition to the financial prize, the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award provides a unique opportunity for college football players to showcase their leadership and character both on and off the field. Winners are recognized as role models for their peers and are often sought after for speaking engagements and other leadership opportunities.
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is a prestigious award recognizing college football players who have significantly contributed to their communities through volunteerism and community service. Allstate Insurance Company sponsors the award in partnership with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
To be eligible for the award, college football players must demonstrate a sustained commitment to community service and volunteerism, both on and off the field. Candidates are nominated by their coaches, and a selection committee evaluates each nominee based on their overall community involvement, leadership, and impact.
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team consists of 23 players from all levels of college football, including NCAA Division I FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III, and NAIA. In addition to being recognized as outstanding athletes, Good Works Team members are celebrated for their leadership and service in their communities.
The award includes several benefits for Good Works Team members, including a $2,500 donation to the charity of their choice and a trip to New Orleans to participate in a community service project and attend the Allstate Sugar Bowl.