Can You Get a Scholarship for Cheer?

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Cheerleading is not just about spirit. It's a highly competitive sport requiring skill and teamwork. As it gains popularity, aspiring student-athletes may seek scholarships for cheer.

Funding your college education can be stressful if you're a student-athlete, but don't panic. As a student-athlete, not only are there academic scholarships available to you, but there are also athletic scholarships.

If you're a cheerleading high school student-athlete with the aim of going to school on a college cheerleading scholarship, there are plenty of options available to you.

Over 250 colleges offer cheerleading programs and a variety of options across the Division I, Division II, and Division III levels. As a member of a college cheerleading squad, you may compete in college national competitions or participate in football and rodeo teams.

Cheerleading scholarships maintain the same requirements that other athletic scholarships do, and college cheerleaders must demonstrate good academic standing and maintain a certain GPA in order to qualify. These scholarships can come directly from the school, but there are also many other scholarships that cheerleaders can benefit from.

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Those who display academic achievement can apply for academic scholarships, and students who excel in their sport can apply for cheerleading-related scholarships. Furthermore, although many colleges offer cheerleading scholarships, you can also find a cheerleading scholarship through outside platforms, such as Bold.org. In fact, on Bold.org, you can find a ,that you can apply for. New scholarships are added daily, so be sure to use the scholarship search filter to find the financial aid you need to attend a university.

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Cheerleading scholarships

What Is a Cheerleading Scholarship?

A cheerleading scholarship is scholarship money granted to student-athletes who are interested in pursuing cheerleading and dance teams at the collegiate level. Cheerleading scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who intend to participate in college cheer programs and are often awarded in the form of college tuition.

College cheerleaders may earn full-ride college cheerleading scholarships or tuition scholarships for being a member of the cheerleading program. Cheerleading scholarship opportunities vary by college and program, especially if the school has a competitive scholarship program, so be sure to conduct research to learn if you can get a college cheerleading scholarship.

Some schools are offered an annual allotment and given a limited cheerleading scholarship endowment. A cheerleading coach may decide to give a partial athletic scholarship to several cheerleaders rather than awarding a full-ride scholarship to one or two student-athletes, so it's really important to stand out to your coach so you are selected as an awardee.

Can You Get a Scholarship for Cheerleading?

It is possible to win a scholarship for cheerleading! Student-athletes interested in cheerleading scholarships and programs should do the necessary research to find a college program that can fulfill their goals and needs. Additionally, you can find more cheerleading scholarships through outside platforms like Bold.org. Consider discussing cheerleading scholarships with your coach, teammates, and financial aid advisor.

Make sure to figure out which level of college cheerleading is feasible for your college goals and schedule. If you're looking for athletic scholarships that will fund more than tuition costs, you will have to look to Division I or II.

Cheer scholarships tend to be harder to earn from a Division I school because the competition is stronger, but Division I college cheerleading programs get more funding and offer competitive financial aid packages.

Some Division III or junior colleges also offer cheerleading scholarships, but the programs have smaller cheerleading scholarship budgets and are more likely to offer partial scholarships rather than full rides. If you are intent on getting a large cheerleading scholarship, you may have more luck at a Division I or II school.

How to Get a Cheerleading Scholarship

Receiving college cheerleading scholarships is undoubtedly competitive, especially if you are applying for a university-administered cheerleading scholarship. Not only do you have to become part of the small percentage of students who participate in college athletics, but you must also stand out athletically and academically. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to increase your chances of being recruited to a cheerleading program and eventually getting a scholarship for cheerleading.

Cheerleading scholarships

Attend Clinics and Camps

Attending clinics and camps is a great way to get on a coach's radar and learn how intense college-level cheer can be. You will learn routines with prospective cheerleaders and existing members of the college teams and then be graded on your performance toward the end of the clinic. Many college clinics take place in autumn, but check the college site for the specific date.

Create a Recruitment Video

College cheer coaches want to see how incoming student-athletes will be an asset to their cheerleading squad. If you aren't completely sure about what kind of program you're interested in, let a recruitment video do the talking!

Recruiting student-athletes is a long process, especially with how many cheerleaders want a spot, so highlight your best stunting and tumbling skills and include a short introduction with your name, high school, and relevant experience.

Contact College Coaches Directly

Emailing college coaches is a smart way to get on the coach's radar and ask for feedback. It is recommended that you attach your recruitment video to the email and describe your goals and interests as a member of the team.

Scholarships Available for Cheerleaders

Following through on its mission statement of eliminating the financial barrier to attending college, Bold.org offers an extensive list of scholarships available to college students with any type of grade point average. In addition to broad scholarships open to all students, there are plenty more cheerleading scholarships available.

Dynamic Edge Women in STEM Scholarship

This scholarship aims to support female graduating high school seniors and undergraduate students wishing to major in STEM. Eligible applicants must live in Michigan or Tennessee and apply by September 15, 2022.

Sports Lover Scholarship

This scholarship aims to support a student of any education level who is interested in a career in athletics or sports. A life-long love of sports can lead individuals to pursue a career in sports or athletic-related fields like nutrition or sports medicine, and this $500 scholarship will promote teamwork and healthy living by uplifting these individuals dedicated to the world of sports. Eligible applicants may apply by November 15, 2022.

Women in Sports Scholarship

This scholarship aims to support a female undergraduate student pursuing a sports-related career. The sports industry has grown exponentially over recent years but can still work to improve the gender gap that persists, and this $1,000 scholarship can help female students on their journey to make their passion a career. Female cheerleaders who are eligible applicants may apply by December 1, 2022.

Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship

This scholarship aims to support a student of any education level who is experiencing a great loss, much like Cat Zingano did in her early twenties while attending college. Sponsored by MMA athlete Cat Zingano, the $10,200 scholarship will be awarded to a student fighting a loss in their own family and is in need of financial assistance to fund their education. Eligible applicants may apply by March 17, 2023.

Cheerleading scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheer Scholarships

Is college cheer hard to get into?

College cheer is a competitive sport; if you haven't cheered competitively for a few years, it will be more difficult to get into a collegiate program. Schools also have a limited amount of cheerleading scholarships, so your chances of getting onto a cheerleading squad might be more difficult depending on the division.

Getting a scholarship for cheerleading can also be competitive, especially if you're looking for cheerleading full-ride scholarships. There is often limited funding to be dispersed among each university's competitive teams, so cheerleaders and other student-athletes aren't always guaranteed a full-ride scholarship, even if they make the team. Many universities have small cheerleading scholarship budgets, so coaches often prioritize scholarships for the top performers on the team, helping schools score cheerleaders that will bring them success.

Is cheer a college sport?

Cheer is a college sport, and 250 colleges offer competitive cheering programs across the country. College cheerleaders participate in programs over the three major divisions, as well as at junior colleges and in the NAIA Division. College cheerleading continues to be a popular sport, and many colleges offer scholarships to their cheerleaders.

What college has the best cheer program?

Many college cheerleading programs are top-tier and have gone on to win several national titles. Based on national titles and awards, the University of Kentucky has the best Division I cheer program with 25 national co-ed titles.

How do you get scouted for cheerleading?

In order to get scouted for cheerleading, cheerleaders should attend clinics at cheerleading colleges and camps and make recruitment videos highlighting their stunting and tumbling skills for coaches to see.

Prospective cheerleaders may also email the coach directly to introduce themselves and send them their recruitment video. It's also important for student-athletes to be in good academic standing prior to making that connection with a coach so that they can display their multifaceted skills. Some colleges award academic scholarships, so qualifying for these opportunities can help you stick out to a college cheerleading coach.

After making your Bold.org profile, use the scholarship search feature to filter through hundreds of different kinds of scholarships.