Bold.org Scholarships Blog

Do Ivy Leagues give athletic scholarships?

Bold.org Editorial Team

Top experts in a variety of areas

Ivy League schools are some of the most prestigious in the world. These eight schools receive thousands of applications each year only to admit an incredibly small number of students. However, alongside their prestige comes a steep tuition price, with the tuition of Ivy League institutions ranging from $50,000-$59,000 each year. This steep cost of tuition alone makes financial aid packages incredibly important for students trying to afford school.

For some students, one way to make college affordable is athletics, and looking for schools that offer athletic scholarships can even be part of the college search process. In fact, although only 14.8% of college students participate in intercollegiate sports, this still equates to some 460,000 students. For these students, athletic scholarships can be a valuable source of financial aid, allowing people of all backgrounds to pursue higher education.

With thousands of student-athletes and even more students in need of financial aid, it comes as a major surprise that Ivy Leagues do not give athletic scholarships. Although Ivy League schools are ranked as Division One schools within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), athletes at Ivy League schools do not receive financial aid packages for their athletics.

Instead, Ivy League schools give their athletes the same need-based financial aid opportunities given to other students. In other words, while ivy athletes can apply for and receive need-based financial aid, they will not receive an offer for athletic scholarships from any of the ivy league schools, so Ivy League recruits should consider other aid options outside of the traditional athletic scholarship.

Can you receive an athletic scholarship while in an Ivy League?

While Ivy League schools give only need-based financial aid, participants in Ivy League sports can still receive athletic scholarships, just not scholarships funded by an Ivy League school. There are plenty of athletic scholarships and financial aid opportunities funded by sources outside of universities, such as organizations, companies, and even individuals. For instance, on the Bold.org scholarships page, you can use the filter tool to search "athletics" and "sports" to find athletic scholarships funded by a variety of donors.

Any athletic scholarship, whether it is funded by a university or an outside source, can be a valuable source of financial aid, so if you are going to become an athlete at an Ivy League school, but are concerned about finances, consider researching other athletic scholarships to see what financial aid options await you. Many people offer athletic scholarships because they want to help students, so don't be too discouraged by the steep cost of Ivy League schools.

Additionally, your Ivy League coach may be a great resource to point you in the direction of other financial aid options, like merit scholarships or work-study.

Ivy League Athletic Conference

The Ivy League Athletic Conference is an NCAA division that is comprised of the eight Ivy League schools, which are as follows: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

The NCAA is home to many different conferences which are generally geographically grouped, like the west coast PAC-12 conference or the Northeast/Midwest Big East conference.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ivy League Athletic Scholarships

Do Ivy League schools recruit athletes?

Although Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships, they do sometimes recruit student-athletes. However, because of the prestige and fame that Ivy League schools hold, athletes often come to them, meaning that recruiting is not common.

Each school has a limit on the number of athletes it can recruit for specific sports within a four-year period, so recruitment in Ivy League schools only applies to an incredibly small percentage of athletes. Furthermore, recruited athletes are also required to maintain very high grades, which can be difficult alongside the responsibilities of student athletics.

What GPA do Ivy League athletes need?

According to the NCAA, division one athletes must have 90% of the institution’s minimum overall grade-point average necessary to graduate by the beginning of year two, 95% of the minimum GPA by year three, and 100 percent by year four. Since Ivy League schools fall into the Division 1 category of the NCAA, they also must follow these rules.

However, if you are participating in Ivy League sports, you should also check with your coach and academic advisor to make sure that your academic progress is on track with any stipulations your specific school may have.

What sports do Ivy Leagues like?

Ivy Leagues do not necessarily have specific sports preferences. The schools have teams in more popular sports like soccer, football, basketball, baseball, tennis, track and field, etc., but they also have sports that are perhaps less popular, like fencing, sailing, golf, rowing, and more.

These less popular sports can potentially increase one's chances of being admitted to an Ivy League as a student-athlete due to the fact that there is less competition, but they can also raise major questions with regards to equity, as these sports are often only available to the upper classes. If you are looking into Ivy League athletics, consider visiting the individual website for athletics at your Ivy League school of choice in order to find more in-depth information.