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Scholarships???

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gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
Has anyone here ever tried to get a kid a gymnastics scholarship? I am looking for more practical info on the best way to go about trying. Gymbabi has not set her heart on any one particular school and we would like to try to get her at least a partial scholarship.
 

audra

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Feb 5, 2006
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The best place to start is with her coaches. If it is something your daughter decides she wants to do, her coaches are your best connection. She should also start looking into which schools have teams and offer scholarships. Unfortunately, gymnastics scholarships are hard to come by. A few years ago Collegiate gymnastics went to only 2 divisions, Division 1 (NCAA), and Division 3 which is NCGA and I'm not sure if you can get any money for NCGA competition. They may offer money through grants, start your research early and make plans to visit schools. Many schools participate in recruitment camps as well. Good luck!
 

gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
That's funny, I was reading on a website about Div I, and II schools having gymnastics, but when I went to look, all the schools that had gymnastics teams were listed at I or III schools. No Div II at all, so I was a little confused.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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The optional girls at our gym are told to get a scholarship or at least have a school be interested in them, they have to be Level 10 and should make at least 1 or more JO Nationals. We've had over 30 girls get full gym scholarships. From what the gym owner says, a girl will not be noticed by a school at high school meets such as states or Level 9 since the schools don't have the money in their budget to send coaches to those meets. They tend to pick a couple of the big meets for Level 10s and go to those.

I did see a flier left by Orlando Metro at our optional meet about hosting some type of gym camp where college coaches would be.
 

gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
USAIGC has a meet every year, the College Bound Invitational, that is supposed to be a place for the college gym coaches and college gymnast hopefulls to get together. We haven't been to one yet. No point at level 8. I'm not sure gymbabi will make level 10 before graduating. She hasn't had a very strong level 8 season this year and only has state left to make a qualifying move up score.
 
Feb 15, 2007
222
Has anyone here ever tried to get a kid a gymnastics scholarship? I am looking for more practical info on the best way to go about trying. Gymbabi has not set her heart on any one particular school and we would like to try to get her at least a partial scholarship.

From what I understand, colleges send scouts to level 9 & 10 competitions - they generally look in the jr year of high school... our coaches make sure the girls get exposure at the important competitions and make sure they have enough training time in the gym. A few weeks ago, one of our 16yr old level 9's at our gym got contacted by 3 colleges after she competed... don't give up hope:)
 
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hammy

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Colleges generally look at level 9 and 10s--they do have level 9s on their teams. Colleges also tend to start looking during their sophmore and junior year (more of the junior year). They are often hard to come by--I was a level 10 gymnast and I walked onto the West Va University's gym team, I could have had a scholarship at other schools but not where exactly I wanted to go.

Talk to your coach about it and start working on a video (DVD) of your gymnast's skills, in the gym and competitions--these will be sent to the colleges that your gymnast is looking at (during her junior year of high school).

The College Bound Invitational is an excellent meet to attend. The atmosphere is so much different than a USAG meet--after your routine you can repeat a skill and you are judged on both USAG and NCAA judges, so you receive 2 scores. The coaches are also looking at how well you interact with other gymnasts.

Also, a lot of the time if the coaches want you on their team they will help you get an academic scholarship if they are not alotted enough gym scholarships for a certain year. Coaches are sometimes able to give a scholarship after the gymnast's freshman year with them.

There is hope for everyone out there, so no giving up! I didn't decide on my college until April of my senior year and I was fine. Gymnasts are often recruited by colleges for individual events, although they are listed as "All around competitors," allowing them to compete any event if they are needed. Coaches aren't just looking for skills and how great of a gymnast you are, they also look for good academics and a good attitude. Good luck and remember to have fun!
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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In the few years I've been associated with our gym, the only girls who got NCAA scholarships were the Level 10s. We had one girl who graduated 2 yrs. ago get full academic and gym scholarships. I know she competed her freshman year, but don't think she is as a sophomore. She also graduated from high school at the ripe old age of 16---talk about an overachiever!!!

As someone mentioned if there is a will, there might be a way. A girl who also graduated 2 yrs ago in now competing for her college. She was a Level 10, but sat out her entire senior year due to an ACL reconstruction. No offers from colleges. She did decide to go to a school that has a Division 1 gymnastics program and started training on her own as a freshman. Well, this year as a sophomore she made the team as a "walk on." I think she's only competing a couple of events, but she is back in gymnastics.

I've heard of companies that claim to be "experts" in getting your kid an athletic scholarship. I've know several parents that have paid thousands to have professional videos made, nice looking books with all kinds of stats made etc.(no these weren't for gymnastics). Of course, they guarantee nothing except that they'll make money---would be very wary of anything like that.
 

audra

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Feb 5, 2006
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I would be very wary of anyone who is going to charge you to get your child a scholarship. Most schools just want to see what skills your child can do, and do not care if it is a professional video that is made. Don't give up if your child does not get a scholarship their freshman year, if they are at a D.1 school and compete as a walk on their first year they can be offered a scholarship the next year.
 

JBS

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Sep 3, 2005
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I've heard of companies that claim to be "experts" in getting your kid an athletic scholarship. I've know several parents that have paid thousands to have professional videos made, nice looking books with all kinds of stats made etc.(no these weren't for gymnastics). Of course, they guarantee nothing except that they'll make money---would be very wary of anything like that.
Yes, these companies are garbage (especially for gymnastics). Books and videos mean nothing in the world of gymnastics. Skills pay the bills!

I you want a video for a college, just have your coach film your workout. Also send them a clip from a competition.
 
Feb 15, 2007
222
From what I understand, colleges send scouts to level 9 & 10 competitions - they generally look in the jr year of high school... our coaches make sure the girls get exposure at the important competitions and make sure they have enough training time in the gym. A few weeks ago, one of our 16yr old level 9's at our gym got contacted by 3 colleges after she competed... don't give up hope:)
... and since this post they have recieved letters from 4 more colleges - most are Div 1 - Right now the schools just want a video of some of the things she is working on, but I thought that was great - 7 schools!!
 
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audra

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That is great!!!! Sounds like the coaches know what they are doing- Good Luck to the gymnast.
 
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doubleback

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Funny this topic should come up. The coach at our gym just talked to all the parents about scholarships. He said it's work, but is worth it. He said finding a school that offers grant money is the best way to go because you can't lose your grant money if you get injured & can't compete. A parent suggested to get a book & write down all achievements - gymnastics & otherwise. This helps out when trying to list everything on the apps.
 

Eveningdew

Parent/Coach
May 17, 2007
53
California, MD
My dh was talking with a mom at our ds CAP meeting last night who's dd received a scholarship to the Air Force Academy based on her gymnastics ability. They want "kids" who are athletic, regardless of the sports. They require their recruits/cadets to stay physically fit.

Both of us were very surprised by the information and helps give us more options for our dd in the near future as she decides what she wants from her skills.

Hope that helps some! :)
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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The military academies are an option, but a tough one. The athlete still has to meet all of their admissions requirements which are arguably higher academically than most other schools with gymnastics programs. Now, many who attended either Air Force, West Point etc. will tell you the varsity athletes do get cut some slack in attendance at daily military formations, room inspections etc. if they have practice. However, they are considered cadets 1st and athletes 2nd. It is a very structured 4 years of school and after graduation all must serve 6yrs(I believe) in the military.
 
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awposey1

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How old is she? Orlando Metro gymnastics in FL held a college recruitment camp this year and plan to again next...It was a great camp...they had about 20 scouts from big name colleges attend to watch the girls...It was only open to gymnasts freshman and older and level 9, 10 and elite. It would be worth attending next year if she is not yet a Senior.
 

CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
217
As soon as a gymnast of mine hits level 9 I start recording every meet they compete at, any D or E they are capable of doing, I do a small interview with them on video once every few months to show their personalities. And usually by the time they are ready to start making a DVD for recruiters we have a TON of footage to choose from.

If a coach wants their gymnasts recruited by top colleges you have to work hard at it. I just finished the recruiting DVD for one of my level 10's and I had footage of her from her first year level 9 at 10 years old all the way up to 17 and american classic, all her elite qualifiers.
 

gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
Gymbabi will be 16 next month. She did not make level 9 and she is now a junior. She is doing another season of level 8 this spring. We aren't giving up however. We are still hoping to get a walk on spot that can possibly develop into a scholarship. She hasn't even made up her mind on which school she wants to go to yet. Thanks for all the good info!
 

LemonLime

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 16, 2007
709
Gymbabi, you've asked a very complicated question. It's highly dependent on your daughter, where she wants to go to school and what her strengths & weaknesses are.

It's overly simplistic to say that Level 10s are much more likely to get a scholarship than a L9. Sure, that is TRUE, but it doesn't give the answer on an individual basis.

Does the gymnast have a strong event that makes her routine capable of NCAA competition? Are the schools in which she is interested needy on that event? Very few college gymnasts compete 4 events and specialization is the norm.

How is her health and body? Does she suffer from repetitive stress injuries that preclude her from competing her best on her best event? Did she survive puberty well to be capable of competing for four more years?

Is the gymnast someone that gels well with the team socially, with both her coaches and teammates?

Is her GPA something that can help pull up the average for the team?

None of the above is more important than having great gymnastics, but they are factors that can help and hurt a gymnast get on a college team.

Getting together a video or website is crucial. Many gymnasts can use youtube and that is becoming standard in recruiting now. You don't need something fancy, but you do need something.

As for "partial" scholarships, admittance, etc. . . . In D1 schools, there is no such thing as a partial scholarship under Title IX becuase women's gymnastics is in a protected category with two other women's sports. . . . . Aside from only one or two specific schools, gymnasts offered spots on teams do receive a leg up on admission, although to what extent depends on the school. . . . I have known two women on the USAF gymnastics team (they are 8 years apart) and their placement on the team did help with admission, but they were extremely strong candidates anyway and probably would have been admitted regardless. They wanted to go to the Academy and be USAF officers. Gymnastics was secondary to that goal.
 
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bpatient

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I was interested to learn that it's feasible for a Level 9 gymnast to earn a scholarship. It doesn't seem particularly common, though: of the 278 new NCAA gymnasts listed at collegegymfans, only 10 had not reached Level 10 or elite. Two went to Air Force, which has rather special recruiting requirements. One ended up at Berkeley; she had been, I think, a four-year Level 9 and a state, regional, and Western National champion. Centenary, Kent State, Rutgers, Seattle Pacific (Division II), Southeast Missouri, and Towson (2) also added Level 9 gymnasts to their rosters this year.
 
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