NJCAA Scholarships are offered through grants from the National Junior College Athletic Association and are then used to support athletic scholars who have shown not only exceptional abilities relating to sports but also to their academic progress. Grants which are given out to individual community colleges are typically handled at the local level, though specific restrictions are in place which limits the number of awards which can be given out at colleges around the country. Beyond that, individual institutions maintain the rights to set their own standards of academic development and athletic achievement.
Many NJCAA scholarships are full ride programs, providing the entirety of a student’s funding while they are attending school and maintaining appropriate levels of academic achievement. While not as big as other college athletic associations such as the NCAA, the NJCAA covers an immense amount of programs including the big ones like baseball, basketball, football and cross country. Golf, lacrosse, softball, soccer, swimming, tennis, bowling and other athletic programs are also covered. Basically, if a student is an athlete and heading off to college, they will likely be able to find support through an NJCAA scholarship.
Students should know that NJCAA scholarships are not like those given out by the NCAA and the rules of play are quite different. Recruitment is not as common – students will need to make their presence known to coaches at NJCAA member schools and convince them that they are worth the investment. Because coaches are junior colleges have very small budgets for recruitment, they will often know very little about students who are attempting to apply into their programs. As a result of this it can be difficult to make recommendations without information to back it up. Students interested in NJCAA junior college athletic scholarships should come prepared to show what they can do on the field and for the team.
As NJCAA scholarships are limited to only 24 per school, only those athletes capable of making a strong case will have the chances of winning access to an award. With so many different sports programs being supported at some schools, students will need to make sure they are representing themselves in the best light.
This is of course only part of the process. All student applicants who have an interest in NJCAA scholarships will need to have submitted to the eligibility requirements of the association in order to even get a chance at an award. Students will need to determine which junior colleges in their area are members of the NJCAA and submit to eligibility screening through their specific program. All applicants will need to either have a GED or be a high school graduate. Students who do not meet these standards may achieve basic eligibility by attending college for at least 12 credits while maintaining at least a 1.75 grade point average. Individual institutions may maintain more stringent requirements, but students will only know what those are by contacting the school’s NJCAA director.
NJCAA scholarships are very generous in what they cover. Not only do they normally cover basic tuition costs but very often cover lodging, books, and various other fees related to school. Some schools may split these programs up, covering more students but less with regards to cost to attendance, but students will need to check with their school to find out if this is the case where they have chosen to attend.
Before going on and selecting a school, students should be aware of a couple of things. NJCAA scholarships are available only for a limited time to students attending a community college and the expectation is that a student will go on to a four year university. Students who have not done well in school, or are not entirely sure where they want to go professionally after graduation should take the junior college route in order to buff up their grades and select a career path. Getting an NJCAA scholarship is a really great way for young athletes to attend school. However, all interested students should be aware that NJCAA scholarships are only available at Division I and Division II schools.