Snowboarding and skiing scholarships are relatively few and far between. While the National Collegiate Athletic Association does give out some ski scholarships, there are fewer programs available for students interested in snowboarding. Across the United States there are numerous alternatives to the NCAA, but overall the number of independent skiing and snowboarding scholarships are lacking. With a relative stranglehold over athletic scholarships, it is no surprise that when the NCAA is involved that there are fewer independent programs available, as they often make up the bulk of awards which can be given out in a given year.
Fortunately there are alternatives that exist, so students who are interested in snowboarding or skiing scholarships do have other options. At the national level, there are very few scholarship granting organizations outside of the NCAA and students will find much better luck looking at the regional or local levels. This will mean talking to coaches or local clubs while searching for skiing and snowboarding scholarships, or joining regional organizations if they offer similar programs themselves. Students will also find decent luck looking for snowboarding and skiing scholarships at specific colleges or universities they are interested in going to. Since the NCAA seems to give out only a very limited number of awards in these categories every year, colleges in some areas have been known to help bridge the gap by making their own programs available.
There is one really great national snowboarding or skiing scholarship available from the Kelly Clark Foundation which is an organization that works actively to support young athletes. This particular opportunity is more targeted at snowboarding scholarships, which tends to receive less attention than skiing with regards to financial aid. It gives out awards totaling $11,500 to students attending mountain schools in the United States. Students interested in this program should be planning to or attending a mountain school somewhere in the US, be actively engaged in snowboarding or snowboarding teams, and have a strong academic history. All applicants will also need to show a sincere financial need. Application materials should be turned in no later than June 30.
The Jackson Hole Ski Club provides a regional scholarship that students should be fairly interested in. This particular program is designed to help students be able to afford the costs of skiing and entering into athletics. While this may not necessarily help them afford the cost of college, it will help them maintain active participation in a collegiate program while not having to worry about additional costs. Students who are interested in this program will need to have at least a 3.0 grade point average, an active membership in the Jackson Hole Ski Club, clear indicators of leadership, and an interest in continuing to participate in the program. All financial awards will be given out based on need. The program’s deadline is November 15.
Another regional program, specifically aimed at college students, is the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage. The program gives out awards totaling $9,000 to a varying number of students. In 2010 the number of awards given out was seven. Students interested in the program will need to be active members of the NSAA, be actively committed to the sport, be active members in community services and have a strong academic record. Applications are due April 12 and the 2012 cycle will begin towards the end of 2011.
Colleges are generally an outstanding source of additional financial aid for specific programs like snowboarding and skiing scholarships. Students who are attending Sierra Nevada College, for example, will have access to a skiing and snowboarding scholarship, one of the few programs which award both. Applicants will need to be active members of the ski and snowboard team. Those who would like to apply to the program should contact the team’s coach. It cannot be denied that the NCAA does not give enough skiing and snowboard scholarships to interested students, so savvy students will find their financial aid through clubs, regional associations or the colleges they are attending.