Athletic Scholarships for Fencing

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Jun 242011

fencing scholarships

Scholarships for Fencing

When it comes right down to it, athletic scholarships for fencing can be difficult to find in the United States outside of the National Collegiate Athletics Association. Unlike other sports which receive some amount of funding from local clubs or regional organizations, fencing is a field that is sparsely populated with players and does not receive nearly as much attention as other athletically competitive fields. While this may seem like bad news, fact of the matter is that with a smaller player pool and the amount of available programs, students have a substantially higher chance of scoring a fencing scholarship as compared to other athletic scholarships. Using the NCAA as point of comparison, students going for football, baseball, or other big athletic fields have roughly a six percent chance of getting access to a program as compared to fencers who have around a 50% chance of winning an award. Additional fencing scholarships outside of the NCAA make finding financial aid a little easier, especially for top level athletes. Those students interested in athletic scholarships for fencing are going to find their best bet in the colleges they are planning to apply to. This is where a majority of non-NCAA funding seems to appear, through university fencing programs which seek good candidates for their club.

The Herbert Gee Fencing Scholarship is available to students who are graduating from a San Francisco public high school that is also a participant in the “Rusty Blade” organization. Two different college fencing scholarships are available through this fund, one for a male and another for a female athlete. It gives out $1,000 to each student to be used at the school they intend to attend. Applicants will need to have strong academic histories, actively participate in fencing competitions and be able to submit an essay to the organization. Awards are generally given out after the end of the fencing season and students interested in further information should contact the Rusty Blades directly.

A national fencing scholarship is available through the Eric Wang Memorial Fund in the form of the FIT Scholarship. This program requires that students have fencing experience, be a high school senior or freshmen to juniors in college, and be enrolled as an undergraduate. Students will have the opportunity to win one of two different $500 awards. In 2009 and up into 2010 the awards went as high as $750, but seem to have come back down to $500 in 2011. Students should keep an eye on the reward amounts as they may go up again in the future.

Students who are attending Columbia College may be interested to know that a non-NCAA fencing college scholarship is available for them through the Herbert C. Spiselman Endowment. This program awards various numbers of grants every year to students involved in the Columbia fencing program with financial awards to help them pay for their education.

Reed College is another university which provides fencing scholarships. The Douglas Williams Scholarship Fencing Tournament is held every year. A truly competitive program, this athletic fencing scholarship will be awarded to the top players at the tournament. A total purse of $10,000 is shared by the top three students who are actually eligible for financial aid, meaning that they will need to show financial need.

Considering the various program available to students, the best bet for a fencing scholarship remains the NCAA divisions across the country. While only roughly 38% of NCAA placers will receive full ride scholarships, there are still a number of partial ride programs available. Women fencers have even better chances of picking up an NCAA fencing scholarship, coming in at 48% of the awards. Apart from trying to find an NCAA fencing scholarship or using one of the listed alternatives, students should consult with their collegiate fencing team, consult with their fencing coaches, or talk fencing clubs they may be a member of. Certainly it is true that none of these sources are guaranteed to pull a university fencing scholarship out of their hats, they are the best sources of information or potential programs.