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Can You Run Track In College Without A Scholarship

Can You Run Track In College Without A Scholarship

Track and field is a popular and competitive sport that attracts many high school athletes who want to continue their passion and pursue their goals in college. However, not every track and field athlete can get a scholarship to run track in college, as scholarships are limited, selective, and competitive. According to the NCAA, there are only 12.6 scholarships available for men’s track and field and cross country teams and 18 scholarships available for women’s track and field and cross country teams, per Division 1 school.

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Can You Run Track In College Without A Scholarship

 The answer is no. These scholarships are often divided among many athletes, and some schools may not offer the full amount of scholarships. Furthermore, scholarships are usually based on athletic performance, academic achievement, and financial need, and not every track and field athlete can meet the requirements or expectations of the coaches and the schools.

Does this mean that you cannot stay on track in college without a scholarship? There are many ways and opportunities for you to run track in college without a scholarship and still enjoy the benefits and experiences of being a college track and field athlete. In this article, we will explore the following questions:

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What are the benefits of running track in college without a scholarship?

Running track in college without a scholarship can have many benefits, such as:

  • Improving your physical and mental health: Running track in college can help you improve your physical and mental health, as it can keep you fit, active, and healthy and reduce your stress, anxiety, and depression. Running track in college can also help you develop good habits, such as eating well, sleeping well, and managing your time and energy.
  • Enhancing your academic performance and motivation: Running track in college can also help you enhance your academic performance and motivation, as it can challenge you to balance your studies and your sport and motivate you to maintain or improve your grades and attendance. Running track in college can also help you develop skills, such as discipline, focus, and perseverance, that can benefit your academic success and career readiness.
  • Expanding your network and opportunities: Running track in college can also help you expand your network and opportunities, as it can connect you with other track and field athletes, coaches, and mentors who can offer you support, guidance, and resources. Running track in college can also provide you with opportunities to participate in competitions, events, or programs that can enhance your resume, skills, and knowledge and open doors for your academic and career advancement.

What are the options for running track in college without a scholarship?

There are many options for running track in college without a scholarship, depending on your goals, qualifications, and preferences. Some of the common options for running track in college without a scholarship are:

  • Running track at Division 2, Division 3, or NAIA school: These are schools that offer track and field programs at different division levels and may have lower tuition costs, less competition, and more flexibility than Division 1 schools. These schools may also offer partial or full scholarships, grants, or financial aid, based on athletic, academic, or other criteria, that can help you pay for your education and your sport. However, these schools may also have lower athletic standards, fewer resources, and less exposure than Division 1 schools.

To run track at Division 2, Division 3, or NAIA school, you need to meet the eligibility requirements, such as having a high school diploma, a minimum GPA, and a minimum test score, and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center or the NAIA Eligibility Center. You also need to contact the coaches and the schools and submit your application and supporting documents, such as your transcripts, test scores, track and field resume, and video.

  • Running track at a junior college or a community college: These are schools that offer two-year associate degrees or certificates and may have lower tuition costs, more accessibility, and more diversity than four-year colleges or universities. These schools may also offer scholarships, grants, or financial aid based on athletic, academic, or other criteria that can help you pay for your education and your sport.

However, these schools may also have lower academic standards, fewer resources, and less transferability than four-year colleges or universities. To run track at a junior college or a community college, you need to meet the admission requirements, such as having a high school diploma or a GED, and apply to the school and the track and field program. You also need to contact the coaches and the schools and submit your application and supporting documents, such as your transcripts, test scores, track and field resume, and video.

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  • Running track at a club or an intramural level: These are programs that offer recreational or competitive track and field opportunities for students who are not part of the varsity or the intercollegiate teams. These programs may have lower costs, less pressure, and more fun than the varsity or intercollegiate teams. These programs may also offer scholarships, grants, or financial aid based on athletic, academic, or other criteria that can help you pay for your education and your sport.

However, these programs may also have lower athletic standards, fewer resources, and less recognition than the varsity or intercollegiate teams. To run track at a club or an intramural level, you need to find out if your school or your community offers such programs and register for or join them. You also need to contact the coaches or the organizers and submit your application and supporting documents, such as your transcripts, test scores, track and field resume, and video.

How can you prepare and apply for running track in college without a scholarship?

To prepare and apply for running track in college without a scholarship, you should follow these steps:

  • Start your research and preparation early: You should start your research and preparation early, preferably in your sophomore or junior year of high school, and create a list of schools and programs that match your profile and goals. You should also create a schedule and a system and set reminders or alarms to keep track of your tasks and deadlines.
  • Improve your athletic and academic performance: You should improve your athletic and academic performance, strive to achieve your personal best and maintain or improve your grades and test scores. You should also participate in track and field events and competitions, such as USATF or [AAU] meets, and showcase your skills and potential to the coaches and the schools.
  • Build your track and field resume and video: You should build your track and field resume and video and highlight your achievements, skills, and goals. You should include your personal information, such as your name, contact information, and graduation year; your athletic information, such as your events, times, distances, heights, or points; your awards and honours, such as your titles, records, or rankings; your academic information, such as your GPA, test scores, and courses; your extracurricular activities, such as your clubs, hobbies, or volunteer work and your references, such as your coaches, teachers, or mentors. You should also create a video that showcases your track and field abilities, such as your technique, form, speed, strength, or endurance and includes clips of your best performances, drills, or workouts with clear and accurate annotations, such as your name, event, and time.
  • Contact the coaches and the schools: You should contact the coaches and the schools, and express your interest in and fit for their track and field programs. You should also send them your track and field resume and video and ask them for feedback, advice, or opportunities. You should also follow up with them regularly and update them on your progress and achievements.
  • Apply to the schools and the programs: You should apply to the schools and the programs, and follow the application requirements and instructions. You should also submit your application and supporting documents, such as your transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation, on time. You should also write a compelling and unique essay if required, that showcases your personality, voice, and story and why you want to run track in college.

What are some tips and resources to help you run track in college without a scholarship?

To help you stay on track in college without a scholarship, you should follow these tips and resources:

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  • Be realistic and flexible: You should be realistic and flexible, and understand that running track in college without a scholarship may not be easy or ideal, but it is possible and rewarding. You should also be open to different options and opportunities and not limit yourself to one school or one program, as you may find a better fit or a better deal elsewhere.
  • Be proactive and persistent: You should be proactive and persistent and take charge of your track and field journey, not wait for the coaches or the schools to find you or offer you a spot. You should also be persistent and not give up on your dreams, even if you face rejection or disappointment, as you may find another chance or a better option later.
  • Be positive and grateful: You should be positive and grateful, enjoy the process and the experience of running track in college without a scholarship, and not focus on the negatives or the challenges.

Conclusion

In the absence of a scholarship, every race becomes a personal triumph, and each improvement is a hard-earned victory. It’s a journey that fosters not only physical strength but also mental fortitude, teaching lessons of perseverance that extend far beyond the track.

The emotional tone of running track in college without a scholarship is one of tenacity, determination, and an unwavering belief in the transformative power of sport. It’s a celebration of the sheer love for running and a reminder that, sometimes, the most profound rewards are the ones that resonate deep within the heart.

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