How do you get a Gymnastics Scholarship?

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I'm almost seventeen. I'm a Junior in High School and only recently started gymnastics. My coach thinks that I will be competing as a level 8 by summer(We are progressing as quickly as we can, while being safe of course).

At that rate I will probably not be a level 10 by the time I graduate from High School.

This being said it seems impossible for me to get a Gymnastic Scholarship right out of High School. But, possibly after taking an extra year between HS and College I might have a chance.

However, my main question is, how does a gymnast apply for a Gymnastic Scholarship? Does the college have to approach you first?

If anyone can shed light onto this subject it would be greatly appreciated.


Jul 5, 2007
This is a complicated issue, but to answer your questions simply, the college does not have to approach you. Also, many athletes on NCAA gymnastics teams don't have scholarships, they are called "walk ons." There are some NCAA men's gymnastics that don't have any scholarships or full scholarship. For 99% of people, I think it's probably going to be easier to get merit aid for academics or something other than athletics - there's just more of it and much of it requires less of an "unusual elite ability" if you will. Some NCAA athletics are at schools where they qualify for tuition breaks as a result of their high school academic performance, or they have outside scholarships which are given based on a variety of traits.

You may have a chance at making an NCAA team by focusing a lot of effort on your best events to bring them up to a competitive level, since teams often have "specialists" who don't do all around. I am really more familiar with womens gymnastics though.
Thanks gymdog.

My main concern is the price of a college with a gymnastic program. Nowadays there are very few colleges with a MAG team. So far all of them that I have looked into are very, very expensive. I do qualify for some academic scholarships; however, none of them offset the price of going to a college with MAG.
Sep 19, 2008
I'd say just try it. Maybe don't go for the best teams out there, talk to the coaches, show them how much you have learned and how bad you want it. Maybe you'll have to pay the first year out of your own pocket but there's always a chance to get a scholarship later on. Basically, you're a unique case, you're obviously impressive (because you seem to be learning REALLY fast) - you should fight the hell for it. It might work, it might not. But you should try it.


Jul 5, 2007
Thanks gymdog.

My main concern is the price of a college with a gymnastic program. Nowadays there are very few colleges with a MAG team. So far all of them that I have looked into are very, very expensive. I do qualify for some academic scholarships; however, none of them offset the price of going to a college with MAG.

I would investigate their need-based financial aid programs. You will need to fill out the FAFSA, which will evaluate your family's "expected contribution" based on income and other factors. Many colleges use this for need-based aid. Often, the same family will get different offers at different colleges. It just depends on the program and how things are calculated. If you look at the websites for the colleges you are interested in, they may have "quick calculators" or charts that you can use as an estimate. Beware, I know many people who these have given an inaccurate estimate for a variety of reasons, but it may at least help you familiarize yourself with the programs.

There are two kinds of aid, merit and need based, and you may qualify for both. It is great that you are starting to think about this now. There are also a lot of local scholarships you can apply to, these are often small but may help offset costs if you can get several.
Thanks grizzoline! I haven't really had many people believe that I even have a chance. Much less people giving me such strong encouragement. It means a lot. :)

I talked to my coach tonight and he says that he might let me come in for a little extra practice each week. He thinks that I will most likely only make it on a practice team for at least my first semester and probably first year of college.

@ Gymdog, thanks for all of the advice. I have looked at a lot of academic scholarships. If I can keep my grades above a 3.7 this semester and next year I will qualify for most colleges Presidential Scholarship(fingers crossed). My parents are not too supportive of me doing gymnastics and don't really want me to go to college for gymnastics. They are also putting my sister through college.

I'll be talking to my counselors at school.

Thanks again for your help and support.:D


Jun 24, 2008
Have you looked into NAIGC (college club) at all? There aren't any scholarships through this, but as gymdog said, most people have a better shot at academic scholarships than gymnastics scholarships.
I believe that the college scouts come to your gym if your gym is one that is considered to have high quality gymnasts. Scouts from Ohio State, Penn State and Utah were at our gymnastics facility a couple of weeks ago and were scouting two gymnasts that are juniors in high school. Apparently you have to be 16 to be "legally" scouted....I have also read online that a good way to get noticed is to attend a summer camp held by the college you would like to attend and hope they notice you.


i'm going to utah state next year to train with their gymnastics team. i was a level 10 gymnast and JO nationals qualifier before i quit for two years because of family and other problems, to do cheer. my cheer coach sent out videos of me doing an individual routine that included E level skills in my tumbling passes. the cheer coach thought that their program may not be best for me (very music focused) and showed the tape to their gym coach. they couldn't offer me a full athletic scholarship but they offered me a place to train with the team if i rejoined gym and competed as a level 10 all season with the possibility to compete if everything goes well. they helped me get into school and i've been able to find community and school and other scholarships to pay for everything. it's been a great experience.

so in my experience just keep with gym. coaches don't come to you unless you're at nationals or an elite. have your coach make a tape of you and send it to coaches that have programs in your area or at schools that fit your needs (like if you're really great at academic but just doing level 8/9 maybe send your tape to brown university but not university of georgia, if you want a smaller or bigger school, etc. etc.) coaches cannot contact you until july 1st of your senior year no matter how old you are. but yeah don't wait to get contacted and get disappointed if you don't. it's so hard with all the different gyms and programs out there for coaches to find what they need. just keep working on your skills. e levels skills help. remember some coaches need specialists on events so don't get down in case one school doesn't want you b/c you're a vaulter and not good on beam.

if you have questions maybe i could help. let me know. good luck!!!
Wow. Thanks for the info.

I am actually only a junior but will be graduating this year. Going to a community college near my gym so I can train more often.

Right now I have to commute to practice(40 minutes each way). I have a lot of work to do if I want to be a level ten by next year. But my coach thinks it's possible. I've been told many times that I have more drive than any other gymnast they've trained/met.

I guess it's paying off.

Thanks again. =]


I don't really understand why the push for the gymnastics scholarship when you just started gymnastics this year...I don't know what your athletic past has been or what type of gym you are training at but to start gymnastics in your junior year (age 16?) and expect to be a level 10 with scholarship potential in a year's time seems very unrealistic to me as the parent of a Level 10 (who has seen many good 10s get scholarships and many did not ..they did get academic money) . If youlike gymnastics, I would continue but I would definitely explore other options for college money. You could probably do gymnastics at a D3 school but they do not usually give athletic money. I don't mean to be negative but I don't want to give you false hope either....
You are absolutely right. It's very, very far fetched to say the least.

I do have back up plans. My GPA and ACT scores will get me a pretty good chunk of cash to just about any college I want to go to.

I appreciate your concern; however, I intend to ignore it.

Good luck to your level 10. =]


Mar 29, 2009
North Carolina
I appreciate your concern; however, I intend to ignore it.
i absolutly agree...i think you can do it!!
just work really, really hard in practice and maybe some colleges will except you.
i want a college scholarship as well and i am in the 8th grade and a level 6. One person told me they didn't think i could do because i was still in the compulsery levels but i am ignoreing it. You should definatly go for it!
good luck.
Apr 30, 2009
i don't really have any advice, but i say go for it! you sound pretty good!
philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

I still have about two years before I will be trying for NCAA. But, yesterday after failing horribly at most of my skills said a short prayer. Then threw my double full, and stuck it for the first time.

God is good.


i think it's not very easy to get a scholership in gymnastics ,but if you are getting good coaching from your coach and as well as geeting good remarks from him and you have that much ability, guts and stamina so can get probably the scolership.


If you don't get into a NCAA team do NAIGC. There are over 70 schools with it. It is just club gymnastics at college and most have male teams. This is my first year doing it and just got back from the Nationals. It was the most amazing experience ever and there are so many males and females that are amazing at gymnastics but could not get on a varsity team or just decided to leave them. It is a very relaxed thing but it is for any level. We compete with level 9 rules but many do higher skills anyways. There are a few on my team that are good enough for varsity but there are so many schools that have to get rid of their varsity teams (and there are even less men programs) so it is getting hard to find a team. Plus there are less men scholarships than women so only the top of the top will get them. (you probably have to have been level 10 for a few years or elite) Trust me you would have a lot of fun and then you could go to a school that you would know you could get an academic scholarship from. I didn't know NAIGC existed until i came to college and i was about to quit gymnastics (i did level 9 for many years) but then i found out my college had a team and joined it. I really didn't understand how it worked but i would not have it any other way. We have a lot of fun and you get the chance to compete whatever events you want to. :) Don't give up on your dream just know there are other choices out there. Good luck!

here is the list of colleges that have teams.
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