Question about college scholarships

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I have always wanted to do college gymnastics. I am a junior, (age 17) third year level 9 gymnast, I did pretty well at westerns last year, 6th AA, and 3rd on bars. I did one meet at level 10 this year, qualified for state, but the coaches are still making me do another year at level 9 because a 33 aa score was not good enough for their program. I can contribute alot to the level 9 team, as they are weaker this year. Does this remove me from any possiblity of a college scholarship? My parents want me to consider possibly moving to another program that would let me compete 10 the rest of this year for visibility to colleges, and progressing on my level 10 skills. I have communicated via e-mail to some colleges and received some interest, (when I thought I would be a 10). What are your thoughts? Should I speak to colleges and ask them? I have great passion for uneven bars and scored a 9.7 at my last meet. thanks, any suggestions would be awesome.


While it's hard to get a scholarship as a level 9 it can be done. I would continue talking to the coaches that have expressed and interest in you and see what they are looking for. If you have clean routines and are willing to learn new skills there are college coaches that would recruit you. You might have to do a year as a walk-on and try to earn a scholarship based on your freshman year in college. I had a teammate that did that. I wouldnt recommend looking at the top 10 schools. They want level 10 national qualifiers and elites. You'll just have to do your research but make sure you know what you want in a school. Don't pick a place just because of the name. Pick a place you can go and contribute to the team. It's much better to be competing on the floor than helping push mats. If you have any other questions feel free to pm me. Hope this helps and good luck!



thank-you for your info, it is good advice. I have level 10 skills, according to the coaches not quite consistent enough to compete them, although, I am working them back in for the end of this year, level 9 or not, and almost ready to put some in. I am pretty much there on three events, lacking in one. They want me to go level 10 next year, and the coaches have said that many times gymnasts are recruited (as a Sr.) if they do well at the national meet, which is like May, though, making it kinda hard on the planning side. Do you know if this happens much? I know that gymnasts are often recruited for one strong event, not neccessarily aa. It is dissappointing there is no college bound meet this year. thanks again.
Aug 2, 2008
east coast
I would not wait until nationals of your senoir year. I would be keeping in touch with schools you are interested in, via email & by submitting a video of you competing, and what new skills you are training.

I would also try to make as many unofficial visits now as you can, just to let people know you are interested. YOU will have to make the effort to get yourself out there- will your coaches help you at all?


Check out this great website;

You can make a profile of your academic and athletic interests/achievements, and coaches view it and contact you accordingly. My friends and I are on it for various sports, and it's worked out well for all of us. One of my friends got a full ride (D1), and I've found some great colleges to pole vault at.
Mar 20, 2008
Northern California
Several thoughts:

While top level coaches use Elite/Level 10 achievement as a prime criterion (e.g., how someone does at Nationals), other coaches look at skills. In other words, no matter your level, if you can throw E level skills and/or have 10.0 start value routines, you will get a lot of interest from colleges. Remember, in college, having all-around capability is much less important than in J.O., although obviously the more versatility you can show, the more recruitable you will be.

By all means video your best routines and/or skills in progress and send them to coaches right now. Since you are a junior, coaches are permitted to talk to you by mail or e-mail and next July, they can contact you by phone. Also, don't get discouraged if you send videos to the "recruiting coordinators" (usually assistant coaches) and get no response. If a place you are really targeting fails to respond, try contacting the head coach directly.

If you're looking to attend a college/university within easy driving distance, go to a meet to get a feel for the program and tour the campus if you haven't already.

Also, for goodness sakes, keep your grades up. It is MUCH easier to get merit based scholarship aid than it is to get an athletic scholarship. (My dd has both and just made Dean's List). This also increases your options. You can either walk-on to a Division I school, or afford a Division II or III school that otherwise was out of reach.

Good luck!



Thank-you for your response- I have been somewhat discouraged, as many people have given me all kinds of information, mostly negative in regard to my situation. I am excited that I can still get me name out there, and I love gym. so I will try my best. Thanks again!


work with your coach! at level 9 you may not be able to make the ucla or uga team, but there's still lots of other schools.

i never thought i'd do college gym but i am! i started level 10 when i was 11 and qualified for nationals when i was 13. unfortunately i couldn't go, did high school gym the following year, then quit to do varsity cheerleading. my cheer coach was sending out tapes of me stunting and tumbling to schools near by for cheer scholarships and at utah state the coach saw it, thought the cheer program may not be best for me, but showed it to their gym coach. now i'm going there next year to train with their team under the conditions i go back to club gym (which i have and i'm competing level 10 and hoping to win or place top 3 at states). i didn't get a scholarship (i've been finding local and other school scholarships that aren't sports) and i'm not guaranteed to compete, so i'm more like a walk on, but i still get the chance to be involved with college gym, something i never thought possible once i stopped doing club the first time around.

so yeah get with your coach and make a try out video. focus on your strongest events. my best stuff is tumbling and i was able to include an E level skill in my pass on the video. attach a nice letter explaining who you are, what your gym history/accomplishments are, how well you do in school, etc. send them to schools near where you live, maybe schools with smaller gym teams (there's a bunch of smaller schools in the midwest with gym teams for example). in the meantime keep training and keep trying. once you start talking to a coach stay focused in gym and school so you can show your improvement.

i totally think you have a shot. hope this helps. keep us informed!
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