It is harder for students preparing for college to find wrestling scholarships than for other athletes. There are fewer schools with wrestling programs and, therefore, fewer awards available. The competition is stiff for boys and girls. The number of student wrestlers is growing ever year, particularly for girls programs. Sponsorship opportunities and grants are still hard to find. When seeking college scholarships, female wrestlers in high school should turn their attention to universities that are building their programs and have the appropriate academic major of interest.
In many cases, females still face the difficulty in overcoming the stigma that it is a boys’ sport and may have a hard time being accepted by some coaches or schools to an all-boys team. This means that girls who want to make a future of wrestling in college and earn wrestling scholarships must prove themselves both on and off the mats. Turning to colleges that welcome female athletes is an easier road to participation and funding. Decent grades, good fitness, a strong record, school spirit and a coachable personality are all traits that will attract the attention of a scholarship committee. The number of girls who want to wrestle has grown exponentially over the past 25 years. The United States Girls Wrestling Association (USGWA) had 247 young ladies compete in its first national tournament, held in 1998. There are now more than 6,000 competing in the national tournament. The 2004 Olympic games gave a recognizable boost to interest in the sport when women’s wrestling was officially added to the international competition.
For coaches and committees considering eligible team members and selecting recipients for girls wrestling scholarships, there are several ways that students can help themselves get noticed. Participation in wrestling tournaments at any level is helpful, with video footage and newspaper clips included for demonstration. Letters of recommendation from coaches and teachers are important endorsements.
Attending summer camps for wrestlers is a definite way for athletes to get noticed by coaches and athletic directors. Girls as young as middle school age can participate in camps designed to help them improve technique, conditioning and knowledge. In this setting, they are able to train with other girls in their same weight class, age and skill level — something that many local programs are lacking due to the smaller number of female participants. Standing out in camp can help students get on the radar for potential athletic scholarships in college.
For young ladies in high school hoping to pay for college, it is possible to get sponsorships and grants from local businesses. Gyms may sponsor young wrestlers for local, state and national competitions. A growing number of gyms, athletic apparel and fitness centers are sponsoring females. Before accepting any assistance, students should verify the present rules with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), rather than jeopardize eligibility.
There are many colleges and universities actively recruiting female wrestlers to bolster their teams. They are offering scholarship opportunities to those enrolling as freshmen, but also to transfers. This is an opportunity for kids with lower grades to improve them to 3.0 or higher at the local community college, then apply for wrestling scholarships for girls as a sophomore.