Unlike other collegiate sports, colleges do not recruit as zealously when it comes to cheerleading. While cheerleading is not recognized as one of the NCAA. NAIA, or NJCAA athletic teams, it is still a sport in high demand. Tryouts are common when applying to colleges, or simply having a strong background in gymnastics, dance, or tumble may suffice.
In few other sports is there more pressure to not only participate in competitions, but to win championships and accolades to be considered for spots on squads at schools with big athletic programs. Cheerleaders at the highest level are more marketable to those big schools, and the top cheerleaders must not only be stellar athletes with tumbling skills, they must also have a presence that gets a response from the crowd. Most scholarships in the sport are awarded directly by the cheerleaders’ intended colleges, although if you look hard enough, cheer organizations and associations – such as the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) and the National Council for Spirit an Safety and Education (NCSSE) – also offer awards to athletes looking to pursue the sport on the college level.
While there is less funding available to cheerleaders than football players, for example, programs with established cheerleading programs that win competitions will be more generous than schools without a cheerleading tradition.
339 colleges offer up to $7,500 in scholarships for every year of cheerleading. Plus, if you’re in a leadership role, you may be eligible for an extra scholarship of up to $3,375 per year.
Unlike other scholarships for cheerleading members, micro-scholarships don’t involve an application, essay, or selection process. They are awarded in your aid package if you enroll at that college.