What is a scholarship and how does it work?

We explain everything you need to know about what scholarships are and how they work.

A scholarship is a way to get your education in the US paid for. However, many students and young people are confused about how the whole process works. How is the money allocated and what is it actually spent on? How do you get a scholarship and what is it?
If you are unsure about how scholarships work, this might be the quick guide for you!

What is a scholarship?

For colleges and universities in the US, scholarships are financial aid designed to help a student pay for an education in the US. Sometimes a scholarship is a one-off grant, while other scholarships are renewable and provide financial support every semester or school year. A scholarship can cover from 1-100% of the total cost of the school.

A scholarship varies in value and length, but the main purpose is to reduce the costs associated with a student’s education in the US.
Sometimes financial aid can also be know a scholarship as a stipend or a grant.

Sport scholarships

A sport scholarship is financial aid designed to mitigate the cost of an education in the U.S. This aid is awarded based on a student’s athletic ability.

This can include a wide range of sports offered by the college or university in question. This can include everything from basketball and football to tennis and athletics.
The higher your sporting level, the larger a Sport Scholarship you can get.

Academic scholarships

An academic scholarship is financial aid designed to reduce the cost of an education in the US. This funding is awarded based on a student’s academic performance.

Academic scholarships are typically based on grades, test scores (e.g. SAT test) and other academic achievements. Some academic scholarships are renewable and can be used for several years, while others are one-off sums.
The higher your academic level – the bigger the academic scholarship you can get.

An academic scholarship can and often is combined with a sports scholarship!

Adam Riis med hue på.
Our client Adam Riis who in 2022 completed his Master in Business Analytics at Fairfield University.

How does the size of a scholarship vary?

There are different types of Scholarships depending on the size of the Scholarship and what they cover in terms of costs.

Therefore, first and foremost, we need to know the different costs that a Scholarship covers…
They are divided into 3 different areas:

Tuition: Covers all costs for classes.

Room: Covers all accommodation costs

Board: Covers all living expenses.

Full ride Scholarships

Et full ride scholarship is basically the best scholarship you can get.
Here ALL costs are covered; both tuition, room and board.

Full tuition Scholarships

A Full Tuition Scholarship is a significant form of scholarship that covers the full cost of education. In Denmark and throughout Scandinavia, higher education is funded through the welfare system and therefore free for students. But in the US, at both public and private colleges, the annual cost of education for a single student can average around $100,000. Therefore, a Full Tuition Scholarship represents a significant financial support.

Partial Scholarships

Partial Scholarships
as the name suggests, are partial scholarships. Regardless of the size, obtaining a scholarship is a remarkable achievement. A Partial Scholarship will partially cover some of the costs of attending college. It involves a percentage of funding, which varies depending on how much value the college sees in you in relation to the institution and the team. Our job at NSSA includes maximizing this percentage and ensuring you get the best possible support.

Example of a scholarship

To give you a better understanding of what a scholarship entails, below is a concrete example of what a final scholarship offer might look like.
The example below is a scholarship with 80% coverage and an $8,500 co-payment for the student.

Expense Amount Scholarship Out-of-Pocket Cost
Tuition fees $20.000 $15.000 $5.000
Room And Board $10.000 $8.000 $2.000
Books and Supplies $1.000 $800 $200
Travel (e.g. for games and competitions) $3.000 $2.500 $500
Meal Plan $5.000 $4.500 $500
Personal expenses $2.000 $1.800 $200
Total Cost of Attendence $41.000 $32.500 $8.500

Who can get a scholarship?

Scholarships are not limited to a specific nationality or group of athletes. They are available to all young athletes, no matter where they come from.
Scholarships offer a unique opportunity to pursue both sporting and academic dreams in the US. Whether you’re a talented footballer from Denmark, a skilled swimmer from Sweden or an outstanding basketball player from Germany, there are opportunities for you.

Who can give me a scholarship?

Scholarships can come from a multitude of

different places

These can be sports clubs, companies, charities, individual persons as well as the public sector. Most importantly and commonly, colleges and universities in the US award a number of scholarships to domestic and international students each year, depending on what they specifically need – for example, on their football team – to compete with other colleges and universities.

How do I get a scholarship?

It can be really difficult to manage the whole process yourself. Just having to sort through hundreds of colleges and universities can be problematic. Add to this formal aspects such as targeted applications, visas, translation of important documents and many other things it requires.
Such a process can be difficult, uncertain and time-consuming to do as an individual.
Fortunately, there are a number of organizations that help send young people to college in the United States.

At NSSA, we do just that and specialize in Sport Scholarships for footballers and other athletes. So if you play soccer or any other sport and think education in the US sounds exciting, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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