If you are aged between 18-24, in education or have been in the last 2 years and have a clean criminal record whilst playing tennis at a competitive level, you are well positioned to become a successful U.S Sports Scholarship applicant. However, only the best young tennis players will be considered for a tennis scholarship by coaches so ideally you need to be playing at the best level in your region pushing on from local club tournaments to national championships.
There are over 1100 women’s and 950 men’s tennis programs in American college sport. It is one of the most competitive sporting environments at the collegiate level and regarded by most amateurs as the premier environment to develop your game. Tennis is a highly competitive sport for obtaining a scholarship, with coaches looking for internationally experienced players.
U.S Sports Scholarships is like no other service provider in the world in that we only offer 50 places on our recruitment programme each year to ensure that every single player receives the necessary time and personal attention to take them through the complex process of finding a suitable school in America; helping them secure the best possible financial package. To help achieve this, each player is assigned their own designated representative who is with them every step of the way. If you think you have what it takes to play and study in the USA on a tennis scholarship, please complete our free online application now.
Top Frequently Asked Questions
Below we have given you the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about securing a tennis scholarship in America.
1. What is an U.S athletic tennis scholarship?
An athletic tennis scholarship is a form of scholarship to attend a U.S college or university awarded to an individual based on their academic and athletic capabilities. A tennis scholarship can cover anywhere between 0-100% of costs and these offers are authorised by the coaches at American colleges/universities. Earning a tennis scholarship will allow you the opportunity to pursue both an academic and tennis career simultaneously. This means that you will be studying for a university degree in a subject of your choice whilst training and competing at an elite level, similar to that of professional tennis.
2. What is the size of a college tennis roster?
For each collegiate tennis event the coach selects six players from a roster of 10-12 that will compete with another college tennis team. The chosen six players will represent the school in a variety of different matches including; six singles matches and three doubles matches.
3. When does the tennis season take place?
In America, collegiate tennis is a spring sport. The official tennis season begins in January and the national tournament takes place in May. The tournament crowns a team, individual, and doubles champion. The tennis season is very similar to other team sports in the US college system in that you compete against other schools head-to-head during the regular season and a win-loss record is established for each team, which can be easily viewed on their respective athletics website.
4. What does US collegiate tennis recruitment differ to other sports?
In most college sports, student-athletes are allowed to take a gap year between finishing further education and starting at university. For example you could finish your sixth form course, BTEC or A-Level, and then take 12 months out of education prior to starting your studies in America. This applies to most collegiate sports but unfortunately is not the case with tennis. You can still take a gap year if you want to compete at the NCAA D2, NCAA D3 or NAIA level. However, if you wish to play at an NCAA D1 member school, you will only be able to arrive in America up to six months after completing your further education, which is usually the following January.
5. What determines how much scholarship I get in the USA?
Your scholarship will depend on many factors including your playing ability and academic standing, as well as your coaches assigned budget for the season. However, don’t worry it is our job to ensure that we find you an American college which best suits your preferences and capabilities. If, for example, a university costs $50,000 a year all in and the coach is giving you a scholarship worth $42,000, then this is a partial scholarship as there is a $8,000 shortfall that the coach wants you to contribute towards the costs of attending the university. Most partial scholarships come with the incentive that if you perform well, both on the court and in the classroom, then the coach can reward you with a scholarship increase and cover any costs that you had been contributing towards.
6. Can I receive a full 100% tennis scholarship in the USA?
A tennis scholarship can cover many, sometimes all, of the costs associated with earning a university degree. In return, the student-athlete will represent the university in their respective sport and maintain a good level of academic performance. The level of scholarship granted is fundamentally dependent on what the coach of the American college wants to offer. A 100% scholarship or ‘full ride’ covers the costs of tuition and fees, room and board, and textbooks, leaving only incidental costs to pay for the student-athlete. In this case, 100% of the costs are covered and it can be worth up to a staggering $400,000 over four years. At U.S Sports Scholarships, one in every four of our athletes will typically receive a full scholarship.
7. Can a tennis player go on to play on the ATP or WTA Tour after graduating from University?
Yes former tennis scholarship recipients include the likes of John Isner (University of Georgia), Bob & Mike Bryan (Stanford University), Lisa Raymond (University of Florida), James Blake (Harvard University), and Sondev Devvarman (University of Virginia). In fact collegiate tennis is thought to be the best route to a pro tennis career because of several factors, including intense competition. Playing week in and week out against some of the best amateur tennis players in the world.
8. What are the chances of getting a college scholarship for tennis?
Did you know there are four different types of offers that college coaches can extend to a recruit? Below is a look at the different ways a recruit can make the roster.
Full-ride scholarship offer: When an NCAA Division 1 tennis programs is fully funded, the coach can offer full-ride scholarships to a maximum of eight athletes. For fully funded Division 2 programs, college coaches can offer a maximum of six full-ride equivalent scholarships. Full rides are more common at the NCAA Division 1 level.
Partial scholarship offer: To stretch their scholarship budget, Division 2 college tennis coaches will award partial scholarships to multiple recruits and current roster spot holders. This allows them to provide financial funding to as many athletes as possible. For example, a fully funded men’s or women’s tennis program with 12 athletes could choose to divide its scholarship budget across eight of those athletes.
Recruited walk-on: This offer is used by college coaches who do not have the athletic scholarship budget to award every recruit with financial funding but still want to offer a student-athlete a spot on the team.
How many scholarships for D1 tennis?
Division 1 tennis scholarships per team: 8 women’s, 4.5 men’s
Total number of D1 women’s tennis teams: 317 women’s, 255 men’s
Average team size: 10
Division 1 men’s college tennis programs can offer scholarships to a maximum of 4.5 athletes each season whereas women tennis teams can have up to 8. The size of these scholarships is dependent on whether the program is fully funded or not. Fully funded programs will be able to offer full-ride scholarships to each of their athletes.
Division 2 tennis scholarships
Maximum scholarships available per team: 6 women’s, 4.5 men’s
Total number of D2 tennis teams: 167 women’s, 163 men’s
Average team size: 10
As an equivalency sport, Division 2 men’s and women’s tennis programs can award a maximum of six full-ride equivalent scholarships per team. When a program is fully funded, college coaches can award larger scholarship packages and provide more athletes with financial funding. Programs that aren’t fully funded face the challenge of dividing their scholarship budget in a way that benefits as many athletes as they can with an impactful amount of aid.
Division 3 tennis scholarships
Maximum scholarships available per team: 0
Total number of D3 tennis teams: 328 women’s, 329 men’s
Average team size: 10
There are no athletic scholarships to award at the NCAA Division 3 level. Instead, recruits receive financial funding through merit-based scholarships if they meet the academic standards set in place by institutions. In some cases, Division 3 financial aid packages may be larger than the athletic scholarships offered by Division 1 and 2 programs.
NAIA tennis scholarships
Maximum scholarships available per team: 5
Total number of NAIA tennis teams: 115 women’s, 107 men’s
Average team size: 9
The NAIA does not limit the number of scholarships a program can award. However, our experts have found through communication with the NAIA that scholarship opportunities at the NAIA level are similar to the NCAA level. Because funding is not consistent from program to program, each team has a different number of scholarships they can offer.
How many scholarships does NJCAA allow in tennis?
Maximum scholarships available per team: 9
Total number of NJCAA tennis teams: 79 women’s, 82 men’s
Average team size: 8
Student-athletes have the best chance of receiving financial funding with NJCAA tennis scholarships. Fully funded NJCAA tennis programs can offer the entire tennis roster with financial funding. Recruits that plan to transfer to a four-year NCAA college should keep in mind that GPA and standardised test score requirements to transfer might be stricter.