Even though collegiate Rugby is still emerging in the United States, it’s now the fastest-growing college sport in the U.S. with only Women’s Lacrosse growing faster. In fact, they just held their first Major League Rugby (MLR) Collegiate Draft in June 2020.
Due to this infancy, it also affects their competitions and Rugby scholarships in USA unlike those in the United Kingdom and Scotland. In reality, only 27 women’s Programs participate in the NCAA Division level whereas men’s Rugby is still an equivalency sport, which means their scholarships are split by coaches according to the proportion of funds available.
Unlike some other NCAA Sports, especially those that award full scholarships you won’t receive so much funds from Men’s Rugby. So we would advise you to still apply for other academic scholarships and financial aid – you’re allowed to do this as long as you’re not participating in NCAA Sport.
Furthermore, most of these schools provide merit-based scholarships which you might not need to submit a separate application. So, once you’re admitted, you’ll be enrolled in the academic scholarships you’re eligible for.
Also, due to the increasing popularity, the United States will be hosting the Men’s World Cup in 2031 and the Women’s World Cup in 2033, this will also reflect on the number of college competitions, number of programs, and most importantly, their scholarship provisions.
Even though these Scholarships are few, they are still competitive, so you need to brace yourself to win any of them. The good news is that we’ll share some tips to help you stand out, here we go.
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How to Win Rugby Scholarships in USA
Here are some of the tips to win any of these Rugby scholarships in the U.S.
The importance of early application and early competence cannot be overemphasized. First of all, most recruiters focus on athletes who have been nurtured from a young age, and this early preparedness will help you to perform at your peak level at the right time.
Secondly, the early application helps to reduce competition, because most of these schools and organizations consider these applications first and it also helps you to prepare a strong application without rushing.
Participate in Local Rugby Club
This is also very important as it will help you to nurture your skill and experience, and it also opens doors for coaches and scouts to notice your performance.
Have Good Grades
Please don’t assume because it is a sports scholarship that your academic performance will be swept under the rug. See it this way, your athletic performance advertises you, then your academic prowess gets you closer to winning the scholarship.
Most of these schools have minimum requirements for grades, so try to have a little bit above the required grade just to stand out from the competition.
Sometimes, coaches and scouts don’t get to see student-athletes physically perform, with a highlighted video of your performance will tell a brilliant story of how good you are. And don’t hesitate to contact the coaches or admission staff directly through email.
With all these said, let’s now list these scholarships.
Rugby Scholarships in USA
1. NCAA Rugby Scholarships
USA Rugby governs college Rugby, and different colleges have been providing separate kinds of Rugby scholarships before the introduction of the NCAA Division. Also, only 27 women’s programs participate in the NCAA and this is not surprising seeing the fact that the first-ever Major League Rugby (MLR) Collegiate Draft took place in June 2020.
Aspiring female young players in one of the NCAA colleges should expect to receive greatly increasing funding worth up to a full scholarship. We also believe that in the next five years, there will be more programs participating in the NCAA including the Men’s team.
2. Niagara University Men’s Rugby Club Scholarship
Through the generous donation of Niagara University’s alumni, two $1,000 Rugby scholarships in USA (Lt. Terry Crowe Memorial Scholarship and “The Founders” scholarship) are offered annually to current outstanding players.
Though Niagara currently participates in D2 Rugby, they have seen continuous success since moving to this Division in 2008 from D3. They have even had undefeated regular seasons and 4 consecutive appearances in the NYS playoffs.
3. Trine University – Rugby Activity Award
Trine University provides $1,000 worth of Rugby scholarship annually that is renewable as long as the student-athlete is enrolled full-time as an undergraduate Trine student in good standing, and has not transitioned to one of Trine’s graduate programs.
4. Maryville University – Rugby Men’s and Women’s Scholarships
Maryville is in the business of making high-quality private education affordable, and this makes them always provide more than $50 million in scholarships and financial aid annually to 93% of their full-time students. Though their Rugby scholarships in USA are just worth $2,000 per recipient, you’re also eligible for other academic scholarships which can have more monetary value.
5. Millersville University – Men’s Rugby Alumni Award
This Scholarship is awarded to a young man of strong character who plays rugby according to the spirit of the game. The recipient must be a member of the Rugby Club for at least two years.
Though these Rugby scholarships in the USA are few especially for men and their worth are not so much, they provide a great opportunity for talented student-athletes to combine their academic pursuit with their Rugby career. As we said earlier the sport is still emerging in colleges in the United States, but report shows that it is one of the fastest-growing sports with only Women’s Lacrosse growing faster than it.
So expect to see more competition, scholarships, and more colleges and Universities to participate in Rugby.
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