Every year over a billion dollars is given out to athletes in scholarships and financial aid. To get this money most athletes must promote themselves or chances are they will get passed over. All college coaches agree, you must market yourself to win an athletic scholarship. The first impression is crucial, make it count!

This process can cost thousands or under $200 if you follow these steps:

1. Register with the NCAA. The cost to do this is $30.00. Go to www.ncaaclearinghouse.net for more information.

2. Meet with your school counselor. The academic requirements to get an athletic scholarship change regularly. Your school counselor should be up to date on these changes, make sure you are meeting those requirements.

3. Attend camps. The more camps you attend, especially the camps sponsored by the schools you are interested in attending, the more opportunities you have to meet with and be noticed by prospective coaches.

4. Select the colleges you are interested in attending. Obtain the coaches names and addresses. A great resource for this is at berecruited.com. You can sign up for free.

5. Send the coaches an introductory letter. “Think of this as a cover letter for a job, and present yourself in a brief, polite, informative, and intelligent manner. And remember that you can't write a form letter to send out to everyone.”

This letter should include:

1. Your name, high school and graduation date.

2. Say why you want to go to that school.

3. Brief background that includes academic accomplishments, GPA, field of study, and class rank.

4. Long-term and short-term athletic and academic goals.

5. Ask for the program's packet and questionnaire.

6. Conclude with telephone number where you can be reached.

"Don't fill the letter with statistics and trivial information, or include a letter of recommendation at this time." (Sports Scholarship Guide, pg. 187-188)

"Some coaches say they get over 40 letters a day. Do coaches read all of the letters they receive? Yes, say the coaches, unless they're from a recruiting service; those usually get pitched out.” (Sports Scholarship Guide, pg. 171)

6. Include a professional-looking DVD. The first impression is extremely important. Coaches are tired of looking at homemade video tapes. This video should contain the following:

You can get this DVD for under $150 at www.GotHighlights.com. Copies are just $14.95.

Scholarships and financial aid can literally save you tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars for your college education. The “Reggie Bush” type athletes have scouts flocking to their games, but most athletes must sell themselves to stand out. The most professional and logical way to promote yourself is by following the steps above.

How to get an Athletic Scholarship