Cheerleading Scholarships

Colleges offer cheerleading scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000 per year to reward cheerleaders for their team participation.

Over the past few years, the sport has evolved, leading to an increase in cheerleading scholarships at renowned programs.

Typically, the highest funding is available for the most competitive and recognized programs, particularly those that perform well at championships like NCA or UCA.

Cheerleading Scholarships | How to Get a Cheerleading Scholarship

Top Cheerleading Scholarships:

Scholarship Eligibility Amount Deadline
University of Kansas All cheerleaders on the University of Kansas cheer team $600/year (+$100 if GPA ≥ 3.0) Nov 1 (Freshmen Priority), Feb 1 (Freshmen Fall Enrollment), May 1 (Transfer Fall Enrollment)
Iowa Cheerleading Coaches’ Association High school senior cheerleaders whose coaches are ICCA members. Minimum 3.5 GPA by end of junior year $500 Feb 15, annually
Angelo State University Cheerleaders at Angelo State University Up to $1,000/year None (automatically awarded if eligible)
Competitive Cheer Coaches Association of Michigan High school senior members of MHSSA Competitive Cheer team. Minimum 3.5 GPA by end of junior year. Coach must be CCAM member and team must compete in Scholarship Invitational Varies
University of Florida Members of Orange or Blue Teams on University of Florida cheer team Varies None (automatically awarded if eligible)
Fort Hays State University Fort Hays State University cheerleaders (specific requirements vary by scholarship) $1,600/year (on-campus), $500 stipend/semester (off-campus) None (automatically awarded if eligible)
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech cheerleaders Up to $2,000/year None (automatically awarded if eligible)
University of Hawaii University of Hawaii cheerleaders Full-tuition (in-state and out-of-state), half of tuition (WUE Scholarship) Varies by scholarship
Louisiana State University Louisiana State University cheerleaders with minimum 2.3 GPA $1,000/yr. (second-years), $1,500/yr. (third-years), $2,000/yr. (fourth-years) None (automatically awarded if eligible)
University of Kentucky University of Kentucky cheerleaders on Blue or White squad (scholarship opportunities vary by squad) Scholarship equivalent to in-state tuition (Blue Squad), $100-$300 (GPA ≥ 3.0, any squad) None (automatically awarded if eligible)
University of South Carolina University of South Carolina cheerleaders (specific requirements vary by award) Varies None (automatically awarded if eligible)

 Winning cheerleading scholarships

Compete at a high level:

Scholarships are often available at competitive programs with a strong cheerleading tradition. Stand out by showcasing superior skills compared to the rest of the squad.

Attend college clinics:

These clinics provide valuable insights into the skills and routines performed at a particular school’s tryouts. Coaches use clinics to scout potential recruits.

Maintain a high GPA:

Coaches value recruits with good academic performance. Some programs even offer academic scholarships based on GPA.

Create a recruiting video:

Since coaches can’t evaluate every recruit in person, a well-made video showcasing your skills is crucial. Send these videos to coaches at your target schools to get noticed and receive tryout invitations.

Find the right fit:

Ensure that the school aligns with your academic and athletic goals. Research the coach’s requirements, review the team’s roster and competition footage, and understand the academic acceptance criteria to determine if it’s a good fit for you.

Stand out:

To win cheerleading scholarships, you need to differentiate yourself from other applicants.

Highlight beyond cheer:

Discuss how being a cheerleader has impacted your work ethic, values, and morals in your applications.

Showcase balance:

Emphasize how you have successfully managed cheer, schoolwork, other extracurricular activities, and personal life, indicating your ability to handle multiple responsibilities in college.

Write a strong essay:

Utilize resources on starting and ending an essay, addressing prompts about deserving the scholarship, writing about yourself, and crafting a concise essay (250 or 500 words).

A comprehensive guide to writing a winning scholarship essay can also be helpful.

Utilize resources:

The National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) is a valuable resource for cheerleaders.

It offers competitions, staff job opportunities, choreography camps, and free resources for coaches, providing insights into the profession.

Typical Skills Needed For a Cheerleader:

  1. Jumps: Showcase your technique and execution in jumps, including toe touches, pike jumps, herkies, and more.
  2. Stunts: Display proficiency in stunting, both as a base and a flyer. This includes performing extensions, liberties, basket tosses, and various partner stunts.
  3. Tumbling: Demonstrate tumbling skills such as back handsprings, round-offs, tucks, layouts, fulls, and potentially more advanced skills like double fulls or twists.
  4. Dance: Exhibit strong dance skills, including precision, coordination, rhythm, and performance quality.
  5. Baseline requirements: Coaches look for specific skills based on positions. Flyers should have flexibility and body control, tumblers should have solid tumbling passes, stunters should have strength and technique, and dancers should have fluidity and expression.
  6. Program-specific requirements: Different programs have varying skill expectations. Non-competitive teams may focus on basic cheer skills, while top-tier programs seek athletes with advanced skills and experience.