Do you really need a full scholarship?
When it comes to playing college baseball in the U.S., one of the things that many Canadians players are deterred by is the idea of not getting a full scholarship. The problem is that a Division I baseball coach only has 11.7 scholarships to give to his players. Since most coaches keep 30 or more players on their rosters, this restriction means that even some of the top players will not get full scholarships. To attract the right level of talent, schools often find other methods for international student athletes to obtain funding. You have to make sure that you explore all of the available options if you want to find the best place to play at a cost that you can afford.
This includes (1) using all the resources available to get every dollar of non-baseball scholarship money you can find (2) leveraging your Canadian education and academic credentials and (3) taking advantage of opportunities to make extra money while you are at school.
In addition to scholarships available from the Canadian government, U.S. Schools often have different types of scholarships that international students can apply for. Many of these go unused because nobody applies for them. So when you look at some of your school’s online materials for international students, make sure you apply for every single scholarship that you could qualify for. The process usually takes less than 20 minutes and it could be worth thousands of dollars.
Often schools have advisers and counselors for international students, and they usually are a good resource for scholarship options. For example, one of the schools we went to had what they called a “needy student athlete award”. The criteria to qualify where: a non-US passport, a 3.0 GPA or higher, and ability to show a need for funds (neither of which were particularly difficult to meet).
Using your Canadian education to free up some time
Even though your student visa does not come with a work authorization in the U.S., you will have the opportunity to work up to 20 hours per week directly on campus. Of course with baseball and classes, you will already have plenty to do. But thanks to the quality of the Canadian education system, there are a few options available to you to free up time for a part-time job:
- For many general elective requirements, you can receive credit for the work you did in Canadian high school. For example, if you studied under the international baccalaureate program, most of those courses would potentially be eligible for credit.
- You can also test out of some of the required classes using the college level examination program (CLEP). This is particularly relevant for subjects such as math and foreign languages. For example, a basic understanding of French should be enough to get at least a few credits.
Working on campus
There are plenty of easy on-campus jobs available, and many of them will not necessarily interfere with your baseball schedule, you just have to spend a little time looking for them. Tutoring other students in French is an easy way to make money. Jobs at the library often have enough downtime to allow you to study while you work. Schools also frequently run baseball camps during holidays and in the offseason and need instructors, so make sure you sign up for those.
Once you have established an academic track record, don’t be afraid to leverage that with the athletic department. There may be opportunities to tutor student athletes, which will help you make sure that you can schedule your work around practice and game times. Once you start doing that, you can take it a step further and ask the Athletic Department to pay for your books since you are using them to help other athletes. Be proactive and just offer you help, you will be surprised how many opportunities you will find.
Between non-baseball scholarships, shortcuts provided by your Canadian education, and some carefully scheduled on-campus work, you can significantly improve your financial situation when that elusive full scholarship is not an option.
A more detailed list of funding options, links to resources, and some additional ideas to help you plan for college expenses is available to registered users. Click here to get started.