Eligibility Criteria and Application of NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

The postgraduate programs are pretty demanding, and adding the financial demands to it can be stressful.  For someone who does not have the financial capacity to care for it, opting for the NCAA postgraduates scholarship is something you must consider. One sweet thing about scholarships is that you won’t have to pay them back as it’s totally free.

There are also several Scholarship programs available out there to sponsor you through your postgraduate studies. However, we’ll focus on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) scholarships. 

The NCAA grants up to 126 postgraduate students scholarships annually. These are one-time non-renewable grants of $10,000 awarded to athletic students in sports who excel athletically and academically. 

Furthermore, there are three sports seasons, which are Fall, Winter, and Spring. During each sports season, 21 scholarships are available for men and 21 scholarships for women, totaling 126 scholarships for postgraduate students yearly.

What is the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Program? 

The NCAA postgraduate scholarship program was initiated to promote and encourage graduate education by awarding scholarship grants to the association’s most accomplished student-athletes via participating in the NCAA championship and emerging sports. 

The NCAA assesses students’ athletic and academic achievements, community service, volunteer activities, demonstrated leadership, and campus involvement. 

Up to 126 postgraduate scholarships are awarded annually to students who excel both academically and athletically, and these students must be at least in their final year of Intercollegiate Athletic competition.  

The NCAA gives a one-time non-renewable grant of $10,000 to the winners three times a year ( Fall, Winter, and Spring) corresponding to each sports season. There are 21 scholarships for men and 21 for women for each sports season.

When was the NCAA Established? 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit institution initially known as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS). 

The IAAUS was officially established on March 31, 1906, but was later renamed to its present name, NCAA, in 1910. It was a discussion group and a rulemaking body until 1921, when the first NCAA national championship was conducted. 

NCAA Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

As a student-athlete who wishes to bag the NCAA postgraduate scholarship, there are several requirements you must meet. 

i. You must be in the final year of the academic work or have received an undergraduate degree

ii. You must have an overall undergraduate minimum CGPA of 3.200 (based on a 4.000 scale) or equivalent, including all undergraduate hours earned at all undergraduate institutions attended. 

iii. You must have performed with distinction as a varsity team member in the sport where the student-athlete is nominated.

iv. You must enroll in a graduate degree on a full or part-time basis at an accredited graduate or degree-granting proficient school. 

v. The scholarship grants must be used for any undergraduate work

vi. You must be an outstanding citizen and role model for the institution and intercollegiate in general. 

vii. You must be in the final season of the NCAA athletics eligibility or must have completed athletic eligibility. 

It is important to note that if you are a student-athlete attending a provisional member institution, you are not eligible to be nominated for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. Also, as a scholarship recipient, you may not use more than one NCAA scholarship award for graduate studies.

How to Apply for the NCAA Scholarship Program

Candidates have the option of selecting up to three departments to apply for. It is advised to select from different departments, as choosing multiple areas within one department can limit accessibility to other opportunities that may suit your background. Also, you must choose two or three positions while explaining why you should be considered for those. 

To apply for the NCAA postgraduate scholarship, you must follow these steps: 

1. Double-check all application requirements: Ensure you meet all the requirements. Verify all the information and provide your application under the correct scholarship cycle 

2.    Write a powerful personal statement: A well-structured statement stating why you are the best nominee for the scholarship. 

3.   Wisely choose your recommendations: Ensure the offers you choose are from people you have worked with who know your capabilities well. You will need to submit four recommendations when applying. 

4.    Evaluate your application. 

 Let a professional review your application before you submit it. 

Documents you need to submit while applying for the NCAA postgraduate scholarship may include the following: 

  • CV, resume, or biography with an illustration of your career and achievements
  • Motivation letter
  • Confirmation of sports merit certificate, medals, etc
  • Cover letter or text
  • Recommendations from coaches and other mentors.

NCAA Scholarship Application Deadline

Just like every other scholarship program, the National Collegiate Athletic Association program has its application deadline as well. NCAA application deadlines are as follows: 

  • The Fall sports deadline is January. 
  • The Winter sports deadline is April. 
  • The Spring sports deadline is June. 

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Procedure

The NCAA postgraduate scholarship nomination must be submitted by the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) or a FAR designee. All the nomination sections must be submitted to the NCAA national office before the sports season deadline, and it is the responsibility of the FAR or FAR designee to ensure that. 

The FAR and FAR designee are also responsible for nominating qualified student-athletes using the postgraduate scholarship online submission system. They must ensure the nominee’s transcripts are sent to the NCAA national office. After the FARs or FAR designee submits their nomination section, emails will be sent to the student-athlete.

NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients

The NCAA awards up to 126 postgraduate scholarships yearly to 63 male student-athletes and 63 female student-athletes who are at least in their final year in Intercollegiate Athletic competition. Twenty-one scholarships for men and 21 for women are available in each sports season, with three seasons (Winter, Fall, and Spring). 

Best Ways to Nominate  for the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Program

The institution’s Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) or FAR designee (preferably an individual in academics) nominates the student-athletes. The FAR or FAR designee determines the student athlete’s eligibility to be selected. They coordinate the completion and submission of the nomination.

Each member of the NCAA institution nominates not more than five student-athletes from each gender per sports season. The nomination and supporting information must be sent before the submission deadline of the sports season. 

Can International Students Get Sports Scholarships in the US? 

There are several sports scholarships available in the US for international students. These scholarships are primarily dominated by three organizations, as listed below: 

  • The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
  • The National Junior College Athletic Association 
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 

Furthermore, the guidelines and rules of these scholarships are based on the kind of educational institution the student goes into, as per the US system. You must know what sectors offer scholarships and what sectors don’t before applying for a sports scholarship as an international student. 

How Do I Get a Sports Scholarship in the US?

To qualify for a sports/athletic scholarship in the United States, you must: 

  • Have outstanding sports results
  • Pass the SAT/GRE/ACT subject tests at the entrance requirement level
  • Know English at the level corresponding to the admission requirements of the university
  • Have the GPA at the level of entrance requirements
  • Demonstrate discipline, excellent knowledge of sports, and motivation. 


Finally, the NCAA postgraduate scholarship is a one-time, non-renewable grant of $10,000 that must be used within one year of the scholarship. A total of 126 student-athletes receive these grants annually—only students who are in sports and excel athletically and academically win this scholarship. 

Criteria for this scholarship include that Candidates must be in their final year of academic work or have received an undergraduate degree; the candidates must have an overall undergraduate minimum CGPA of 3.200 (based on a 4.000 scale) or equivalent, among other requirements. 

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