Getting a hockey scholarship is an excellent opportunity for students who are passionate about hockey and want to study and play hockey at a university or college, as it can be a great way to further a career and get an education while doing something you enjoy. Some scholarships are only open to students who have completed a certain number of credits or have a specific GPA. Other scholarships require that you submit an essay or video about why you deserve the scholarship. However, you also need to remember that achievements in hockey will count for nothing if you do not fulfill the academic requirements set by the NCAA and/or the university of your choice.

Make sure you meet the requirements

College coaches usually prefer cash scholarships to recruits in USHL junior hockey leagues. These athletes are considered to be the best hockey talents in their age group, yet 98 percent of USHL athletes go on to play at Division I schools, with the remaining two percent being picked up by the NHL. Luckily, there are enough scholarships at the NCAA Division 1 and 2 levels, so athletes playing in lower junior hockey leagues still have the opportunity to receive an athletic scholarship.

Here are some tips to help increase an athlete’s chances of receiving an athletic scholarship.

Maintain good academic performance: Academic performance is just as important as athletic performance in the college recruitment process. Student-athletes who succeed in academics and sports rank higher on the list of potential college coach recruiters. Recruits should examine the academic standards at their potential schools and focus on their academic eligibility for NCAA requirements.

Do your research: There is no guarantee that every institution offers athletic scholarships. Recruits should research the programs on their list of potential schools to see which ones have offers at the NCAA Division 1 and 2 levels.

Identify alternatives: Athletic scholarships are not the only way a student can pay for college. Other forms of financial assistance are available to student-athletes, including merit scholarships, grants, etc.


Some scholarships require more work than others; for example, they may require a project or essay. Don’t let this put you off, as the more work you need to do to get into a scholarship, the more unlikely you are to succeed, as it won’t attract as many applicants.

If you want to ensure your scholarship essay is outstanding, we suggest using qualified paper writers.

Types of scholarship out there

An athlete can receive four different types of offers in men’s hockey. Even if a recruit does not receive a full or partial scholarship, he can still earn a spot on the team as a recruited hockey player (desirable) or an undrafted hockey player (not desirable). Here is some more information about each of these four different types of offers.

Full Hockey Scholarship Offer: Men’s Full Hockey Scholarships are for recruits who have competed in the USHL Junior Hockey League. However, this does not mean that recruits who have not played in Tier 1 junior hockey league will not receive a full scholarship. Division 1 hockey programs also recruit tier 2 junior hockey leagues.

Partial Scholarship Offer: Since the maximum scholarship budget is 18, which is not the average team size of 28 players for NCAA Division 1 men’s college hockey programs, coaches are more likely to offer partial scholarships to as many recruits and players who make the team as possible. It works the same for Division 2 programs, which have a maximum scholarship budget of 13.5, but an average roster size of 31 athletes. Partial scholarships can be used to cover tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. They may also be combined with an academic scholarship, grant, and/or other forms of financial aid to cover college expenses.

Recruiter enrolled (preference given): If a recruit is not offered an athletic scholarship, they may still be offered a roster spot as a free student-athlete. This often happens when college coaches do not have the scholarship budget to provide each recruited athlete with financial funding.

Non-Recruited: Some programs hold tryouts if they still need to fill roster spots after completing the recruiting process. Student-athletes can try out to impress the coach and make the team.

Student-athletes wishing to play for ACHA must have a strong academic background to receive any form of financial aid. All aid packages at ACHA schools are based on academic performance.

Benefits of playing college/university hockey

The international exposure of college hockey has also been growing steadily over the past few years, with 26% of all college hockey players now coming from outside the United States. The US college system is the only place young athletes can combine their athletic careers with a high-quality education. In other countries, young athletes are forced to choose between a professional career and a full-time commitment to their education after high school. Consequently, they postpone their sporting dreams for later. That is why the USA provides a unique opportunity where young athletes can combine their studies and a further improvement in their sport. Ice hockey is one of the few sports where teams offer large scholarships for new players, some even covering the full cost of training. This applies to both men’s and women’s hockey, and as the game of women’s hockey grows worldwide, scholarship opportunities for international players are also increasing.

Top hockey scholarships that might interest you

NCAA Ice Hockey

NCAA Ice Hockey offers elite scholarships for hockey players and dominates scholarships in college hockey. The foundation offers over $1 billion worth of scholarships annually and offers athletes good financial support to sustain their athletic careers.

The NCAA offers scholarships in various categories for both men and women. It is one of the most recognized scholarships for athletes.

Best colleges with the top NCAA men’s ice hockey programs

University of Wisconsin

Cornell University

Brown University

Princeton University

Harvard University

University of Michigan

Yale University

University of Notre Dame

Boston College

Dartmouth College

The Pittsburgh Penguins Scholarship

The Pittsburgh Penguins Scholarship awards $1500 to a deserving high school senior in Pittsburgh each year. Academic requirements include a minimum 3.2 grade point average and extracurricular activities.

A co-sponsored scholarship, the NHL Booster Club scholarship is not limited to a specific college or major. Pittsburgh Penguins/Bob Johnson Scholarships are awarded to Western Pennsylvania, high school seniors as an extension of the scholarship.

The Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association Scholarship

USA Hockey players are eligible for this scholarship if they are registered at a high school that is affiliated with USA Hockey. This scholarship entitles students to a one-off $1000 scholarship which can be very helpful.

You must submit an essay, academic transcripts, and information about your extracurricular activities and academic rank from your school.







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