How To Get Soccer Scholarships in Canada

Are you aware of the game-changing 2024-2025 revised U Sports scholarship policies? These policies have significantly enhanced the accessibility of soccer scholarships in Canada, opening up new opportunities for aspiring student-athletes.

First-year student-athletes can now qualify for athletic scholarships when accepted at a university, even with an academic average below 80 percent. Each university athletic department must also commit to allocating 45 percent of the athletic scholarships to women and 45 percent to men. The remaining 10 percent can pivot either way.

With more achievable academic standards, grade flexibility, and equal opportunities, there’s never been a better time to apply for soccer scholarships in Canada!

Athletic Scholarships 101

Your junior or senior may wonder how to get a soccer scholarship in Canada, and the answer is complex. U Sports athletic scholarships are the primary funding opportunity for student-athletes but aren’t the only option. For example, men who play in the Canadian Hockey League can receive a year of tuition for each year played. 

Students are also evaluated for student-athlete funding during the recruitment process to become varsity athletes. That funding may come from U Sports, but student-athletes also have the opportunity for additional scholarships, grants, and bursaries. For example, the Alberta Athletic Award is $1800, and students can be nominated through their high school for the District/Authority Scholarship, which is $1250.

How Much Funding is Available Through Athletic Scholarships?

Athletic Financial Scholarships vary by university and province. U Sports funding at some universities is capped at $4500 per athlete, but in Ontario, it’s capped at $5000. However, some student-athletes may be eligible for a “full ride” scholarship that covers the costs of student fees and tuition. Tuition in most provinces is over $5000, and the average Canadian sports scholarship is $1060.

Scholarships often consist of different awards that are up to the coach to grant. The best way to find out what scholarship funding is available is to contact coaches and universities. That way, you can apply to the programs that offer you the most funding opportunities.

Take GrantMe’s 3-minute program assessment quiz to determine how many funding opportunities you’re eligible for.

Plan for Success: How To Get a Soccer Scholarship in Canada

Part of winning soccer scholarships in Canada is starting the process early. The average resident student pays $96,004 for a degree, while students living at home can expect to pay $48,074. These estimates are based on 2022 figures from Wealth Professionals Canada and emphasize the importance of early financial planning.

Starting the scholarship journey early also has some practical benefits. You can meet application deadlines and university admissions. Taking a proactive approach in high school also allows you to research which universities have programs you’re interested in. Armed with that knowledge, you can research school-specific processes and funding opportunities. The U Sports member database is an excellent place to start.

If you’ve caught the eye of a university soccer coach, you may be invited for official off-campus and on-campus visits. When you start the scholarship process early, you’re more prepared for these visits, and give yourself the best chance to showcase your skills and personality.

Getting Noticed By Soccer Coaches

But how do you catch the eye of a coach?

You can use official channels like the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) or the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). You can create a free profile with NCSA visible to coaches and chat with a scout who will do a recruiting analysis. Scouts can connect eligible athletes with soccer programs by sending their recruiting profiles to the appropriate coaches.

Soccer Summer Camps and ID Clinics

Summer camps and ID clinics are great ways to hone your soccer skills and get in front of coaches. ID clinics are sometimes hosted by coaches on the university campus or at a neutral location, allowing more coaches to scout talented players. They offer one-on-one time with prospective coaches, allowing you to assess their coaching style.

Coaches usually invite athletes to university ID clinics. Juniors and seniors active in the recruiting process have a better chance of being noticed and benefiting from an ID clinic.

Making a Recruiting Video

Camps and clinics can introduce you to coaches, but a professional highlight video may earn you an offer.

A highlight video should be two to four minutes of well-edited footage demonstrating your skills, decision-making abilities, and technique.

A recruiting video should:

  • Show the best, most engaging footage in the first thirty seconds.
  • Show that you’re a well-rounded person and player.
  • Demonstrate the highest level of play.

Start your recruiting video with a self-interview, describing who you are as a player. This is a  great time to show your personality and catch the coach’s interest. You can also ask your current coach to answer questions like whether they think you can play university soccer and in what division.

Do research to share your video with the right coach. The email subject line should include the name of your school or soccer program and your position. Keep the email short and to the point. Personalize it by telling the coach what you like about the program and how you’re the right fit.

Take the program assessment quiz and determine if you’re eligible to work with GrantMe’s top education consultants, who can help you craft your applications.

Connecting with Coaches

Make an effort to connect with coaches before discussing scholarship opportunities. When sending your highlight video, include your graduation year in the title and remember the recruiting calendar and “dead periods.”

Social media is another way to reach out to coaches. Keep your social media clean and send respectful DMs rather than constantly tagging coaches in your posts. Once you’ve emailed or connected on social media, reach out by phone. When you’ve done your due diligence, a coach will be more likely to answer your questions.

Interview Tips

If your research and respectful communication result in an interview, make it count! Know the coach’s name and be familiar with the team. Show your enthusiasm when you ask and answer questions. This is your chance to impress and learn about the university and soccer program.

You could ask questions like:

  • What is the coaching philosophy of the team?
  • How do you approach player development?
  • Please describe the team’s style of play and how I might fit into it.
  • How do you balance academics and athletics for your players?
  • What is the team’s relationship with the local community, and are there opportunities for community involvement or outreach?
  • Can you provide details about the training, competition, and recovery facilities?

GrantMe’s founder, Madison Guy, is the former captain of the UBC Thunderbirds women’s soccer team and knows just how necessary preparation and planning are when you are trying to get a sports scholarship in Canada.

Working With GrantMe

GrantMe aims to help and support students who want to get into top universities and to secure funding. By 2024, GrantMe has helped thousands of Canadian students win over $10 million in scholarships. If you’d like to know more about how GrantMe can support your goal of getting into a top-choice school on a soccer scholarship, start by taking our program assessment quiz.

Scholarship offers take planning and work. Start exploring your options by making a highlight video, researching university programs, and contacting coaches.

See you on the field!

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