US College Tennis Scholarships

US Tennis Scholarships: Information & Timeline

(As at February 2015)


If you are interested in a US tennis scholarship, finding your way through the US college system and application process can be daunting.  As more and more young Irish tennis players are interested in taking this route, Leinster Tennis has compiled some basic information as a starting point.  This is not meant to be a step by step guide but merely a guide put together by tennis players and parents who have gone through the process.


Where do I start?


Research :

  • US Colleges:

                 - - Great website to check out colleges and how they compare


                 - Education USA

  • Criteria for sports scholarships 
  • Academic requirements 
  • Financial Aid 
  • SAT exams (College Board requirement for entry to US Colleges). 

Sonya McGuinness is the EducationUSA Advisor for Ireland. You can email to contact her with queries. Alternatively, you may ring 01 660 7670


ITA Team rankings:

  • Team Conferences
  • Team Coaches
  • Team Rosters
  • Team Schedules


When you see a college you are interested in, simply  ‘google ‘UniversityX’  Athletic Department Staff Directory and you will find the coaches details.

Write down a list of 25-30 colleges of interest and email your resume to them.  It is a difficult process.

Alternatively you can use a recruiting service which can be very beneficial.  (Sarah Borwell in the UK -


When do I start?


Autumn of 5th Year.


Make a Tennis Video


What Coaches Look For :-

  • A player who moves well
  • Fast hands
  • Point construction

Your video should include close ups of forehand, backhand, volley and serve.  The first 30 seconds should be the best.

Play out the points.  Make sure the person you play against is a good consistent player so that you can get some good points footage which showcases your strokes.  You can edit the best ones to use.


NB : Put together a Tennis CV

  • Include most recent significant results against current Irish players, ITF/ATP/WTA ranked opponents, top British players etc. Remember it doesn’t have to be a ‘win’, just a respectable score line.  List current rankings and upcoming tournaments.
  • Add your Skype name and phone number plus your coaches contact details too.
  • Most important, include a YouTube link to a tennis video.  (either a match you have played (4-6 games no editing)  or a compiled video (5-7 minutes max)
  • list of criteria that is important to you, scholarship amount, climate, coach experience, athletic department resources, academic programmes etc

Registration with the Eligibility Centre (NCAA)

Registration with the NCAA should take place in the Spring of 5th Year. (website details below)


What are the SATs?

The SAT exam is a specific exam required by US universities for entry.  Without it, you will not be eligible for entry to a US university.  The SATs are a maths and english based exam and can be practised online or with numerous workbooks which are available. Free Test Prep (the only official test prep company for the redesigned SAT:

You register for the SAT exam yourself online. There are only 2 or three centres in Ireland where you can sit the exams, St Conleth’s in Donnybrook, Dublin and St Andrew’s College, Booterstown, County Dublin.

The SAT exams take place in January, May and June and you can sit the exam as often as you like. 


Will a scholarship pay for everything?

It is unusual for scholarships to be more than 50% for a sports scholarship but this depends on the quality of the player and how badly the coach wants the player.  It is also possible to make up the other 50% with an academic scholarship.




Many people do not think about what they want to do until their final year in school.  However, if you are interested in pursuing an American tennis scholarship, you must start preparing at the beginning of your 5th year in school.


Autumn/Spring of 5th Year  

produce a tennis video to send to college coaches

By March of 5th Year

register with NCAA (for academic competence and amateur sports eligibility)

Spring of 5th Year

complete college scholarship application forms (Common Application or individual college application as required)

March of 5th Year

register for SAT exams

Spring of 5th Year

send your application and video to college coaches directly.

May/June of 5th Year     

take SAT exams

Autumn of 6th Year       

expect to have provisional offer based on potential results in the final term and exams of 6th Year.


Useful websites which provide invaluable information on going to college in the US :


Apply to Colleges         

Research Affordability 

Check all online Net Price Calculators (regardless of receiving a scholarship, it is important to know all the costs involved which may not be covered by scholarship funding)


Look for Scholarships                                                              


Apply for Financial Aid