1. What year in school should students begin scholarship prep?
While Athletic, NCAA, and Institutions follow specific guidelines which are available on their respective websites, third party or equestrian related scholarships can be considered as early the student’s sophomore year in high school and can be sought after though graduate school. Many national associations, IHSA, IDA, USEF, Equus Foundation, PHA, etc.. offer equestrian related scholarships for its members. Each association has applications or information listed on their website which is likely to address membership, volunteer or participation requirements and whether the scholarship is “need based” or is open for everyone to apply. By searching you will be able to determine if there are any requirements that you might not meet, but will have time to before the deadline.
2. Where would you advise one seeking a career in horses start?
Students will likely change their majors three times, work at a job for on average four years and during the course of their lives have seven occupations. Students interested in any field whether or equestrian or not must do their homework. If a student spends time learning about what their dream job entails, what schooling, experiences, or specific training that current industry professionals possess, then they will be able to match the skill sets and the career with a major.
Individuals seeking careers in the equestrian field will have various paths of entry. While there is no one correct method, your knowledge and experience as compared to existing industry professionals and your own personal network in regards to accessing opportunities can guide you in the decision making process. Try to match up the skill sets needed for your career choice. Once you understand what you areas you are lacking, attempt to improve in those areas with a formalized education or additional experience to ensure future success.
Students consider instructing, barn management or peripheral career (equine marketing, equine accounting, equine manufacturing) might consider a traditional degree such as business, communications, marketing, engineer, etc, while seeking employment, internships or working student positions at facilities that they might want work for or learn best practices and procedures from. Students seeking specialization such as equine nutrition, pre-vet or breeding might consider an equine degree as those programs will likely offer hands on experience both in and out of the classroom, provide internships, and potential leads to career opportunities.
3. Where are some of the best resources to look for equine related scholarships?
CollegeRiding101.com has complied an ongoing list of scholarships from various equestrian disciplines. In addition students should check with the associations they belong to, to see what they might quality for. Some local associations report that they often don’t give out as much scholarship money as they have put aside for scholarships because they don’t get enough applications. Search engines such as collegeboard.com, fastweb.com and scholarships.com- using an application process, these free sites provide scholarship opportunities, contests, drawings, based on the individual’s characteristics. These are available to high school, undergraduate and graduate students.
4. Are there any particular schools you were recommend researching?
Nope... Student needs vary greatly. With enough time and consideration everyone should be able to find a program that fits their priorities. Often students will come to me with a list of programs they are considering. Based on their requirements I will assist them in narrowing down their choices by either asking them additional questions they might not have considered, or helping them find current students or alumni that know the specifics about the programs on their list.
5. How do you apply for equine scholarships? Are there any tips or any specific subject matter equine colleges seek in their applications?
Equine scholarships offered by industry organizations or associations often list their requirements on their website. Those individuals seeking athletically related scholarships should start their process on the NCAA clearinghouse web site www.eligibilitycenter.org.
Scholarships for equestrian fall into several categories:
Athletic – from athletically sponsored equestrian teams such as Division I or Division II institutions or programs that categorize themselves as varsity.
Institution Grants –
Academic and merit scholarships
Participation Grants – scholarships from an institution for participating in clubs, choir, equestrian, etc.
Search Engines such as collegeboard.com, fastweb.com and scholarships.com- using an application process these free sites provide scholarship opportunities, contests, drawings, based on the individual’s characteristics. These are available to high school, undergraduate and graduate students.
Equestrian Specific Scholarships: A comprehensive list is available at CollegeRiding101. But individuals should consult individual organizations and associations that they participate in to see what additional opportunities are available. Scholarship vary based on need, association membership, volunteerism, discipline level...
6. What details should a student keep in mind when applying to different schools?
I wrote this assuming they are trying to have some involvement with horses....
How involved in equestrian do you plan on being are you an athlete, an enthusiast or someone in between? Will you be bringing a horse to school?
If you are looking at a team do they recruit riders, hold a tryout, or does everyone participate?
How will you pay for school? Scholarships, loans, financial aid?
Does the institution have a variety of programs incase you decide to switch your major?
Whether you are considering an Equestrian degree or a traditional one, does the school offer internships or work study to gain experience in your field while still in school?
How does campus size, diversity, climate, activities, living at home or leaving the state, factor into your decision making process?
What are the academic qualifications and how well do you measure up?
If you decide after a semester or two that you no longer what to participate on an equestrian team or major, would you still be happy at the institution?
7. Please include any additional comments or thoughts if I missed anything in my questions.
The college process is intensive and can be very stressful, the earlier your start the less overwhelming it will be. Students should start thinking about schools they might want to attend as early as their sophomore year. Visiting teams and taking school tours will allow students to think about areas such as size, location, majors, and equestrian involvement. Even though application process will not open up until the fall of the senior year, juniors should download applications, gather information and review essays questions, which could be written during the summer when they are some down time. The senior year should be saved for finalizing the schools, submitting applications for both academics and finical aid and of course keeping a solid academic GPA.