College cheerleaders qualify to receive NCAA scholarships through most colleges and universities, but these scholarships often only cover a small amount of tuition. Cheerleaders may find additional scholarships by choosing to attend a school with a strong competitive cheerleading program. Many schools with strong competitive cheerleading programs offer substantial scholarships for their cheerleaders, some which include full tuition costs.
The University of Kentucky offers in-state tuition scholarships for sixteen of the twenty-one members of its cheerleading squad. Students who come from outside Kentucky receive the amount of in-state tuition off of their tuition. In addition to these sixteen scholarships, other scholarships are awarded to current members of the cheerleading squad. The Mr. and Mrs. Ralph McCracken Cheerleading Endowment provides scholarships to the male and female cheerleader on the squad with the highest GPA and additional scholarships for cheerleaders who perform well academically. The Bill Blount Jr. Memorial Endowment provides a scholarship for the cheerleader on the squad who demonstrates the greatest amount of financial need. Five or six $1,000 scholarships are also awarded each year with funding from private donors.
Each year, the University of Hawaii at Manoa awards full-tuition scholarships to approximately 14 cheerleaders. In addition, the Western Undergraduate Exchange allows students who come from the western United States to pay half of out of state tuition. Students who apply for the squad and desire scholarships should be prepared with wide breadth of cheerleading skills and ready to compete at the national level.
Blinn College, located in Brenham, Texas, is home to a competitive cheerleading program. The total squad contains around twenty members and each year ten of those members receive scholarships. A scholarship from Blinn College covers full-tuition, fees and books. Students must maintain a 1.75 GPA their first semester and a 2.0 GPA the second semester and for the second year to continue to receive the scholarship. The Blinn College athletic department also pays for all travel, accommodations and food during games and competitions, in addition to uniforms and pom-poms.
Students who choose to attend a community college instead a four-year college do not have to rule out cheerleading scholarships. Many community colleges have competitive cheerleading squads and because they do not have large athletic programs, more scholarship funds may be dedicated towards cheerleading scholarships.
South Mississippi Community College in Summit Mississippi offers full-tuition scholarships for all members of the SMCC cheerleading squad. Students must serve on the squad for an entire year to continue to receive the scholarship. Every missed practice will result in a $50 reduction of the scholarship and every missed game will result in a $100 reduction. Cheerleaders also receive all uniforms, shoes and pom-poms from the university. Cheerleaders must maintain a 2.0 GPA to continue to receive the scholarship.
Barton Community College, located in Great Bend, Kansas, has a cheerleading squad that regularly places in national competitions. The college offers full-tuition scholarships, plus money to pay for books, for in-state students who make the squad. Out-of-state students receive money to pay for books and an additional $500 to help with the cost of tuition.