Tennis Scholarships: How to Get One & Where to Go
Making a living as a professional athlete is very, very hard and takes more than just talent. Tennis is harder than many other sports, it requires tons of training, equipment and travel to tournaments all over the world. However, there are a lot of jobs in the tennis industry that don't require professional level playing, including coaching, teaching, marketing, writing, sales, merchandising and many more.

If you want a career in any part of the tennis industry, you may want to try and get a scholarship to a school with a great tennis team. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit association that organizes many of the college and university athletic programs in the U.S. and Canada. In 1973, the NCAA developed the three-division (Division 1, Division II, Division III) setup that is still used today. Only Division I and Division II schools can offer athletic scholarships. Division I is the highest level of play and those schools are generally larger; this usually means that they have more scholarships to give out.

You definitely want to do some in-depth research about how to get a tennis scholarship. Talk to your coach, look online, talk to players you know who received scholarships in the past. Here is a general list that can help get you started.

Create a Target List.

Make a list of Division I and II schools which you would like to attend. The larger the list, the better chance you have of getting a scholarship. According to USA Today, these are the top 10 universities for women's tennis.

  1. Duke University

  2. Vanderbilt University

  3. University of California at Los Angeles

  4. Stanford University

  5. University of Florida

  6. University of Georgia

  7. University of Virginia

  8. University of North Carolina

  9. Northwestern University

  10. University of California at Berkeley

According to, these are the top 10 schools for men's tennis.

  1. University of Oklahoma

  2. University of Southern California

  3. University of Georgia

  4. University of Virginia

  5. Baylor University

  6. University of Illinois

  7. Duke University

  8. University of North Carolina

  9. Ohio State University

  10. University of Texas at Austin

Communicate with coaches.

Email the coaches with your resume, including your GPA, school achievements, and detailed statistics of all of your tennis seasons. You should also have a highlight video to send them (put it online and send a link). If a coach responds, make sure you reply to them. Take the time to learn about the school and coach so you ask intelligent questions and have a real conversation. Talk to each coach as if he or she was the most important person in the world, you never know who holds the key to your future. If you don't hear from a coach, try again in a few weeks.

Know the rules.

You should also familiarize yourself with academic requirements and make sure you qualify before wasting someone's time. You should also know the NCAA and NAIA rules and regulations.
Attend showcases, summer camps, tournaments, anything you can to get yourself more exposure. The higher level a tournament is, the more likely you will be seen. Also, certain coaches favor certain tournaments, try to find out which tournaments these are and get into them.