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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I'm starting to look at colleges and just need some info.
As you may know, the next few years of applicants are supposed to be the hardest years to get into college bc there will be soo many people (from the baby boomers) applying. I need every advantage I can get.
My parents really want me to row in college....(here's where i need your help...)
Do colleges give scholarships out to cyclists? If so, do you like have to be nat. champ. or somehting!?!?
Do colleges have cycling teams?
Is cycling one of those sports like crew that (if you are good at it) will really help your chance of getting accepted.

Thanks and any other info is greatly appreciated.
 

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Hey I was kind of in your position this time last fall- I'm a senior in high school and I had some of these questions too. Here's what I've learned.
Colleges really don't give out scholarships for cycling. Some will give you some perks, actually there are a few out there that offer money. But they aren't just handing it out to anybody, and truth be told, these aren't really very good colleges. For me it just didn't make sense to even consider these schools, because the academic caliber was way below what I would ever consider, not to be a snob! ;)
Most colleges these days have a racing club. They all race together in the collegiate races, each in their own conference. From what I here, this is a pretty low-stress, really fun experience. Most of the clubs and coaches don't pull a lot of weight in the admissions office- but some of them do. It's worth emailing every cycling club of the colleges you want to go to, to give them your name and ask them questions about their program. Some colleges do have "special talent" forms that you can send along with your application. Those will help.
So as far as money goes, you aren't going to get half as far as you would with crew. As far as beefing up your application, it can help if you are dedicated and travel to races a lot, because colleges like to see that you work hard and care about something in your life, even if it isn't academics.
For the record, my cousin rowed for threes year in high school, and got the opportunity to consider schools that she would have never considered had she not rowed (princeton, berkeley, cornell, etc). They would pay for her to fly out and visit the team. She was offered scholarships, and ended up going to a university for a great deal. So rowing can open a lot of doors for you. Don't forget that you'd be on an actual team and you'd have contractual obligations, so expect a ton of work and not a lot of college life!
Hope this helps, if you have more questions just ask.
 

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Gregpape23 said:
Ok, so I'm starting to look at colleges and just need some info.
As you may know, the next few years of applicants are supposed to be the hardest years to get into college bc there will be soo many people (from the baby boomers) applying. I need every advantage I can get.
My parents really want me to row in college....(here's where i need your help...)
Do colleges give scholarships out to cyclists? If so, do you like have to be nat. champ. or somehting!?!?
Do colleges have cycling teams?
Is cycling one of those sports like crew that (if you are good at it) will really help your chance of getting accepted.

Thanks and any other info is greatly appreciated.
I think you are asking the wrong set of first questions. I think you should first consider why you are going to college and then worry about athletics. As you may have noticed, cyclists tend to be an educated bunch (it seemed like half of the cyclists in my home town had an MD attached to their name) and I'm guessing that some of the people have gotten into and attended some amazing schools. If you've already done this thinking, we could probably give you better feedback within a more specific range (good engineering schools with recruitment programs or the like).
From what I've seen of collegiate cycling, it doesn't seem like it's normally freshmen that tear it up for the school. There's a lot of medical students, PhD candidates and the like that are really strong and more experienced (mature too). That said, some schools do recruit, but if I'm reading you correctly and you are talking about very selective schools, I don't think that will really come into play.
 

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As kreuzberg mentioned for most colleges out there cycling is a "Club Sport" which means no scholarships are offered. There are a few out there that might offer an out of state tuition waiver or something like that to help ease the costs, but they would likely be an upper level college program and likely recruit...if you haven't heard from them, they probably are not interested in you...unless you go to school there and work your way up.

With that said, most college teams have deals worked out like other non college cycling clubs have. They might work with a shop that gives a 20%-40% discount on things purchased there and move you to the front of the line when work needs to be done on your bike. They might get cheaper clothing, deals on food, wheels, frames, helmets, shoes, etc. and each school/team will be different.

You will generally pay your way to races, pay entry fees and the cost is yours...but some schools may fund-raise to cover some of those costs at least for the "A" team.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone,
Mr. Jones, I am honestly not too sure what I want to go into and right now I am simply deciding what it is I should pursue in the coming years so that I have some sort of leverage when it is time to start applying. I can give you a super basic idea of where I want to go. I am looking for a good school, not ivy league, but definately a school with some reputation. Right now I attend a very good High School but that is only half the battle.


Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh, and I forgot to add one thing. (kind of the whole reason for this thread)lol
Since I attend a small private school, sports are required. Currently I can do an out of shcool sport for 1 season. Now my sports are like this- Fall-Crew, Winter-swimming, Spring-lacrosse(which I hate)The fall crew is my out of school sport. Next year, I can do an out of shcool sport for one season and do no sport/ outof school sport for another season. I am debating wether I will do crew both fall and spring next year, or if I will do fall crew, and nothing for spring.Well, it wouldn't be nothing, I would use that time to cycle and training so I don't start off my summer anyhting close to out of shape.
 

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Okay, not knowing what you want to do is legitimate, but should certainly influence your decision. If you may want to go into engineering or research, a small liberal arts college is not for you. I originally applied to school with the intention of majoring in nuclear engineering or applied physics. I decided that that was not for me and I'm now an operations research major. Going to a reasonably large school (Columbia) has given me options I might not have other places. Definitely consider the flexibility you get from a club team; it's nice that when you have midterms that you aren't obligated to go on the group ride.
 

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if you like crew, than do go for it!! Seriously, it can take you far. I have a bunch of friends who row and they spend their junior and senior years of high school being courted by schools with reputations. Of course, these are good, hard-working athletes, in really strong boats. But if that is you, and you are looking to use your sport to get into a good college, absolutely go with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sure, I find crew fun, but I find cycling absolutely super amazing. For crew i'd say i'm about average/ above avg. Cycling I really don't know as Ive only been in a few races.

Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it!
 

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if you are thinking cycling I would look into schools with a climate that is conducive for year round training. Combine that with some nice topography for rides and that will shorten the list of schools.
 

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An alternative

Travis said:
if you are thinking cycling I would look into schools with a climate that is conducive for year round training. Combine that with some nice topography for rides and that will shorten the list of schools.
The other option is to look at schools that do well. Judging by weather, MIT should not be as good as they are. It obviously means that they have developed a good winter training program that you can learn from. This means that you're not stuck picking everywhere you live based upon cycling terrain and climate for the rest of your cycling life.
 

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Mr. Jones said:
Okay, not knowing what you want to do is legitimate, but should certainly influence your decision. If you may want to go into engineering or research, a small liberal arts college is not for you.
Please don't tell NASA that. They may realize the error of their hiring ways and fire me and quite a few people I know :rolleyes:

OP: If you aren't sure what you want to do, yes, you should take that into consideration and look for colleges with diverse options in areas you are interested in. That doesn't necessarily rule in or out liberal arts schools or private schools. In fact it may make them more appealing with their broad general education requirements which can mean broad major options and an opportunity to test out a few of them, but still small enough for individualized attention.
 

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The collegiate teams I've heard about are typically run by students and are treated as a club by the school. They often don't have a coach. So your cycling ability is not going to influence the admissions department. The benefit to that is you put in as much time as you want and there are not required practices. People can organize rides that work for their schedule or train on their own and there may be social events with the team.
 

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+1. The college I'm going to has (er... had about 2 years ago) one of the best teams in the nation. What you got for cycling when you went there? Jack sh!t.

Cycling did nothing for my college admissions for any schools that had average ACTs higher than 20 (SAT new 1410, old 940-970)
 

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I can only vouch for schools in the southeast, but I know that Lindsey Wilson College in KY offers scholarships for cyclists. Other than that, Lees-Mcrae in NC pretty much dominates our cycling conference and typically has a well-funded program, though I don't think they give out scholarships. Another option might be Indiana University, who still does the Little Indy 500 (ever seen the movie Breaking Away?) and therefore is a campus with a very large cycling base. As several others have said though, I definitely recommend finding a few nice schools that you like with a major you want to do, then looking at their respective cycling teams.
 

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Look at the varsity schools. In the Midwest, there is: Marian, Ripon, Lindenwood, Lindsey Wilson. The best is probably midwestern state. Most of them require that you are at least cat3 to get scholarships.

With that being said, don't choose a school based on the cycling team. As you can see, there is no big name school in the list I gave -- the best schools (academically) don't give cycling scholarships. You have to choose -- drop out and ride pro or go to a good school.

If you aren't a cat1/2 by the time you are 18, you won't go pro. So pick the school. 20 years from now you will not be a pro cyclist, but you will still have a job.

Find good schools that compete in nationals, and that should be plenty for you. UW-Madison had the highest placed non-varsity rider at nationals this year (Steven Scholzen - 3rd omnium, 2nd in crit). We've also graduated at least 2 people to the pro ranks: Nick Reistad (Jelly Belly) and Ryan Baumann (Trek-LiveStrong). Many other schools do this, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
iliveonnitro said:
With that being said, don't choose a school based on the cycling team. As you can see, there is no big name school in the list I gave -- the best schools (academically) don't give cycling scholarships. You have to choose -- drop out and ride pro or go to a good school.
I'm not going to pick my school based on it's cycling program, in fact even if it barely has a cycling program that would be ok.Overall- I'm not looking to be cycling in college. (I will, but that is not priority) I am looking for somehting to help me get into college.

Thanks for all the help everyone.
 
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