For those kids who grow up on the slopes, skiing competitively comes naturally. For some, it’s weekend ski programs with on-site slalom, freestyle, park or downhill races once or twice a year. For others, those youth who really have the drive, competitive skiing means traveling, training, and schooling year-round.
Juggling all these priorities during high school can be very difficult for both the skier and their parents. Then junior year comes around and it’s time to start looking for the perfect college. All too often, kids think that college and skiing competitively are mutually exclusive, and either quit skiing to go to school, or delay their college education indefinitely.
Many people don’t know it, but quite a few colleges in the United States have highly competitive, NCAA (I,II,III) ski teams so that you can get your education and shred the gnar, too! Take a look at five colleges that award scholarships for skiing and snowboarding:
1. University of Colorado
This one has to come first. Located in Boulder, CO, against the flat-irons of the Rocky Mountains, UC is world renown for their USCSA Division Ski Team. Since 1950, students have been receiving incredible liberal arts education as well as ripping turns and winning medals on the slopes. They start dry land training early in the year, and then move to beautiful Eldora Ski Resort once it opens for daily training throughout the season. They actively recruit skiers from across the country for scholarships, although all levels are welcome to join.
2. Bates College
Take a trip across the country for an Ivy League heavyweight renown for their Alpine ski team. The Bobcats offer very competitive scholarships for talented men and women all over the country. The admission process is, of course, very competitive, but an education from a school like Bates College practically guarantees success in any career when it’s time to put away the sticks.
3. University of Utah
Just minutes from Park City, Snowbird and Deer Valley, University of Utah is a powerhouse when it comes to their ski team. Enjoy the diverse cultural events in Salt Lake City while training with some truly world-class athletes.
4. Montana State University
Bozeman, MT is one of the fastest growing metropolises in the United States according to a recent Census Bureau report. Montana State gives skiers an opportunity to train, learn and race in the rugged northern Rocky Mountains. Their powder is deep, epic, and less traveled than some of the more famous Colorado and Utah resorts.
5. Brown University
Back to the East Coast for another academic and shredding heavyweight. Their competitive ski team is relatively small, but well-known, and has so many seniors this year, that they will be actively recruiting in the upcoming classes. Don’t sacrifice high academic rigor for downhill passion, you’ll enjoy both here.
This is only a short list. There are many more schools in Wisconsin, Michigan and on the East Coast who are growing their teams and stepping up their recruitment. So if you don’t want to choose between a perfect GPA and sliding on snow, check them out to learn more about how you can shred hard, study hard and earn a ski scholarship!