The Atlantic Cape Community College of New Jersey surprised itself this past weekend by successfully hosting a part of the US Collegiate Archery National Indoor Championships — in their own tiny gym. Students were sure they couldn’t pull it off – “There’s absolutely no way,” archer Niki Meikle said – but they accommodated over 70 archers, and the event was termed “an excellent affair” by Coach Mick Ebert. He added that archery is the only sport in their two-year college that deals with four-year schools.
Which means there are no NCAA scholarships for archers. Well, almost none.
The flip side is that collegiate archers are under no restrictions about earning or winning money.
Scholarships for archers are out there. The National Archery Association awards eight $500 scholarships annually. NFAA and Easton have provided scholarship support, as well as many state archery associations, as well as a few private organizations and random donors here and there. And, if you are a female post graduate who shot varsity in your senior year, there is one NCAA scholarship program you might qualify for. CollegeScholarships.org has an extensive list of available archery scholarships, most worth well under $1000.
That’s not much support for a college student. I’m guessing there are few to no college students paying their own expenses with income from archery.
Archery was an NCAA sport once, but it isn’t now. I haven’t been able to find an explanation for that on the Interwebs. I did find a clue on an old ArcheryTalk.com post, though: the author stated “It takes around 40 Division 1 NCAA schools with teams to comprise enough numbers for the NCAA to consider it a sport… Archery as a total of 3.”
That was in 2004. How many Division 1 NCAA schools have archery teams now? I don’t know, but the trends suggest a significant increase. The USCA website shows that participation increased 64% between 2007 and 2011. The Hunger Games movie wasn’t released until 2012, which has no doubt spawned another burst of interest.