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Why College Track and Field?

A surprising number of most international elite track and field athletes have come through the US College ranks! College track in the USA is a great way to continue to develop as an athlete while getting a university degree at the same time.

On top of everything else, student-athletes learn to work and thrive in a team environment, which alters and shapes them into well-rounded, unselfish, team-oriented, and driven individuals. These qualities will help you be successful, whether on or off the track.


College Track beurs USA


Unlike other college sports, most track & field coaches will be very upfront about what time or mark you will need to make their team and get a scholarship. There are about 1,050 universities (Women) and 950 universities (Men) that offer a track & field program in the USA. Depending on your level, you can receive up to a full scholarship that covers; tuition, rent, living expenses, and sometimes even attractive pocket money.

In addition to track & field scholarships, an athlete can qualify for academic scholarships (through grades and test scores) and international scholarships. It is possible to get a combination of the different types of scholarships.

The following items can be covered by a scholarship:


Costs of tuition and fees can
vary from $10000,- to $65000,-

Training gear

Players will receive practice gear every year. This can include socks, shoes, shorts, joggers, sweatpants, variety of (long sleeve) shirts, rain jackets, coats, hats, and any other accessories related to the sport you play.


Housing can be on campus or in an apartment complex nearby. Meals are eaten in the cafeteria on campus.


It is mandatory to have health insurance and some schools require international students to take a school’s policy.


Costs of books can vary from $400,- to $1200,- per year depending on the type of classes you take, if you rent, buy 2nd hand, etc.

Spending money

Some scholarships even exceed the total amount of costs to be used towards flights or out-of-pocket items.

How are practice and season structured?

The training schedule is characterized by high intensity and the coaching staff often includes several assistants. You will get amongst other things, personalized training gear with your school’s logo and have access to top-class facilities and resources like physiotherapy, weight rooms, and more. 

Most track teams have 50-60 athletes on their team and besides the classic disciplines like speed competitions, high jump, and shot put, there are also more recent disciplines such as decathlon and heptathlon that allow a greater number of athletes to obtain scholarships.

The season is broken down into an indoor and outdoor seasons. During each season, teams compete against other universities at several different track ‘meets’ (tournaments). At the end of the regular season, the top-ranked teams will qualify for the conference tournament in which you can qualify for the National tournament.

College track & field beurs Amerika Kyra

Overview of an academic year

The Fall semester (often referred to as off-season) is used to prepare intensively for the coming Spring season. Some Track athletes are also part of the cross-country team who have their main season in the Fall.

Showtime! – The season begins with indoor meets at the beginning of the Spring and will end with the National indoor tournament. This is quickly followed by a shift to outdoor meets until the National Championships officially close the college season in mid-June. 

Most universities have their Christmas break from mid-December to mid-January. It is, therefore, possible to go back home and spend quality time with family and friends for almost a month.

Summer break – There is a possibility to stay in The USA and take summer classes or work in camps. Most students decide to go back to their families to enjoy the 2.5-month break to rest and individual preparation for pre-season.

Day in the life of a student-athlete

Sports & academics are 100% coordinated, so you have the opportunity to excel on both the track as well as in the classroom.


Wake up,
get ready for the
weight/conditioning training.



Shower and then have breakfast with teammates or friends in one of the dining facilities on the college campus.


First classes of the day



Lunch with teammates and friends, again at one of the various food halls available on campus using your prepaid ‘meal plan’ card.


Final classes of the day



Arrive at the training room to prepare for practice. You may get stretched out or taped by an athletic trainer (physiotherapist)



Back to the training room to make sure you take care of yourself physically after practice (ice bath/physical therapy). After taking a shower, you will have dinner with teammates and friends.



Time to get some studying or homework done. When other sports teams are in action, a good College athlete supports their fellow athletes! The rest of the evening is your own!


Did you know?

  • During the summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016, 46 college athletes from 34 different universities were competing in one or more events.
  • Track & Field Ambassador Anna Sjoukje was Dutch National Junior Champion in both the 100m and 100m hurdles and had competed at the European and World Junior Championships before she went to Miami University
  • The first modern college track meet was held between Oxford and Cambridge in England in 1864.

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