Cheerleading scholarships give students something to cheer about

Cheerleading scholarships give students something to cheer aboutGlee's Sue Sylvester is making cheerleading cool again. Sure, you want to be in the glee club, but secretly, you wouldn't mind being a Cheerio either. In a recent episode of Glee, Sue's funk near nationals almost cost the Cheerios their cheerleading scholarships.

Anyone who has actually been to a National Cheerleaders Association competition knows competitive cheerleading is the real deal. Think the final scene in Bring it On: part gymnastics, part dance, part pep and part attitude. It almost makes you tired just thinking about it, but some guys and gals dedicate all their free time to the sport and are rewarded with cheerleading scholarships and a chance to continue at a collegiate level.

So give me a C-H-E-E-R to say no to L-O-A-N-S and yes to S-C-H-O-L-A-R-S-H-I-P-S!

From Florida to Utah and even Hawaii, universities across the country offer cheerleading scholarships. The University of Florida awards partial cheerleading scholarships to students on the basis of need, scholastic achievement and years of participation. Salt Lake Community College grants a half tuition waiver to all their cheerleaders and The University of Hawaii sets aside 12 to 14 full-tuition cheerleading scholarships.

But if you're really into cheering, you'd probably want a few trophies to bring back to your school. Some of the country's top universities for cheerleading also offer cheerleading scholarships.

At this year's Universal Cheerleaders Association national competition, some of the schools taking home top honors offer cheerleading scholarships.

University of Kentucky
UK finished first in the Coed Division 1A competition this year. Sixteen members of the 21-member team receive cheerleading scholarships equaling the amount of in-state tuition. The Mr. and Mrs. Ralph McCracken, Jr. Cheerleading Scholarship awards the male and female cheerleader with the highest G.P.A. a cheerleading scholarship. The Bill Blount, Jr. Memorial Endowment awards a cheerleading scholarship the team member who represents the most financial need.

Morehead State University
MSU has 26 national UCA cheerleading championships under its belt and this year was no exception. The team took home first in the All Girl Division I category as well a first place in the Coed Division I category. All MSU cheerleaders receive some kind of cheerleading scholarship of varying amount, but that do not cover books, housing or meal plans.

Hofstra University
This squad nabbed the top spot as UCA's in the Small Coed Division and its no wonder, their practice schedule is intense. The nationals team is required to practice twice a day for part of the year. They offer a limited number of cheerleading scholarships to veteran cheerleaders.

So put all those "dumb" cheerleader stereotypes aside, these cheerleading scholarships honoring academics, commitment and financial need show this sport is legit.
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