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To ride or not to ride (IN COLLEGE!)

As equine professionals, one question we are asked REPEATEDLY by parents is, “Am I paying for my child to ride so they can get a scholarship to college?” Well sure, riding can get you a scholarship, but you may also end up paying more for your child’s riding education than for school tuition! (You know this to be true 😅). The good news is that there is more to riding in school than just getting the riding scholarship. Let’s take a look at the options.


Can Riding Help You Get Into College?


Many parents have strong opinions about their child spending time in the saddle when they are also supposed to be focusing on their studies. But, for exceptional riders who don’t have the grades to get into Ivy League Schools, riding on the team can tip the balance in your favor.


One real-life example: One of our clients really wanted to go to Brown University. Her grades were good but not top-tier. However, her extensive riding resume put her at the top of the list to get in if she would agree to ride on the team!


Can your good grades allow you to ride?


Maybe you don’t have a high-level riding resume, but you do want to ride in college on a good team. If your grades are impeccable, it’s possible to get a scholarship based on your grades to a college that has stringent grade standards and a great riding team!


In addition, many of the large, division one athletics need to balance out their scholarship money equally through different genders. This could be a way for someone with great grades to get an incredible scholarship to a great school if they were flexible about where they would attend.

What does riding do for you?


A good way to approach riding in College is to first list your priorities (Is the school more important to you? Is the scholarship more important? The strength of the riding team?) Then work backward to decide how riding helps you reach your goals.


Another example of how riding can help you reach your goals: Dartmouth has only in recent years added riding to its sports roster. It is an incredibly difficult school to get into but if you have strong academics and solid equestrian results, this could get you into school AND onto the riding team.


Are you or your child headed off to College soon? Let Next Step help you utilize riding to help you get the most out of your College experience. Your first consultation is on us. Email

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