Live Chat

6 Facts You Need to Know About Athletic Scholarships


1. It’s competitive

There are more than 7.3 million student-athletes. Fewer than 7% of the nation’s athletes will play at a college level, and just 2.04% will receive any athletic funding.

2. Scholarships aren’t available to every student-athlete

They are available only for student-athletes who meet the NCAA or NAIA’s minimum standards for academic achievement, and in many cases, more rigid standards established by individual schools. The NCAA has a required 16 core courses for student-athletes wishing to play, while the NAIA has their own standards.

3. Scholarships aren’t guaranteed

Athletic scholarships are awarded one year at a time, and are renewed each year at a coach’s discretion.

4. Not every scholarship is a “full ride”

A full ride normally covers tuition, books, room, board, and associated feed, but not all sports offer full rides. Sports that receive a full-ride are considered Head Count sports. These include:  M/W Basketball, Football (D1 A), W. Gymnastics, W. Tennis, W. Volleyball.

The other type are Equivalency sports. The include:  Baseball, Cross Country/Track, Field Hockey, Football (except Division 1A) golf, M. Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, M. Swimming, M. Tennis, M. Volleyball, Wrestling. These scholarships  are divvied up among the players. A player in these sports may receive as little as $2,000.

5. The average scholarship is $10,409

NCAA Division I and II statistics reported that the average scholarship to be valued at $10,409.  Most packages are a combination of athletic scholarships and need and non-need-bases grants-in-aid.

6. Some of the best scholarship packages come from Division III programs

Technically, Division III programs do not offer athletic scholarships, but they do offer academic scholarships. These smaller private schools give merit grants and other scholarships for student accomplishments. Be sure to keep all your options open when you consider your school and you may receive more financial aid as a result.

Do you want to earn an athletic scholarship? Click here to create a recruiting profile in the NCSA Network and get the opportunity to connect with college coaches across the country , or call 866-579-6272 to speak to an NCAA-certified recruiting expert

About the author
Aaron Sorenson