Understanding NCAA Scholarships | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Understanding NCAA Scholarships

July 13, 2012

Must See College Recruiting Videos

Two-thirds of today’s college students will rack up more than $20,000 in debt before they graduate. If you’re a student-athlete, you can avoid the debt sinkhole by winning an NCAA athletic scholarship. Start the process early in your high school career.

Members of National Collegiate Athletic Association dole out more than $1.5 million in scholarships each year. Give yourself the best chance of securing some of this money by learning everything there is to know about scholarships for your sport.

Head-Count Sports

Head-count sports have a set amount of full scholarships they can offer. No partial scholarships are available for head-count sports; you either receive a full ride or nothing. In Division I schools, men’s football and basketball are head-count sports, as are women's basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and tennis.

Equivalency Sports

Equivalency sports can divide their scholarships into partial scholarships. The best players do occasionally earn full scholarships, but full scholarships are rare in these sports. Equivalency sports include all the other D-I sports and all D-II sports. Unfortunately D-III schools do not award athletic scholarships, but you may be eligible for an academic scholarship or financial aid.

Scholarship Opportunities

All NCAA scholarships are, at minimum, one-year academic agreements, and only D-I schools are allowed to have multi-year contracts. No matter the time frame, NCAA scholarships cover room, tuition, school fees and course-related textbooks.

Athletes are eligible to receive scholarship assistance and non-athletic financial aid outside of their sports programs. Coaches, especially those of equivalency sports, like signing athletes with additional scholarships, because it frees up money to fund more athletic scholarships. The NCAA also offers a Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund, which is available to recruits in good standing within their sport, grant-in-aid recipients, and non-recruited, non-scholarship student-athletes who have already played a season.

Putting It All Together

Now that you understand the basics, exactly how can you proactively work to earn a scholarship, besides dominating on the field?

  1. Focus hard on academics. Shine in the classroom and on the field.
  2. Impress coaches with your work ethic and dedication.
  3. Attend combineschallenges and camps, especially ones hosted by college coaches.
  4. Study up and strive to impress during coach visits.
  5. Seek out and write to coaches of programs you would like to attend.

Sources:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577295930047604846.html
http://www.ncaapublications.com/p-4270-division-i-manual-published-april-2012-pdf-and-epub-versions.aspx / Article 15
http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/CBSA.pdf / Page 19
http://www.smartmoney.com/borrow/student-loans/grad-school-higher-degrees-of-debt-1337119991742/

Johnny Quinn
- Johnny Quinn is a member of the U.S. National Bobsled Team and an 2014 Olympic hopeful. He is also the founder and president of The...
Johnny Quinn
- Johnny Quinn is a member of the U.S. National Bobsled Team and an 2014 Olympic hopeful. He is also the founder and president of The...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

I recently saw a piece that discussed the importance of following your strong positive or negative gut reaction ("Heck Yes!/Heck No!") when making key...

Recruiting Tips for High School Soccer Players

Practical Recruiting Tips for High School Athletes

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

College Football Recruits: 5 Strategies to Get Noticed

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

Combatting the Early Commitment Epidemic in Women

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

College Admission Tips for Ivy League and Division III

Tennis Recruiting: Official vs. Unofficial Visits

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

Prepare Early for the College Recruiting Process

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained

What is a Parent's Role in Recruiting?

Boost Your Academics: 4 Tips for High School Athletes

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

What's in a National Letter of Intent?

NCAA Recruiting Rules: Baseball

One Thing All Outstanding High School Senior Athletes Must Do

4 Common College Recruiting Myths Debunked

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

Tennis Recruiting: 6 Tips for Getting Attention from Colleges

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

Recruiting: You Need to Score, But Your Coach Won't Let You?

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

College Baseball Recruiting: How to Control Your Own Destiny

Understanding the NCAA Eligibility Center

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU