The number of athletic scholarships authorized to each school will depend on such things as the association they are affiliated with (NCAA, NAIA, etc), the division they are playing in and the gender of the sport. Competition for scholarship money is extremely competitive. If getting a scholarship is essential for you, then you should use the chart below to look and see what the best opportunities are. For example, if you are a good NCAA DII player then maybe looking at a smaller school and playing NAIA might be a better fit as they offer more scholarships. Remember, soccer is an equivalency sport which means all scholarships are NOT full scholarships, and coaches may divide the total number of scholarships allotted to them between as many athletes as they wish.
Looking at the number of players a team carries and how many players they will be losing when your class is incoming also helps you gauge potential scholarship money available. Finally each school is different. While you may be there top recruit, if the maximum athletic scholarship the coach is authorized to give is 50% then you may be better served looking elsewhere. The chart below is the 2015 Scholarships authorized by NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA by gender.
|NCAA DI||NCAA DII||NAIA||NJCAA|
|Men's:||9.9 Scholarships||9 Scholarships||12 Scholarships||18 Scholarships|
|Women's:||14 Scholarships||9.9 Scholarships||12 Scholarships||18 Scholarships|
While NCAA scholarships are year to year, many of the NAIA scholarships are guaranteed for four years unless the player decides to leave the program. This is one advantage the NAIA players have in relation to season or even career ending injuries affecting the scholarship awards.
You may have noticed that NCAA DIII schools are not listed on this chart. These schools don't rely strictly on an athletic scholarship. Instead they offer other forms of financial assistance such as grants and additional academic scholarship opportunities.
"Do not get discouraged by this information. We recommend you do the best you can to withstand the initial "sticker shock" and ask questions to find out if the opportunity may actually be feasible for you.
Although it is true that Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, they do offer a substantial amount of other financial aid to students. Division III schools use athletics as a driver for their enrollment and do not want to discourage athletes from attending their institutions. Schools want students to be involved and active while on campus working toward their degree. This helps build friendships and provide lasting memories which in turn allow students to become great ambassadors for the college upon graduation.
Division III schools will also often have a great deal of financial aid they can provide for students even without being able to award athletic scholarships. Frequently, Division III schools will have very large endowments, especially when compared to the size of the student population. This allows schools to provide many forms of financial aid to cover the cost of attendance. Since each college or university has the freedom to make their own rules for the financial aid process, it is likely you will encounter many different types of aid you qualify for at many different schools. This underscores the importance of asking questions of each individual school you are applying to." ~ NCSA Sports.
NAIA Schools are typically private institutions with a smaller campus size. Conversely they tend to be more expensive, similar to many of the NCAA DIII schools are. From a competitive standpoint many of the NAIA schools are comparable with many NCAA DII schools. While this may sound strange, the reason for this is affordability. You may ask how a private school can be more affordable than a state school. NAIA, similar to NCAA DIII typically has a substantial amount of financial aid available to its students in forms of endowments, grants and scholarships. Additionally, they are able to offer scholarships and at a higher rate than the NCAA DII schools can.