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How many scholarships for college basketball

Men’s Basketball Scholarships | How to Get a Basketball Scholarship

Less than one percent of high school athletes will go on to play NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball—but we already knew the competition was tough. Even though the odds of landing a scholarship are slim, it isn’t impossible. There are several competitive opportunities, from NCAA Division 1 to JUCO programs, where athletic scholarships are available. Division 1 college coaches offer headcount scholarships, meaning each player gets a full ride. NCAA Division 2, NAIA and JUCO programs, on the other hand, award equivalency scholarships. Coaches at these levels have a pool of athletic aid and they can distribute it to as many athletes as they want, so student-athletes could get partial scholarships. And while Division 3 college coaches can’t offer athletic scholarships, they still provide appealing financial packages that can cover a bulk of college costs.        

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NCAA basketball scholarships by division level

How to get a basketball scholarship

What are the odds of getting a basketball scholarship?

Can you play college basketball without a scholarship?

How many scholarships are available for men’s D1 basketball?

How to get a Division 1 basketball scholarship

Division 2 men’s basketball scholarships

Division 3 men’s basketball scholarships

NAIA men’s basketball scholarships

JUCO men’s basketball scholarships

Basketball scholarship requirements

Best colleges for basketball scholarships

How many full ride scholarships for basketball?

NCAA basketball scholarships by division level

Division LevelNumber of TeamsTotal AthletesAverage Team SizeScholarships Limit Per TeamScholarship Limit Type
NCAA D13535,5221613Headcount
NCAA D23135,2511710Equivalency
NCAA D34467,76718N/A
NAIA D1931,8642011Equivalency
NAIA D21372,752216Equivalency
Other 4 year921,39415N/A
Other 2 year1451,98814N/A

When it comes to basketball scholarships, it’s important to understand the difference between a headcount scholarship and an equivalency scholarship. In NCAA Division 1, student-athletes receive headcount scholarships, which are full rides. In other words, coaches award exactly 13 full ride scholarships to 13 athletes, and they can’t distribute that money any other way. At the Division 2, NAIA and JUCO levels, college coaches offer equivalency scholarships. Coaches are given a pool of scholarship funds and they can distribute it to as many athletes as they want. Therefore, depending on the program, some athletes will receive partial scholarships at these levels. 

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How to get a basketball scholarship 

Every coach has a specific set of criteria they look for when recruiting student-athletes. Here are the most important aspects you should keep in mind as you search for scholarships:

  1. Compete at the highest level possible: To accurately assess a recruit’s ability to compete in college, coaches want to see them play against high-ranked recruits from across the country. That’s why AAU is so popular among top-tier programs—it provides recruits with a chance to play at the national level. However, this level of AAU is the most expensive as recruits are often required to travel to several tournaments. While club basketball can help, it isn’t a necessary requirement to securing a scholarship. Varsity high school teams can also offer great competitive opportunities.
  2. Compete in the summer during live periods: Scheduling conflicts make it difficult for college coaches to watch recruits play in-person during the regular season. So, they turn to live periods. These stretches in the offseason allow coaches to hit the road and scout several players at once. Bottom line: playing in front of college coaches in the summer is essential.
  3. Attend elite camps: In addition to tournaments, college coaches also evaluate recruits at elite camps. These events, which can be invitation only, attract top talent and college coaches from across the country. There’s one caveat—camps at a Division 1 school tend to invite Division 2 or 3 coaches to attend, as well, but more likely than not, no other Division 1 programs will be in attendance. Make sure to attend camps at schools that are at the top of the target list.
  4. Excel academically. Grades and test scores matter to college coaches. First, for divisions that offer equivalency scholarships, academic aid can ease the burden on the coach to provide athletic aid. More importantly, it speaks to a recruit’s character. Coaches know that students who work hard in the classroom are responsible, independent and will have a smoother college transition than those who don’t. 
  5. Create a highlight film. The best way to secure an in-depth and in-person evaluation is by sending coaches highlight and game film. Highlight film acts as a first impression—it’s a quick way to show coaches a snapshot of the recruit’s skill set.
  6. Be proactive. Despite what families may think, coaches don’t simply discover recruits. Unless they’re one of the very best players in the country, recruits need to do some work to get noticed by college coaches. This is especially important in basketball where student-athletes are still allowed to talk to coaches via phone when they’re the ones initiating the contact. Don’t sit around: research, email and call coaches.
  7. Know your best college fit. Lastly, don’t forget to visit the college roster for every team on your target list. The last thing families want to do is waste their time emailing coaches at schools that aren’t a good fit. Here are a few things student-athletes should look at: the players who are in their position (are they seniors who are graduating?), athletic stats (how do they measure up?) and backgrounds (does the coach recruit from a particular region or tournament?)

What are the odds of getting a basketball scholarship?

In short: It isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either. From NCAA Division 1 to JUCO, there are 32,890 men’s basketball athletes across 2,009 programs. The odds of a high school basketball player making a Division 1 basketball roster is 105:1, and the odds of a high school basketball player making any college roster is 18:1.

Division 1 basketball is a headcount sport—so coaches have exactly 13 full-ride scholarships that they can award to 13 players. Division 2 is an equivalency sport, so coaches can award full scholarships or divide their funds and offer partial scholarships across athletes. If we break it down to these two NCAA divisions, it comes out to 10,773 athletes competing for 7,719 scholarships. From an NAIA perspective, we’re talking 4,616 athletes competing for 1,845 basketball scholarships. JUCO offers the most opportunity as these programs can award a maximum of 15 scholarships per team and the average team size is 15 players.

Can you play college basketball without a scholarship? 

Yes, but it is very unlikely. Basketball players on NCAA Division 1 teams who aren’t on a scholarship are called walk-ons. Some Division 1 schools hold tryouts where they bring on one to two walk-ons. But these players typically never see any actual playing time. Plus, recruits could be competing against an athlete who already has an established relationship with the college coach—some coaches will recruit walk-ons for their team, known as a “preferred walk-on.”

NCAA Division 2, NAIA programs and JUCO colleges are more willing to allow walk-ons to compete for roster spots—and even earn a scholarship. For example, a student-athlete could walk on to a Division 2 program their freshman year and then earn a scholarship the next year and year after as these coaches award partial scholarships and renew them on a yearly basis.

How many scholarships are available for men’s D1 basketball?

  • Division 1 men’s basketball scholarships per team: 13
  • Total # of men’s basketball teams: 353
  • Avg. team size: 16 

NCAA Division 1 scholarships are hard to come by. Less than one percent of high school athletes will compete at this level. Each Division 1 men’s basketball program can award 13 full athletic scholarships. These scholarships, called headcount scholarships, cover all college costs, including tuition, housing, books, etc. After the 13 scholarships have been handed out, additional athletes can walk on to the team, but aren’t eligible for athletic aid.

How to get a D1 basketball scholarship

The first thing you need to know about NCAA Division 1 scholarships is that coaches recruit early. And we mean early—in some cases middle school. So, if a student-athlete is looking to land a Division 1 scholarship, they need to be on a coach’s radar before their junior year. Then, obviously, they need to be good. These are the best collegiate basketball players across the country and coaches are extremely selective when offering athletic scholarships. Elite Division 1 athletes rank nationally, such as making the ESPN Top 150 list. Less than one percent of high school athletes go on to play Division 1 basketball. 

Division 1 coaches typically find top recruits through AAU club teams as they roster top talent and compete nationally. But AAU ball is by no means the required path to competing in college outside of Division 1. Playing in tournaments over the summer is an important way to getting coach exposure. Another option is to attend an elite camp hosted by the college. In this case, families want to make sure they’re picking camps where the student-athlete is a good fit athletically and academically to maximize their chances of being evaluated. Remember that academics do matter to college coaches. The higher a recruit’s GPA and test scores, the more doors that will open for them. 

Most importantly, student-athletes need to be proactive. They should create a highlight film, obtain game film and create an online profile showcasing their stats and academic information. Then—and we can’t reiterate this enough—they need to contact college coaches. Send them an introductory email, follow up when it’s relevant and let coaches know when they’ll be calling. Basketball is unique in that student-athletes and coaches can talk via phone when the recruit initiates the contact. So, coaches aren’t allowed to call recruits, but if the student-athlete puts the work in and reaches out to them by phone, coaches can talk to them. If student-athletes aren’t hearing back, they might be reaching out to programs that aren’t an athletic fit. This is when families can lean on their high school or club coach to help them build a list of realistic target schools.

How many Division 2 men’s basketball scholarships are there?

  • Maximum scholarships available per team: 10
  • Total # of D2 men’s basketball teams: 313
  • Avg. team size: 17

NCAA Division 2 coaches are allowed to award a maximum of 10 men’s basketball scholarships per team. Unlike NCAA Division 1, these are equivalency scholarships: college coaches receive a pool of athletic aid and they decide how many athletes receive athletic scholarships. Therefore, some players will be offered partial scholarships instead of full rides.

Division 3 men’s basketball scholarships

  • Maximum scholarships available per team: 0
  • Total # of D3 men’s basketball teams: 446
  • Avg. team size: 18

It’s true that NCAA Division 3 schools can’t offer athletic scholarships. However, they do leverage other types of aid the recruit might qualify for, such as academic scholarships, merit-based aid and grants, to create a competitive scholarship package. Division 3 is mostly made up of small private schools, so they tend to have these kinds of funds readily available. In fact, 82 percent of all Division 3 athletes receive some form of aid. Student-athletes with high test scores and a strong GPA will benefit the most from Division 3 scholarships.    

NAIA basketball scholarships

Division 1

  • Maximum scholarships available per team: 11
  • Total # of NAIA D1 men’s basketball teams: 93
  • Avg. team size: 20 

Division 2

  • Maximum scholarships available per team: 6
  • Total # of NAIA D2 men’s basketball teams: 137
  • Avg. team size: 21

There are currently two basketball divisions within NAIA and they each award their own maximum number of scholarships. NAIA Division 1 offers 11 scholarships per team, while NAIA Division 2 offers six per team. However, the NAIA is set to combine these two divisions beginning with the 2020-21 school year, and at this time, each team can award up to eight scholarships. Furthermore, the NAIA will continue using the equivalency model where coaches receive athletic funds and decide how to distribute scholarships among athletes. Typically, to make the most of their recruiting efforts, coaches award multiple athletes on their team with partial scholarships. That does mean, however, that some student-athletes need to supplement with other types of aid, such as academic scholarships and need-based aid.

JUCO men’s basketball scholarships

  • Maximum scholarships available per team: 15
  • Total # of NJCAA men’s basketball teams: 430
  • Avg. team size: 15

Junior college is not as cut and dry when it comes to men’s basketball scholarships. First, it depends on the division. There are three divisions within the NJCAA, and only Division 1 and 2 can offer athletic scholarships to basketball players. Even more, Division 1 is the only division that can offer a full ride. Division 2 is allowed to cover tuition, fees and books, but they can’t pay for housing. In addition to an athletic scholarship, both divisions will pay for an athlete’s transportation costs to and from the college by direct route once per year.  

Basketball scholarship requirements

Every potential NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 college-athlete is required to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and submit their transcripts and SAT/ACT test scores and answer questions pertaining to their amateur status. In order to secure a roster spot and athletic scholarship, student-athletes must meet the academic requirements and be cleared by the Eligibility Center.

While the requirements differ slightly between Division 1 and Division 2, the overall method for determining eligibility is the same: student-athletes must pass 16 core courses throughout high school, maintain a minimum GPA in these core courses and pass the NCAA Sliding Scale. Learn more about the specific Eligibility Center requirements to better understand the GPA and test scores you need to qualify. 

What are the best colleges for basketball scholarships?

The key to securing a basketball scholarship is finding college programs that are the best athletic fit. Think about it this way—coaches are going to prioritize scholarships to their strongest players, so student-athletes need to find programs where they can make an impact right away. If a recruit’s athletic ability doesn’t quite match up, the coach is less inclined to offer a scholarship opportunity.  

To help you in your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best colleges for basketball scholarships across all the division levels. Recruits interested in these programs should visit the team’s roster to determine if they’re an athletic fit and learn more about the coach’s recruiting method, such as which areas they recruit in. Here’s a look into the best colleges within each level:

  • Top men’s basketball colleges: University of North Carolina, UCLA, Stanford University, University of Michigan, University of Florida, University of Virginia, Princeton University, Duke University, University of California, Harvard University.
  • Top D1 men’s basketball colleges: University of North Carolina, UCLA, Stanford University, University of Michigan, University of Florida, University of Virginia, Princeton University, Duke University, University of California, Harvard University.
  • Top D2 men’s basketball colleges: University of California—San Diego, Bentley University, Point Loma Nazarene University, California State Polytechnic University—Pomona, Rollins College, Bellarmine University, California State University—Chico, Western Washington University, Truman State University, Grand Valley State University.
  • Top D3 men’s basketball colleges: John Hopkins University, Emory University, Amherst College, University of California—Santa Cruz, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Hamilton College, Pomona-Pitzer College, University of Chicago, Trinity University—Texas.
  • NAIA: Asbury University, University of Michigan—Dearborn, Concordia University—Nebraska, St. Ambrose University, Bethel University—Indiana, Aquinas College—Michigan, College of the Ozarks, Loyola University New Orleans, Taylor University, Indiana Wesleyan University.
  • JUCO (according to the NJCAA): Florida SouthWestern State (FL), Vincennes (IN), Coffeyville (KS), Ranger (TX), John A. Logan (IL), Casper (WY), Odessa (TX), Northwest Florida State (FL), Chipola (FL), South Plains (TX) 

How many full ride scholarships for basketball are there? 

In NCAA Division 1 basketball, coaches can offer a maximum of 13 scholarships per team. These are called headcount scholarships, also known as full-ride scholarships. The average NCAA Division 1 team rosters 16 athletes, so there might be three players on the team who walked on and don’t qualify for athletic aid.

At the Division 2, NAIA and JUCO levels, college coaches award equivalency scholarships. This means they can distribute their allocated athletic aid to as many players as they wish. Therefore, you’ll often find student-athletes on partial scholarships, especially at the D2 and NAIA levels. Even though JUCO programs offer equivalency scholarships, they receive a maximum 15 per team, which usually means athletes receive close to full-ride scholarships here.

However, not all college basketball programs are fully funded. For example, a Division 2 coach is allowed to offer a maximum of 10 scholarships per team, but their budget may only allow for seven. So the best way to fully understand your financial aid package opportunities is to connect directly with a college coach at a program you’re interested in—and the same goes for Division 3. Even though D3 coaches can’t award athletic scholarships, they can still work with the admissions department to create appealing aid packages for student-athletes.

How Many Scholarships are There for D1 Basketball?

According to recent statistics, there are over 500,000 high school boys basketball players in the United States alone. Out of these half a million boys, only a minuscule number ever go on to play Division 1 college basketball. In this article, we will look at how many scholarships in D1 basketball are available and how to increase your chances for basketball college recruiting.

What are the Chances of Getting a D1 Basketball Scholarship?

In 2018-19, there are 551,373 high school boys plus 412,407 girls basketball players in America. That’s quite a large number, isn’t it? So, what are the chances of getting a D1 basketball scholarship? Honestly, it’s pretty slim. Let us break the subject down, and let’s do the math.

In the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball, each of the 353 teams may field 16 players. Out of the 16, only 13 receive a full headcount scholarship. That means there are only 4,589 scholarships available for men’s D1 college basketball. That’s a percent probability of 0.83% or a 1: 120 odds. 

Unless you’re ranked in the 99th percentile in high school basketball, there is basically no way for you to get a D1 basketball scholarship. But here’s the catch: D1 basketball is not the only way to secure a scholarship. Before we go deeper into that, let’s first differentiate the two types of scholarship– the headcount and equivalency.

We have already mentioned the headcount scholarship in passing. What does that mean exactly? A player in a headcount scholarship implies the individual is getting a full-ride athletic scholarship. On the other hand, equivalency scholarship means the allotted scholarship money is spread among the players. Hence, it is a partial scholarship; it’s not a full-ride, but it’s better than nothing.

Now, as we have pointed out, D1 basketball teams offer 13 headcount scholarships. Unfortunately, if you did not receive one scholarship offer, it would be smart to take your chances in the lower division and even junior college. Between NCAA D2, NAIA D1, NAIA D2, and JUCO (Junior College), 42 equivalency scholarships are offered on each team. 

We know it’s not as “glamourous” as Division 1 basketball, but junior colleges offer 15 equivalency scholarships per team. That means if you make a junior college basketball roster, you will receive partial scholarship money to advance your education.

How Many D1 Athletes Get Scholarships?

It has been previously noted that there are 4,589 scholarships available for Division 1 men’s basketball. In women’s D1 basketball, the number is even more since each of the 354 basketball teams can give out 15 headcount scholarships.

Now, how many D1 athletes across all sports get scholarships? We could not say for sure, but according to the NCAA’s official website, there are over 180,000 student-athletes with scholarships in Division 1 and Division II. 

Another statistic estimates that there are a total of 176,000 student-athletes in NCAA Division 1. However, in the 24 sports being competed at, only six offer headcount scholarships. These sports are men’s and women’s basketball, tennis, women’s gymnastics, FBS football (formerly called Division 1-A football), and women’s volleyball. The rest offers a partial or equivalency scholarship.

How Many Scholarships Can D1 Basketball Give?

Division 1 basketball can give out a total of nearly 10,000 basketball scholarships for men and women. There are 353 D1 men’s basketball teams that can give out 13 scholarships, while the 354 D1 women’s basketball teams can award 15 headcount scholarships.

Actually, Division 1 men’s basketball can go with a team of 16 players. The three extra bodies are called walk-ons, but they do not have full-ride scholarships. They may be eligible for one the next season, but that is still not a guarantee. 

Interestingly enough, several NBA players began their college careers as walk-ons. (Many aspiring basketball players turn down offers from D2 or D3 schools and take a chance of being a walk-on so they can play in a famous program.) 

Some of them are Andre Drummond (he was a 5-star recruit at UConn, but circumstances forced him to be a walk-on because there were no scholarships available at the time he committed), Jeff Hornacek (Iowa State), and Scottie Pippen (a walk-on manager at Central Arkansas). Ben Wallace played at a community college while Dennis Rodman played at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, an NAIA school.

What Do D1 Basketball Coaches Look For?

Even though the odds of getting a D1 basketball scholarship are slim, there is no reason to give up on your dream this early. If you are still young, perhaps in the sixth or seventh grade, you will need to work on your basketball skills to put yourself on the coach’s radar by the time you are in the ninth grade.

Speaking of coaches, what do Division 1 basketball coaches look for in their potential recruits? After all, no matter how talented you can get, coaches still search for the “intangibles” or the “immeasurables” as they go about in the recruiting process. Here are a few things:

  • Most college basketball coaches refrain from making a decision based on one live game. They follow their recruiting targets throughout the season. If you’re looking to get recruited, be consistent in everything you do. If you put on a show in front of Mike Krzyzewski one night and play disinterested against an unranked team the next, that’s not going to be good for your resume.
  • Basketball coaches look for somebody who plays hard and with an endless motor. This trait gives them a window into your mentality as a basketball player. Why? Because playing hard is something that you can entirely control. Whether or not you’re hitting your shots, playing hard is all about self-discipline.

  • Coaches evaluate recruits differently, but every single one of them values character highly. They want someone who will positively represent the school or community. A coach is, well, a coach, and they will lose it if they’d have to babysit their players because someone can’t control their party ways.
  • You also need to be coachable. To be coachable means, you can be taught or trained to do better. That is why part of the recruiting process is talking to your high school coaches about your coachability. If they don’t see that in you when you’re 13 or 14, they would probably look in the other direction. How do you show that you’re coachable? Be willing to change bad habits and be open to honest feedback. And don’t forget to thank everyone who’s giving up their time to help you improve your game.
  • You need to excel academically. Of course, your coaches will probably put out a good word for you, but having good grades is a clear indication of your work ethic. It shows that you hold yourself to a standard.
  • Coaches are very interested in knowing your attitude and character, but all of that is for naught if you don’t have the skillset. You need to develop the fundamental basketball skills to a high level such as shooting, ballhandling, passing, and overall decision-making,
  • Speaking of decision making, coaches often value a high basketball IQ. Having a high basketball IQ means you have the ability to read defenses, react accordingly, and be a step ahead of the opposition. That level of intelligence is sought-after since it tends to elevate the play of your teammates.

7 Tips on How to Get a Basketball Scholarship

1. Play against the highest quality of opponents possible. As the famous adage goes, “Iron sharpens iron.” One way to fast-track your development is to test yourself against the highest level of competition. This ultimately depends on your circumstances, but don’t hold out playing against the top teams in your age bracket as much as possible.

2. Do your homework. Unless you’re a phenom like Zion Williamson, the chances of some college coach knocking at your door and offering you a scholarship are remote. Make yourself get noticed by contacting the coaches via email or phone. Research about a particular college and see if it’s the right fit.

3. Make a highlight film. Mixtapes or highlight clips will give the coaches an idea of your skillset. Since you won’t meet these coaches in person, this is an excellent way to make a nice first impression. Another thing to keep in mind when creating a highlight film: Ditch all the fancy editing and confounding music. Keep it clean and simple.

4. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. This is a straightforward but often overlooked process. This registration is done to certify and validate that you are an amateur athlete. Many missed their chance to play college ball just because they neglected this step.

5. Take care of your body. Be careful of what you eat and drink because, at some point, it’s going to bite you hard. Staying in top condition is hard enough, but you are not doing yourself any favors if you’re consuming junk food and soda all the time.

6. Stay out of trouble. Coaches and schools do not want distractions, so never provide them one. Staying out of trouble is also a testament to your discipline and work ethic. Many talented student-athletes are left out in the recruiting process because they make one wrong decision after another, primarily if it becomes publicly known via social media.

7. Build on your strengths, improve your weaknesses. There is always room for improvement. If you continue building on the things you are good at while at the same time cracking down on your weaknesses, you are making yourself quite an unstoppable force.

Wrapping Things Up: How Many Scholarships are There for D1 Basketball?

The chances of securing a Division 1 basketball scholarship are very slim. Statistically, there is only a 0.83% chance or a 1:120 odds of that happening. 

There are 353 D1 teams and only 13 headcount scholarships available for each team. That means only 4,589 scholarships are up for grabs in D1 men’s basketball. From a recent statistic, there over 500,000 high school boys basketball players in the country. You do the quick math, and it leads you to the magic number– a 0.83% chance of landing a coveted D1 basketball scholarship.

To be honest, that’s not much. That’s less than 1 in 100 student-athletes. Realistically speaking, unless you’re some high school basketball phenom, chances are, you’re mail is not going to be flooded with invitations anytime soon. 

Still, you don’t need to fret. If you are still relatively young, perhaps in the seventh to eighth grade, you can do a lot of things to improve your game and put yourself on the map for college recruitment.

One way of doing that is by developing your character and attitude. Coaches like disciplined and mature young men because it implies that they are coachable and know what it takes to win. Of course, basketball skills will always be at the forefront of basketball college recruiting, but good grades, impeccable character record, and mental fortitude are also factored in heavily.

Whatever the case, may it not bother you knowing how many scholarships in D1 basketball are available. If basketball is really your passion, you can always go to college basketball tryouts or opt for Division 2, Division 3, and even the Junior College route. It’s not the smoothest of roads, but if it means you will play basketball and secure a scholarship, maybe that’s not so bad after all.

Did you find this helpful? Then also check out other basketball FAQ articles here.

> How to Get Better at Basketball: Tips & Drills

> How to Play Basketball Overseas: The Ultimate Guide

> What are the 5 Basic Skills of Basketball?

Sports Scholarships at US Universities

Sports Scholarships from the US University is an opportunity to get a free or almost free higher education in the States while doing your favorite sport at the highest level.

Sports are an important part of the American education system. Each institution of higher education in the United States provides its wards with the opportunity not only for intellectual, but also for physical development. Students are offered fully equipped sports and gyms, stadiums, tennis courts, golf courses, swimming pools and other elements of sports infrastructure.

I must say that the attitude to physical education in US universities is more than serious. Students do not just periodically visit the pool or make a circle or two on the treadmill, they purposefully go in for this or that kind of sport, participate in interuniversity competitions, win prizes.

By the way, university team competitions are a big source of income for educational institutions. Let's say tickets for intercollegiate football games cost between $50 and $100. Both students and local residents come to watch the competitions.

However, for university games to be successful with spectators, participating teams must demonstrate a high level of professionalism. In other words, universities need strong athletes. That is why part of the money earned from competitions goes to provide sports scholarships at universities.

Since higher education in the United States costs a lot of money, scholarships that fully or partially cover the cost of education are a great way to attract to the university those guys who excelled in the sports field at school, which means that in the future they will be able to glorify their alma mater .

33 sports at 1500 universities in the US

There are 33 sports for which you can get an athletic scholarship in the US:

  • Acrobatics
  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Beach volleyball
  • Bowling
  • Cross country running
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • American Football
  • Golf
  • Artistic gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rifle shooting
  • Rodeo
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Skis
  • European football
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Athletics
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Freestyle wrestling

Approximately 1,500 higher education institutions participate in the athletic scholarship program in the United States.

Athletic Scholarship Benefits

There are 2 types of Athletic Scholarships in the USA:

  • The full ride scholarship covers the student athlete's expenses not only for university studies, but also for meals and accommodation. In some cases, the full ride scholarship includes the cost of insurance.
  • Partial Athletic Scholarship (partial scholarship) covers tuition costs (either 100% or 50-90%). The student pays for accommodation and meals on his own.

The amount of the scholarship is determined individually based on the level of sports and academic training of the applicant.

In addition to the obvious benefit of financial support, a sports scholarship provides a number of other benefits:

  • Unlike an ordinary applicant from Russia, an athlete does not need to spend time and money on preparatory courses to make up for the missing year of schooling. A certificate of 11 classes of education is enough to get a sports scholarship and enter an American university.
  • The requirements for SAT and TOEFL results for athletes are lower than for other students, which greatly simplifies the admission procedure. For example, at the University of Miami, an ordinary student must pass SAT for 1200-1300 points, TOEFL for 80 points, an athlete - SAT for 700-900 points, TOEFL for 60-70 points. GPA for an ordinary student is 3.5-4.0 points, for an athlete - 2.8-3.5 points.
  • For both full and partial scholarships, the cost of sports at the university (equipment from the best sports manufacturers such as Nike and Adidas; personal nutritionist; trips to away games, etc.) is paid by the athletic department of the university.
  • Participation in guest games is a great opportunity to travel around the US and get to know the culture of the country better. During the breaks between competitions and trainings, athletes will have a rich cultural program: excursions to historical sights, visits to museums, restaurants. All this is again at the expense of the university.

How do I get an athletic scholarship to study at a US university?

Requirements for candidates applying for an athletic scholarship at an American university differ depending on the age of the athlete.

Sports scholarship requirements
Athlete age Required documents Tests Sports achievements
15-18 years old
(10-11 grade students, college students)
Certificate for grade 11
Grades for grades 8-11
Certificate for grade 9*
Athletic summary by sport


National and international athlete rankings

18-20 years old
Students of Russian universities (1-3 courses) We strongly recommend that you start looking for a scholarship 2 years before graduation or at the 1-2 year of study at a Russian university - this greatly increases the chances of finding the best option and calmly preparing for passing all the necessary tests.

Knowledge of English

For a foreigner, a prerequisite for admission to an American university is a good knowledge of English. Universities accept TOEFL test results as documentary evidence of language proficiency. As mentioned above, the passing scores for athletes, as a rule, are lower than for all other applicants - this greatly facilitates the admission process.

Academic performance

US universities are interested in the academic performance of an athlete - however, the requirements for an athlete's grades are much softer than for the GPA of an ordinary applicant. From a graduate of a Russian school, you will need the result of the SAT academic test, a certificate, as well as a list of grades for grades 8-11. If a student of a Russian higher educational institution enters an American university, instead of the SAT results, he must submit a certificate from his university, indicating the number of hours and grades for the disciplines passed. At the same time, American universities are only interested in exam results, credits are not accepted.

Sports achievements

Of course, the main criterion for the selection of athletic students is their sports achievements, reflected in a special athletic resume. Specialists of the Global Dialog company will help you to compile this document competently.

How does Global Dialogue help in obtaining sports scholarships?

The procedure for obtaining a sports scholarship with the help of Global Dialog is as follows:

  • At the preliminary stage, the company's specialists get acquainted with the athlete and his parents, analyze his chances of obtaining funding: which universities should be chosen, what type of scholarship awaits the student.
  • After the acquaintance has taken place, the athlete receives instructions that detail what documents he needs to collect and how to properly complete them so that the Global Dialog manager can continue to work. Instructions from Global Dialog include:
  • an example of a resume detailing sports results;
  • instructions for shooting video (if necessary) - requirements for length, plot, etc.;
  • SAT and TOEFL registration information;
  • instructions for school documents;
  • instructions for registration in athletic associations.

If the applicant is in Moscow, then the Global Dialog specialist will fill in and send the documents. If the applicant lives in another region, then the manager of the company advises the client on sending papers.

  • Having received from the athlete all the necessary papers, as well as copies of Russian and foreign passports, Global Dialog compiles the client's athletic profile and sends it to the database of university coaches.
  • After receiving several answers, the student receives the contacts of the trainers and enters into correspondence with them. After talking with the athlete, the coach decides whether he is ready to take this person to his team, and if so, on what conditions (amount and type of scholarship).
  • While the applicant is in correspondence with the coaches, Global Dialogue finds out the specific requirements for applicants-athletes at the selected universities. At the same stage, the athlete begins preparing for the test.
  • When the tests are passed, the student finally decides on the university in which he will go, submits an application for admission and signs a contract for a scholarship.
  • Finally, having received an i-20 (a document confirming admission to the university), with the help of the Global Dialog manager, the athlete issues a student visa and goes to study.

After receiving an Athletic Scholarship

An Athletic Scholarship is one of the most stable forms of funding available to an American university student. Unlike an academic scholarship, which can be lost for absenteeism or poor progress, a sports scholarship is allocated for the entire period of study at the university - 4 years, and it is quite difficult to lose it. As a rule, athletes are deprived of funding only for flagrant violations of the terms of the contract.

Athletes are allowed to miss classes during away games, and if performance drops due to competition, they offer free tutoring. Foreign athletes are also helped to learn the language and make a simplified schedule. By the way, if an athlete gets injured that does not allow him to continue playing for the team, the university will pay for the treatment. The scholarship will continue to be paid for the entire remaining period of study - these are the conditions of the athletic contract.

In addition, sports at the university open up excellent prospects for professional development for the graduate. After graduation, an athlete who has proven himself in intercollegiate competitions can continue his sports career or choose to work as a coach.

Many famous athletes started their ascent to the sports Olympus as part of the university team: basketball player Michael Jordan played for the University of North Carolina, golf player Tiger Woods played for Stanford University, and football player Dwayne Johnson once represented the University of Miami.

By the way, participation in interuniversity competitions will also be useful for those who are not going to connect their lives with sports. Purposeful, team-oriented athletes are highly valued by recruiters around the world, regardless of the company's field of activity.

Find out your chance for a scholarship

Scholarships and student support measures


Order dated April 28, 2018 No. 254-od "On scholarships and other forms of financial support for students of the APOU KHMAO-Yugra "Ugra Boarding College of the Olympic Reserve""


Order dated May 18, 2018 No. 291-od “On approval of the Regulations on the procedure for enrolling orphans and children left without parental care and being under guardianship (guardianship) and providing them with additional measures of social support”


All needy non-resident applicants for the period of entrance examinations and for the period of study (in accordance with the enrollment order) are provided with places to stay in the dormitory of the APOU KHMAO-Yugra "Ugra Boarding College of the Olympic Reserve":


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