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Athletic Scholarships


athletic scholarships

What do Athletic Scholarships cover and what to know about them.

types of scholarships offered

Know what type of scholarships there are and how they work.

baseball and softball by the numbers

Know the facts about number of athletes and numbers of scholarships are available.

baseball and softball recruiting

Some quick tips on what to do to get noticed.

Athletic Scholarships: What Do They Cover?

Athletic scholarships cover a portion of the costs for tuition and fees, course-related books, room, board and, sometimes, living expenses. The amount covered is dependent on whether the offer is a full or partial scholarship and what the particular college's guidelines are.

Who Gives Out Athletic Scholarships?

Athletic scholarships are offered at the NCAA D1 and D2 levels, as well as at the NAIA and NJCAA levels. D3 does not offer athletic scholarships but do have other programs to help off-set the cost of attending.

Are Full Ride Scholarships For All 4 Years?

No, full ride athletic scholarships are typically one-year agreements between the college and the athlete, although some are multi-year.

How Much Scholarship Money Can You Get?

Baseball and Softball, usually hand out partial scholarships. It’s up to the coach to divide their scholarship money. It could mean they offer a full ride to one extremely high-level recruit, or they spread the money out among multiple athletes. 

Ivy League Schools

Ivy League schools do not give athletic scholarships—they only provide need-based financial aid.

Coaches can help their prospective athletes obtain financial aid rewards, but they do not have any scholarship money to give out to them.

Can You Compete In College Without a Scholarship?

There are typically more spots available on a team than coaches have scholarships to offer. So, not getting a scholarship doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Athletes can walk onto a team, which means trying out without receiving a scholarship. Sometimes, athletes are asked to walk on, in which case they are called “preferred walk-ons.” You may also walk on to a team without a scholarship one year and be given a scholarship the next year, depending on your perceived value.


Are You Eligible For a Scholarship?

A student-athletes must meet certain eligibility requirements. Schools require you to meet a minimum academic standard and be considered an amateur athlete. But, just because you meet the minimum requirements for the school you want to play at doesn’t mean you will receive a scholarship. Your chances for an offer increase the better your academics are.

Can Athletic Scholarships Be Taken Away?

There are a few different situations in which this might occur:

  • Most commonly, the student-athlete might never have had the scholarship to begin with. Verbal agreements are non-binding; they do not guarantee you a spot on the roster or a scholarship. Even once you’ve signed your National Letter of Intent, your agreement might not include scholarship aid.

  • If you are injured, depending on the school you attend and whether it happened outside of games or practice, your scholarship can be pulled.

  • Coaches can decide not to renew your scholarship for the next year. This isn’t a case of the scholarship being “taken away” since they are typically only year-long contracts, but it can still come as a surprise to some student-athletes. Non-renewals can happen for various reasons, including a new coach joining the program, getting into trouble on or off the field, poor performance, etc.

  • If you are not eligible to compete for any reason—poor academics, not in good standing with the school, etc.—a coach is not likely to keep you on scholarship.

What Are Other Types of Scholarships?

Because most college student-athletes do not have full-ride scholarships, it will help to look into earning an academic scholarship as a supplemental form of aid. There are minimum academic standards student-athletes must meet to be considered for an academic scholarship, and these are different for every college and university. 

Academic scholarships are much more secure than athletic scholarships. You can lose your athletic scholarship due to injury or poor performance, but as long as you maintain your grades, you will keep your academic scholarship even if you are no longer playing.

There are also scholarship opportunities available outside of the school itself, including federal scholarships and those from corporations, nonprofit organizations and private providers.

Types of Athletic Scholarship Offers

Full Ride Scholarship
Offered in 6 sports 
  • Football

  • Men’s Basketball

  • Women’s Basketball

  • Women’s Gymnastics

  • Tennis

  • Volleyball

Partial Scholarship Offer
Offered in Equivalency Sports

Baseball and Softball are in this category. Coaches essentially have a pool of scholarship money that they can divide up amongst their team.

Walk-On Offers
Not all offers come with a monetary reward. Sometimes, the reward is simply a spot on the roster. 

Preferred Walk-On Offers

No athletic aid is offered, but preferred walk-ons will go into college with a roster spot secured, receive a uniform and have a strong chance of competing for playing time their first year.

Athletic Scholarships
Recruited Walk-On Offer 


​A recruited walk-on offer means there is interest from the coach but no financial assistance, so you must still earn a spot on the team through additional try outs or summer training camp.

Unrecruited Walk-On Offer


​When a student-athlete qualifies for admission to the school and plans to join the team through an open tryout.

Red Shirt Offer


Typically, a redshirt athlete will have a scholarship but cannot compete for one year. They will participate in all team activities like practice, training, and receive benefits such as academic tutoring, but they will not see any playing time.

By the numbers



Schools Offering Softball

NCAA Division I                     289 

NCAA Division II                    268 

NCAA Division III                    411 

NAIA                                              210 

Junior College                       361 

Total                                         1,539 

Athletic Scholarship Opportunities

Division I (per school)                12 

Division II (per school)              7.2 

NAIA                                                       10 

NJCAA (*varies per school)   24 

Student-Athlete Participation

NCAA Division I                         5,400 

NCAA Division II                         4,991 

NCAA Division III                        7,098 

NAIA                                                  3,245 

Junior College                            5,652 

HS Student-Athletes            378,211 



Schools Offering Baseball

NCAA Division I                                    298 

NCAA Division II                                  259 

NCAA Division III                                 374 

NAIA                                                            212 

Junior College                                      511 

Total                                                        1,653 


Athletic Scholarship Opportunities

Division I (per school)                     11.7 

Division II (per school)                    9 

NAIA (per school)                              12 

NJCAA (*varies per school)       24 


Student-Athlete Participation (Approx.)

NCAA Division I                           10,400 

NCAA Division II                           9,000 

NCAA Division III                          11,200 

NAIA                                                    6,300 

Junior College                            15,300 

HS Student-Athletes*        473,503 

B and S Recruting


For many high school baseball and softball players, competing at the college level is a life-long dream. The  recruiting process for both sports can be tough, with many milestones to meet and boxes to check off.

To get recruited for baseball or softball, keep in mind that no two recruiting journeys will be exactly the same. 

  1. Keep up with your grades. Be a good student and keep hitting the books.

  2. Keep improving your athletics and your game. Get better each day.

  3. Work on your recruiting and keep your name out there. Don't go with the attitude of "if I'm good enough, they will find me." That isn't the way to get you recruited.

  4. Review the baseball and softball recruiting guidelines for your position and use these guidelines as a point of reference in your recruiting.   Make sure that you’re on track and doing the right things.

  5. Familiarize yourself with the baseball and softball rules and recruiting calendar. The NCAA recruiting rules determine when and how college coaches can communicate with recruits. 

  6. Create your skills video. Most college coaches want to see a skills video showing how well you field your position and your batting skills. College coaches rely on video to gauge recruits’ athleticism and skill level—and to make their initial evaluation of athletes. 

  7. Find the right camp, combine, tournament or showcase for you

       In baseball, as well as softball recruiting, attending an event can be a great way to compete in front of college coaches, get             updated information, and improve your skills. 

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