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Soccer scholarships could be a great way to help fund your education while playing soccer on a college level team. These scholarship opportunities could cover part or all of a soccer student athlete’s tuition. According to Scholarship Stats in 2020, 1,733 US colleges sponsored varsity soccer teams. But if you’re one of over 885,000 high school soccer players, the odds of playing on a college soccer team are 14:1.
In order to receive a soccer scholarship, a college soccer coach must recruit you. It’s up to each college coach to decide who gets the award and a spot on the team roster. This also applies to both women’s soccer programs and men’s soccer teams.
The recruiting process may start when you are a high school senior. As a rule, coaching staff look for great players from national teams and professional clubs to make them an offer.
Not all offers come with a college soccer scholarship, but when you’re offered one, expect to sign a National Letter of Intent. The NLI makes the offer into a legal binding contract.
You must also meet academic criteria. For academic achievement, some metrics are school specific. Many colleges may look for:
Expect to also abide by rules set by athletic associations. These govern college sports and define who qualifies as a college soccer athlete.
If you enroll in an NCAA school, initial eligibility requires soccer players:
Check out these 10 scholarships for soccer players. If you meet the criteria, apply soon!
Colleges at the NCAA Division 1, NCAA D2, NAIA and Junior College levels may all offer scholarships for soccer. The number of available soccer scholarships depends on a few criteria. Whether it’s a fully funded program, how many the coach already committed and how each soccer program uses the scholarship. You also need to register with the association that your school belongs to if you want to play soccer for college.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a member led organization that governs college sports.
Among the three NCAA divisions, Division 1 schools tend to have the biggest student bodies. They also manage larger athletics budgets. As a result, they tend to offer a generous number of sports scholarships (including full ride scholarships), according to NCAA.
According to Scholarship Stats, in 2019 to 2020, D1 schools offer an average annual award of $17,747 to men varsity sports and $18,824 to women varsity sports. In 2019 to 2020, these schools awarded nearly $3 Billion in aid. There are 338 DI schools in the USA with a total of 201 men’s teams and 338 women’s teams. D1 schools could give out up to 9.9 scholarships for male players and 14 for women.
Arizona State University offers the Sports Unlimited Scholarship once a year. This $1,000 college scholarship goes to the athlete who writes the most inspiring essay.
Division II schools tend to have smaller athletic budgets. Compared to D1, these schools use the partial scholarship model based on financial aid. According to Scholarship Stats, there are 264 Division 2 schools in the USA with a total of 210 men’s teams and 262 women’s teams. These D2 schools could provide up to 9 scholarships for male players and 9.9 for women.
Post University is one of the Division 2 schools that awards scholarships to student athletes in many of its NCAA Division II programs. If you’re interested, you must contact the head coach.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) governs small US colleges and sports. According to Scholarship Stats, there are 213 NAIA schools in the USA with a total of 204 men’s teams and 212 women’s teams. These schools also could provide up to 12 awards for male players and 12 awards for women.
Embry Riddle Athletics recently added the Men’s Soccer Alumni Term Scholarship. It goes to an active member of the men’s soccer team on ERAU’s Daytona Beach campus with a 3.0 or higher GPA and proven financial need.
The National Junior College Athletic Association is the NJCAA. It sets the rules for US community colleges, state and junior college athletics.
According to Scholarship Stats, there are 270 NJCAA schools in the USA with a total of 240 men’s teams and 241 women’s teams. These schools could also provide up to 24 awards for male players and 24 awards for women.
Iowa Lakes Community College offers the We Believe Athletic Training Scholarship. Requirements are full time Athletic Training transfer sophomore completed 30 credit hours as of the upcoming fall semester and a 3.0 GPA. Award amount may vary and must be used for tuition, books or fees.
College scholarships for soccer players vary in amount. The reason is that soccer is an equivalency sport for NCAA limits. A college coach typically has a cap on how many full scholarships they offer. But, could split the budget into partial scholarships, if desired.
As reported by Scholarship Stats, another thing that affects the average amount is the school’s division. In 2019 to 2020, average scholarship amounts for soccer were:
Keep in mind, it is the coach of the school team that allots how much sports scholarship he/she could give a student. It may also be possible if you qualify, to supplement smaller sums with need based and/or academic scholarships.
Yes, a full ride scholarship may be available for outstanding soccer players who have the grade point average to match. These athletic scholarships also tend to be lucrative and available at NCAA DI schools. Award amounts vary. They could cover tuition and fees, room and board, travel, textbooks and other expenses.
However, many offer first year student merit scholarships. Quinnipiac University is an example. Their athletic scholarships are for new first year and transfer students. Applicants must have the coaching staff and athletic director’s recommendation.
There are soccer scholarships available for women’s soccer at the NCAA D1 and D2 levels, as well as at NAIA schools and junior colleges. Similar to men’s college soccer scholarships, the various athletic associations set limits for how many each team could provide.
Today, about 41,975 women play college soccer compared to 42,112 men according to Scholarship Stats. While not everyone receives a college soccer scholarship, eligibility is similar for both men and women. But there are a total of 59.9 scholarships available for female players compared to 54.9 for men. Average amounts may vary. They tend to be higher at NCAA DI schools where the average roster has 28 players, a cap of 14 scholarships with avg. amounts of $18,824 each.
Each year, Foot Locker awards $20,000 scholarships to 20 male and female student athletes. Applicants must be high school seniors about to enter college and involved in sports whether intramural, HS or community based programs.
Also the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Scholarship is available. This sports scholarship worth $1,000 will be awarded to one male and one female each year. Applicants must have two years with the MA youth soccer program and be HS seniors about to attend a 2 or 4 year college in the US.
Check out our list of 285 scholarships for soccer worth $715K.
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.