Full Ride Athletic Scholarships to Div I

Updated on March 31, 2015
S.H. asks from Santa Barbara, CA
12 answers

So my kids are young and honestly not too sporty. My question is not about my situation.

I have been noticing articles about the down side to sports scholarships. To my surprise Division I schools only give scholarships to football and basketball for men. There are 4 sports scholarships for women. According to the handful of articles there are not partial scholarships. I am really confused. I knew it was a long shot to bank on a scholarship, but I didn't realize there are only 12 full ride scholarships for basketball and 85 football ones for the men (it was not clear if it is per school). I also thought it was a misleading article since colleges vary greatly in size.

My question is: Has anyone here had children or themselves get a Division I athletic scholarship in the past 5 years? Was it for a less common sport or was it a partial scholarship? I recall men getting hockey scholarships and women getting track and field, but that was well over 10 years ago.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Gidgit: I think the rules are different for none Division I schools. I was clicking around and was reading articles, yet need to search again to find them. I was confused when the stated (i could have misread) there are only 2 sports for men that can get a scholarship and baseball was not one of them. I really only watch NCAA basketball and football, but was surprised of the lack of scholarships.

Kim O.- Basketball for women is one of the full ride sports, so that goes along with what i read. It also goes on to say the schools work the students as if it is a full time job. So the scholarship is more than earned by the student.

Mama C- That sounds wonderful. He must have work hard and be talented to receive the scholarship. I may have mis-understood the article. I'm happy to hear your info.

edit: Found one of the articles I read. Notice the number is 13 instead 12 scholarships for men's basketball.

Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

My niece got a full ride scholarship to UCLA for women's softball. I think the reason for no partial scholarships is that when you get a sports scholarship they don't want the recipient to do ANYTHING but go to class and practice/play the sport. They don't want them to have to work so they give a full ride.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Toledo on

The article you sited doesn't give any references. The information could be accurate, but it leaves lots of unanswered questions.

That being said, my kids are also young and will probably never be the best of the best. So I'm thinking athletic scholarships - partial or otherwise - are not in our future. Guess I'd better keep adding to their savings accounts:-)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

My son is currently a junior at a Division 1 school. He is receiving an athletic scholarship for cross country/track and field. He is not getting a full ride scholarship, though. They are giving him $13,000 per year, which a a match for his academic scholarship.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have a good friend whose son got a full ride football scholarship to a Division I school.
He was also drafted by the NFL.
I don't get your question, I giess...?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

That had to be to a specific school, because that is not true across the board. There are many partial scholarships. They award full and partial scholarships for baseball, softball, swimming and diving (mens and womens), gymnastics, girls basketball, tennis, track and golf. I'm sure there are probably more, but I know the division 1 school I went to has those. I even have a friend that has endowed a full woman's basketball scholarship. The 12 scholarships for basketball and 85 for football sound right for a single school.

ETA: The link you provided has a chart that shows the maximum scholarships per school for division 1 sports, and there are a lot of sports there - 13 for each gender. The only difference I read that was in football and men's basketball you are guaranteed a full scholarship if you receive a sports scholarship, the other sports may be full or partial - awarded at the coach/school's discretion.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

My BIL attended George Washington on a partial (50% tuition) scholarship for Golf. Obviously, nobody should bank on a scholarship--academic or athletic. A few years ago a friend of mine was offered a $15k athletic scholarship, but tuition was about $40k. Even with $10k in academic scholarships, $15k/year was out of her price range.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

With the passing of Title IX (part of a bigger education law), there are many more women's scholarships available than there used to be. Schools need to offer similar numbers of scholarships for women and men. Most division I schools offer scholarships in a wide variety of sports for both genders, including baseball/softball, gymnastics, water polo, soccer, swimming, track & field, tennis, golf, volleyball and more.

I don't think it's true at all that only football and basketball offer full scholarships. There are opportunities for athletes of both genders in many sports.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Right now, if a girl can swing a golf club and play reasonably well, she can get a full ride scholarship. I am talking about my area athletes and local colleges. Golf is also popular with the boys as well.

My daughter has a close friend on a full ride now with golf. There are several girls on the team who started golf around middle school or a little later. They all play well.

As for other sports, I do not know all the rules. My daughter was in cheer and there are not a lot of cheer scholarships plus she was not interested in college cheer.

We started saving before daughter was born just to ensure she'd go to college debt free. She is fully funded through f grad school. It was not easy!!

Lots of sacrifice. She has received a couple of academic scholarships that were a complete surprise because she had not applied for scholarships and she got a check from the school for full tuition refunded to her for this semester. I guess those came in part with her GPA and being a 4.0 which made the top 10% of undergrads at the school. It was a nice boost!!

Best of luck to you!

ETA: Years ago, my hubby went to Penn State on a full ride golf scholarship and he is still a great golfer.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Was this article about a particular school? Is there a reason you mentioned Div I?

Most schools have scholarships, and most athletes that have a scholarship do in fact have a partial scholarship. Full ride scholarships are very rare. They might be every parent's dream, but they are only for the select few.

Football and basketball make money for the university. Most other men's sports do not (or make very little). Women's sports do not make much money for the university. This could be why you don't hear much about other sports and why there possibly are no full ride scholarships available.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

No, and no.
But, our son tried wrestling last year. He decided not to continue with it (which is fine by me, it was nerve-wracking as a mom). But, according to the coach, it is one of the often overlooked sports scholarships. It is a much smaller sport, but lots of schools have programs. So fewer kids competing for the available scholarships. I don't think they are full ride, though. I'm curious if if you looked into scholarships by sport, at all, or just athletic scholarships by school division...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I had a partial scholarship for twirling. It was a band scholarship but it was for me being a majorette. It was not a D1 school. Paid for my tuition room and board.

Not really sure what your question is. I know the school my son goes to has soccer, football, baseball, basketball, track and field, softball, golf, LaCross, wrestling scholarships.

Now, if you are planning on your kid getting athletic scholarships to university, you might want to rethink your plan.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You've got partial information. For example, the "85" figure is a maximum number of football scholarships for very large D1 schools and there are spectator attendance requirements and many other constraints. Some of those include a balance with women's sports, giving equal opportunity to women.

I don't know where you got the idea that D1 schools only give for football and basketball. It's not true. That said, full ride scholarships are exceedingly rare. Only about 2% of college athletes get them, and few of those go on to professional sports.

You could read up on NCAA regulations, but it's really moot because your kids aren't into sports. Although they are young and that can change, you never EVER bank on a sports scholarship! (Too much competition, too many issues with possible injuries and so on.)

My son went to a Division 1 school but not a sports powerhouse and not a big university. He got an amazing financial aid package combining a wide range of loans, scholarships and grants, both federal and college-based. The university he chose had tons of scholarships available for all kinds of programs, including the arts. The financial aid office was incredibly helpful, as was the cross country and track coach, in cutting through the maze of regulations and red tape. But he did not get an "athletic scholarship" by any means, and the coach was interested in him because he was a leader, a solid (but not Olympic level) runner, and because he had a great balance of activities.

In addition, most high schools give out a ton of scholarships, and so do many community organizations (civic groups, clubs, business groups, churches & synagogues, and more). They're small, but $500 here and $1000 there really add up!

You will also fill out, when the time comes, the FAFSA application for federal student aid. That takes into account your income, the number of children you have, and a bunch of other factors.

You should set up an education account through your state - the school will have info, and so will your tax preparer. Our high school had regular parent programs from the time the kids were in 9th or 10th grade, but they are open to the public so I would think you could go to them anytime, understanding that the particulars can and will change. But most states have programs where you can put money away to be used for education later, and not pay taxes on it.

Please understand that virtually no one can afford college anymore! Therefore, everyone is taking advantage of a variety of programs. There's a new proposal to make community college free for the first 2 years - after that, students are qualified/certified for many careers, or they can transfer to another university for the last 2 years.

My advice to you is to relax. Nurture your children and their interests based on who they are and what they enjoy. Encourage them to be well-rounded. Don't hound them about grades or SAT scores so they "can get into college on a full scholarship." Don't push them into athletics at the expense of music, drama, the Spanish Club, or anything else. Don't force them into Scouts or church programs or anything else, hoping it will be their ticket to college. Have them develop BALANCE - a mixture of activities. Yes, they should work at their courses, but they shouldn't obsess about grades. No one should freak out about failing a test or missing some homework assignments, especially in the early grades. Encourage play and creative activities. If you want to put them in dance or karate or town recreation basketball, fine. But not because you want them to move to the head of the pack when it comes to financial aid. Don't over schedule them - the colleges do NOT want those kids! They want kids who can make choices and who can function when not every moment of their lives is on a pre-programmed routine. Some balance of class work, test scores, a part time job, some extra curricular activities (school, private, religious, non-religious, whatever), and a social life will give your children the well-rounded life with some leadership skills and some participatory skills that they will need in life and in college.

My son was not an academic superstar. He didn't do well on the SAT but he did do much better on the ACT. Schools take whichever one the student wants to submit - and who knows if those tests will even be used much when your kids go? He was a leader, but he wasn't president of everything. He had virtually no music/art in high school but he did do community service. He had a job around the neighborhood - his own business for 7 years - mowing lawns and walking dogs and taking in neighbors' mail and generally helping out during their vacations. He was active in our synagogue, but he wasn't president of any group. He ran track and cross country for 3 years (great sports because you really run against the clock to improve yourself, not so much against the other athletes - and our school takes EVERYONE who wants to join). He was a co-captain for a couple of seasons, he mentored younger runners, he volunteered at the running "clinics" designed to encourage younger kids, he helped run some awards dinners, he learned to do public speaking as he helped host these events - so he wound up interviewing well because he knew how to speak to others. He got good references as someone who worked hard and persevered - not as someone who was always at the front of the pack. The colleges LOVED that he was well-regarded by so many. And he was far from the only one in his school who was like this.

Please forget about athletics-only scholarships. It's too much stress and it will change the way you parent your children. Please let them be who they are going to be - that doesn't mean they sit around and play video games all day, but it does mean to give them a chance to explore all the opportunities out there. You will have happier, well-adjusted children who will be in demand by any of a number of great colleges (of which there are hundreds in this country). Please be more open to the opportunities that are there if you only look!

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions