How Much Money Do Colleges Give In Athletic Scholarships

How Much Money Do Colleges Give In Athletic Scholarships

In the competitive world of collegiate athletics, scholarships serve as a lifeline for aspiring student-athletes, providing financial assistance to pursue academic excellence while simultaneously honing their sporting skills at the highest level. However, the financial intricacies of athletic scholarships can be complex and often shrouded in uncertainty. This article aims to unravel the mysteries surrounding athletic scholarships, exploring the average amounts awarded, the factors influencing scholarship amounts, and the diverse scholarship opportunities available.

How Much Money Do Colleges Give In Athletic Scholarships

The average athletic scholarship amount varies significantly across different divisions and sports. In Division I, the most competitive level of collegiate athletics, the average annual scholarship for men is approximately $14,270, while the average for women is $15,162. In Division II, the average scholarship amounts drop to $5,548 for men and $6,814 for women. These figures represent averages, and the actual scholarship amounts can range from a few thousand dollars to full tuition, fees, room, and board.

Factors That Influence Athletic Scholarship Amounts


Sports with higher visibility and revenue-generating potential, such as football and basketball, typically offer larger scholarships compared to less popular sports. The average annual scholarship for Division I football players is over $38,000, while the average annual scholarship for Division I women’s basketball players is over $21,000. This is because football and basketball are revenue-generating sports for many colleges and universities.

Skill Level

Student-athletes with exceptional talent and a proven track record of success are more likely to receive larger scholarships. Highly recruited players are often offered full scholarships, while less heralded players may receive partial scholarships or no scholarships at all.

Academic Strength of the Institution

Institutions with strong academic reputations are often willing to offer larger scholarships to attract top student-athletes. This is because these student-athletes can help to raise the profile of the school’s athletic program and attract other talented students.

Overall Scholarship Budget of the Athletic Program

The overall scholarship budget of the athletic program also plays a role in determining the amount of an athletic scholarship. Athletic programs with larger budgets can offer larger scholarships to more student-athletes.

Other Factors

Other factors that may influence the amount of an athletic scholarship include:

  • The student-athletes financial need
  • The student-athletes major
  • The student-athletes geographic location
  • The student-athlete relationship with the coach

In addition to the factors listed above, the amount of an athletic scholarship can also be influenced by the NCAA’s rules and regulations. The NCAA limits the number of scholarships that each team can award, and it also sets limits on the amount of money that can be awarded to each student-athlete.

Sports and Corresponding Amount Awarded for Scholarship

Football – $$38,271

Men’s Basketball – $$25,328

Women’s Basketball – $$21,162

Baseball – $$18,231

Softball –  $$17,312

Men’s Swimming & Diving – $$16,211

Women’s Swimming & Diving – $$16,211

Men’s Track & Field – $$15,122

Women’s Track & Field – $$15,122

Men’s Tennis – $$14,033

Women’s Tennis – $$14,033

Men’s Golf – $$13,944

Women’s Golf – $$13,944

Men’s Soccer – $$13,855

Women’s Soccer – $$13,855

Volleyball – $$13,766

Field Hockey – $$13,677

Men’s Lacrosse – $$13,588

Women’s Lacrosse – $$13,588

Gymnastics – $$13,499

Rowing – $$13,410

Ice Hockey – $$13,321

Wrestling – $$13,232

Rifle – $$13,143

Diverse Scholarship Opportunities Beyond Traditional Athletic Scholarships

While athletic scholarships are primarily awarded based on athletic prowess, there exists a plethora of other scholarship opportunities available to student-athletes. Academic scholarships, merit-based scholarships, and need-based financial aid can significantly reduce the financial burden of college for student-athletes. Additionally, many institutions offer specialized scholarships for student-athletes who excel in specific areas, such as leadership, community service, or academic achievement.

Maximizing Scholarship Prospects for Student-Athletes

Student-athletes can enhance their chances of securing scholarships by maintaining strong academic performance, showcasing exceptional athletic skills, and actively seeking out scholarship opportunities. Building relationships with coaches, participating in recruiting camps and showcases, and demonstrating a commitment to both academics and athletics can significantly increase an athlete’s chances of receiving a scholarship.


Navigating the financial landscape of college athletics can be a daunting task, but understanding the dynamics of athletic scholarships can empower student-athletes to make informed decisions and maximize their chances of securing financial assistance. By comprehending the average scholarship amounts, the factors influencing scholarship decisions, and the diverse scholarship opportunities available, student-athletes can approach the recruiting process with confidence and preparedness.


  • Do Ivy League schools give athletic scholarships?

While coaches can assist their potential athletes in obtaining financial aid, they are not able to provide scholarship funds. Ivy League universities frequently cover the majority of the cost of tuition; at most, families earning less than $65,000 per year contribute nothing to the education of their student-athlete, while families earning between $65 and $180,000 per year are expected to pay between 10 and 18% of the total cost.

Put another way, as a student-athlete, don’t let the lack of funding for your athletic scholarship stop you from pursuing an Ivy League education.

  • How much scholarship money can you get?

Athletic scholarships are awarded to less than 2% of high school student-athletes, but there is money available—more than $2.7 billion in D1 and D2 scholarships alone are awarded each year. It’s crucial to realize that the majority of athletic scholarships are not full rides. Your sport and whether it is an equivalency or headcount sport will determine how much you are offered.

  • Which sport gives the most scholarships?

Football offers the most scholarships out of any sport, followed by basketball, baseball, and soccer.

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