College Soccer Scholarships | 4 Things You Need To Know
There is no way around it, college is expensive. In fact, when it comes to deciding which colleges to attend – financial considerations are often a family’s primary determining factor. There are two main ways of offsetting the significant costs associated with attending a college or university: need-based financial aid and merit-based aid. Merit-based aid most commonly consists of academic or athletic scholarships, or some combination of the two.
Athletic scholarships are non-guaranteed, financial aid agreements between a college and an athlete. These scholarships are awarded to athletes based on a coach’s perception of their athletic ability.
SIDE-NOTE: The best way for you to put your ability on display for coaches is to play in front of them at the event with the largest and best collection of college soccer coaches (at least 75 each year): Future 500 ID Camps.
Soccer scholarships are offered at the NCAA DI, DII, NAIA and Junior College levels. Colleges and Universities at the NCAA DIII level are not allowed to offer soccer scholarships but do offer other forms of financial aid for student-athletes. College soccer scholarships are a valuable tool for aspiring student-athletes to offset the cost of attending a college, however, they are very competitive. Below are some general facts pertaining to student-athletes and athletic scholarships.
1. Athletic Scholarships Are Numerous But Competitive
Despite the fairly large number of available soccer scholarships, these scholarships are highly competitive. This is true for soccer players of differing levels of ability, due to the wide range of competition within NCAA Division I, II and III schools. Every year more and more athletes are competing for the same limited number of roster spots. It is interesting to note that there is often more financial assistance in DIII schools.
2. Full Soccer Scholarships vs Partial Soccer Scholarships
Full soccer scholarships cover tuition and fees, room, board and required course related books. Partial soccer scholarships only cover a portion of these costs with the rest having to be covered by some other form of financial aid, or the student themselves. It is important to consider how much of your college expenses are being covered by different colleges, depending on the nature of the college soccer scholarships offered by each college.
3. Soccer scholarships Aren’t Guaranteed
It is important to note that college soccer scholarships are often not given in four year increments but have to be renewed each year, at the college soccer coach’s discretion. Each college and college coach has a specific set of requirements that they need a student-athlete to meet in order to ensure that they maintain their scholarship. When deciding how to pursue financial aid it is important to factor in this reality as a season ending injury or consistently poor performance levels could leave you high and dry.
4. Soccer Scholarship Amounts Can Change
Coaches sometimes increase scholarship amounts to keep certain players and prevent them from transferring, depending on their performance levels. These coaches will take some extra money from somewhere else to compensate the player. This could mean the player has their scholarship increased from a quarter to a half scholarship for instance.
Soccer scholarships are extremely valuable, and extremely competitive. The odds of obtaining a soccer scholarship from certain institutions should form part of your overall college evaluation. Specific college websites usually have athletic scholarship information to help you evaluate your chances. The scholarship question is often an integral part of your communication with college coaches during the recruiting process, for example, after being contacted by a coach who has watched you play at Future 500 ID Camps, the best camps for exposure and identification in the country.