The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the most sought out association of college athletes. Oftentimes college athletes are looking for a scholarship if they want to play at the college level. To get a scholarship there’s a few things to know.
Firstly, there are three athletic divisions within the NCAA. There’s D1, D2 and D3. Division 1 is where to go if you want the biggest scholarship and the biggest recognition.
Division 1 schools are both big and small. Division 1 is much more well-known than the two divisions beneath it. They typically offer a wider range of sports with top notch facilities to practice in. Along with that, they are where the media attention is. Out of collegiate athletics, D1 is where the spotlight is the most. Because of this, Division 1 is where the best athletes in the country generally go.
To be D1 athlete, talent for the sport is required. It’s where the best high schoolers go. It’s not only the best athletes from the US high schools, but from around the world. It’s highly sought after to play for a D1 team. Playing for a D1 team is where the most scholarship money will come from. Competition is fierce, but if you are left handed, you are going to have an advantage making it to this level of competition.
Another option is a Division 2 school. It is similar to a D1 team, but the scholarship is less. The scholarship is not going to be as high as a D1 team would provide.
In a Division 3 school, no athletic scholarships are allowed. Signing up for a D3 school means that no money can be contributed to your tuition based on pure athletic talent. D3 schools require academic merit rather than athletic.
Focusing on D1 scholarships, there are a limited amount of scholarship money. In D1 baseball teams, 11.7 scholarships are allowed to be handed out per team. This averages to roughly $14,737 per scholarship. This seems like a lot, but there are 35 people on the team. Usually this means splitting up the scholarship between teammates, which decreases the scholarship amount. In the end, the average student on a D1 baseball team has roughly a third of his tuition paid, or $4,926.
In a D2 school, the baseball team has 38 people on a team, but only 9 scholarships can go out. On top of that, $6,125 is awarded out instead of $14,737. This means on average, a D2 baseball player will receive $1,451 per year. That’s less than a third of what a D1 scholarship would be worth.
Still, scholarships are often not evenly distributed. This means that a skilled player may receive a full tuition and another player may get half of their tuition. One player may get less than his fair share of 1/3 tuition. It’s not guaranteed that scholarships are going to be fairly given. If a student is extremely desired, their scholarship will likely be of a greater value.
Schools can also choose not to give out athletic scholarships at all. Universities such as Yale decided to forego athletic scholarships. If an athletic scholarship is desired, practice is going to be needed. Colleges look for skilled players and the competition is grueling. The NCAA makes millions of dollars per year, and winning or losing impacts those numbers. For this reason, it’s important to select the best of the best.
D1 schools are sometimes overlooked by students and families. While the scholarship sounds nice, the competitiveness and expectations of players can be too much. It can be seen as a business where school is put second. Because of this, more students are opting to play at a lower division – even if it means less of a scholarship.
When looking into athletic scholarships look at all factors. Academics are crucial – if you begin to get bad grades you can’t play in games. This would result in no longer receiving the scholarship. The scholarship sounds nice in theory, but it will hurt a lot more if you end up losing it due to being overworked.