19/06/2024

Young Runs

Young Runs Enthusiast

Maximsing Male and Female Soccer Scholarship Funding Within the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA

Maximsing Male and Female Soccer Scholarship Funding Within the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA

One question I have been asked numerous times from male and female soccer players, parents and coaches is how do I receive a soccer scholarship to college in United States and how do I maximise my funding opportunities?

The initial process of gaining a scholarship award stems from a students sporting and academic credentials.

Students must meet a criteria set out by the National Collegiate Athletic Association [NCAA] National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics [NAIA] and National Junior College Athletic Association [NJCAA]

This criteria includes:

• Graduate from high school.

• Complete a minimum of 16 core courses for Division I or II.

• Earn a minimum required grade-point average in core courses.

• Earn a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT.

• Request final amateurism certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Once a student meets the above criteria they are now eligible to receive academic and sports aid to compete for a college/university.

The minimum academic requirements to compete within the NCAA are:

• Grade Point Average of 2.0

• SAT score of 820

The minimum academic requirements to compete within the NAIA are:

• Grade Point Average of 2.0

• SAT score of 860

• Letter from your high school head teacher confirming you are in the top 50% of your academic year group.

The minimum academic requirements to compete within the NJCAA are:

• Graduate high school

• be under 21 years of age prior to entering Junior College to be eligible to compete in sport.

Some Junior colleges do also ask for an SAT score which us usually 820 unless they have their own academic entry requirement.

SAT scores fall between 0-1600 for math and critical reading section, the minimum scores above reflect the total math and c/r scores added together.

GPA’s range between 2.0-4.0

The higher your GPA and SAT the more universities/colleges you will be eligible for academically.

For academic funding you typically have to score 1100 plus on math and C/R and have a GPA of 3.0 however academic packages vary from school to school.

The level of soccer you play is also important to being eligible and maximising your funding opportunity.

With regards to soccer/football standard, as we know this sport is an subjective sport and there is no set way to measure a player’s ability level, all coaches have their own opinion of players.

In the UK/Europe players who are playing at academy/scholarship level with league clubs are generally regarded as the highest level of player American college coaches can recruit.

For example:

Player A:

• Plays with a Premiership Club Academy at under 18’s level

• He/she has a 3.5 GPA

• SAT score of 1100

Player A would typically receive a large soccer scholarship which may cover all or almost all of the school costs.

Player A would also be eligible for an academic scholarship which would be added to the soccer package to provide the total level of funding.

If a school costs:

$45,000 per year to cover tuition fees, accommodation, meals, books.

The possibilities are:

The coach offers a Full scholarship based purely on soccer ability. player receives $45,000 per year to cover tuition fees, accommodation, meals, books.

The coach combines full funding based on soccer and academic scholarships combined.

Player receives $35,000 soccer scholarship and $10,000 academic scholarship – player receives full funding.

If a player was not to receive full funding the following can apply:

• Coach offers soccer scholarship of $20,000 and academic funding of $15,000 = $35,000

Player A would need to contribute $10,000 to complete total cost.

For young soccer players aged between 16-19 this can be an ideal way of funding a their higher education. The hardest thing for students is accessing funding relevant to their country of origin to offset costs involved in studying abroad.

Most students try to access funding themselves but run into difficulty in understand initial eligibility or fail to sell themselves to coaches to gain more funding.