The table below shows a listing of NCAA Scholarship Counts per Gender. The NCAA strictly limits the number of scholarships that each school can distribute. Lacrosse is an Equivalency Sport, meaning the scholarships can be divided among all the athletes as partial scholarships at the Coach’s discretion. Typically, a coach divides the scholarship allotment into several partial scholarships as opposed to giving only a few athletes full scholarships. It is a lower risk strategy because some of the recipients will become academically ineligible, get injured, or drop out.
|College Athletic Scholarship Limits 2018-19|
|College Athletic Associations set the maximum number of athletic scholarships their member schools can award to student athletes for official sports. Here are the limits per sport for the 2018-19 year:|
|Men’s Varsity Sports
Scholarship limit per School
|NCAA I||NCAA II||NCAA III||NAIA **||NJCAA **|
|Basketball – NCAA I is a head count sport||13||10||–||–||15|
|Basketball – NAIA Division I||–||–||–||11||–|
|Basketball – NAIA Division II||–||–||–||6||–|
|Cross Country – NCAA limits include Track & Field||12.6||12.6||–||5||10|
|Football – NCAA I FBS – head count sport||85||–||–||–||–|
|Football – NCAA I FCS||63||–||–||–||–|
|Football – Other Divisions||–||36||–||24||85|
|Rifle – Includes women on co-ed teams||3.6||3.6||–||–||–|
|Swimming & Diving||9.9||8.1||–||8||15|
|Track & Field – NCAA limits include X-Country||12.6||12.6||–||12||20|
|Average Athletic Scholarship per Athlete||$ 14,270||$ 5,548||–||$ 6,603||$ 2,069|
|Women’s Varsity Sports|
|Scholarship limit per School||NCAA I||NCAA II||NCAA III||NAIA **||NJCAA **|
|Basketball – NCAA I is a head count sport||15||10||–||–||15|
|Basketball – NAIA Div I||–||–||–||11||–|
|Basketball – NAIA Div II||–||–||–||6||–|
|Beach Volleyball *||6||5||–||–||10|
|Cross Country – NCAA limits include Track & Field||18||12.6||–||5||10|
|Gymnastics – NCAA I is a head count sport||12||6||–||–||–|
|Rifle – Includes men on co-ed teams||3.6||3.6||–||–||–|
|Swimming & Diving||14||8.1||–||8||15|
|Tennis – NCAA I is a head count sport||8||6||–||5||9|
|Track & Field – NCAA limits include X-Country||18||12.6||–||12||20|
|Volleyball – NCAA I is a head count sport||12||8||–||8||14|
|Average Athletic Scholarship per Athlete||$ 15,162||$ 6,814||–||$ 6,964||$ 2,810|
| NCAA & NJCAA Division III schools do not award athletic scholarships, but they do grant other forms of financial aid that student athletes may qualify for. Assistance to academically gifted student athletes can generally be exempted from counting as athletically based assistance only if the student athlete meets certain grade and/or test score criteria established by the various associations. Athletic scholarships are not awarded for participation in either club or intramural sports at any level.
Why are there fractions? Most NCAA varsity programs are equivalency sports which means awards can be split into partial scholarships in any proportion up to the maximum allowed. For example, an NCAA Division I school can allocate a number of partial athletic scholarships equivalent to 11.7 full scholarships in any proportion among, say, 25 baseball players.
Full scholarships are relatively rare in equivalency sports. An additional caveat is that there is a top limit of the number of athletes that can be awarded even a partial scholarship in an equivalency sport – this limit is referred to as the maximum number of counters. For NCAA I baseball teams the maximum number of counters allowed is 27.
There are fewer NCAA head- count sports than equivalency sports; head count sports mean the stated scholarship limit is absolute, and the number of student athletes receiving awards cannot exceed this number. NCAA I football and basketball are headcount sports as well as a few others noted above. For example, NCAA FBS football schools can have a maximum of 85 players under scholarship during a year. Head count sports generally award a much higher percentage of full scholarships to participants than equivalency sports.
The above numbers are maximums and schools can award less than the limit. Ivy League schools state they do not award scholarships based on athletic ability, but they grant other forms of financial aid as do many other schools. The US Military Academies (Army, Navy, Air Force & Coast Guard) do not award athletic scholarships, but all students receiving an appointment to the academies have their tuition paid in full.