College Athletic Scholarship Limits Scholarship
Stats.com

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 2014-15 year:

Men's Varsity Sports
Scholarship limit per School 
NCAA I  NCAA II NCAA III NAIA ** NJCAA **    
Baseball 11.7 9 - 12 24 Odds of a high school athlete playing in College
Basketball - NCAA I is a head count sport 13 10 - - 15
Basketball NAIA Division I - - - 11 -
BasketballNAIA Division II - - - 6 -
Bowling - - - - 8
Cross Country - NCAA limits include Track & Field 12.6 12.6 - 5 10
Fencing 4.5 4.5 - - - Average athletic scholarship by school - US Colleges
Football - NCAA I FBS - head count sport 85 - - - -
Football - NCAA I FCS 63 - - - -
Football  - Other Divisions - 36 - 24 85
Golf 4.5 3.6 - 5 8
Gymnastics 6.3 5.4 - - -
 Ice Hockey 18 13.5 - - 16
Odds of a US high school athlete going Pro - 2015
Lacrosse 12.6 10.8 - - 20
Rifle - Includes women on co-ed teams 3.6 3.6 - - -
Skiing 6.3 6.3 - - -
Soccer 9.9 9 - 12 18
Swimming & Diving 9.9 8.1 - 8 15
Tennis 4.5 4.5 - 5 9 US Colleges that sponsor the most varsity sports
Track & Field - NCAA limits include Cross Country 12.6 12.6 - 12 20
Volleyball 4.5 4.5 - - -
Water Polo 4.5 4.5 - - -
Wrestling 9.9 9 - 8 16
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 Average athletic scholarship by school - US Colleges
Basketball - NAIA Div I - - - 11 -
Basketball - NAIA Div II - - - 6 -
Beach (Sand) Volleyball * 3 5 - - -
Bowling 5 5 - - 8
Cross Country - NCAA limits include Track & Field 18 12.6 - 5 10
Equestrian 15 15 - - - Odds of a high school athlete playing in College
Fencing 5 4.5 - - -
Field Hockey 12 6.3 - - -
Golf 6 5.4 - 5 8
Gymnastics - NCAA I is a head count sport 12 6 - - -
Ice Hockey 18 18 - - -
Lacrosse 12 9.9 - - 20  
The  most popular  sports sponsored by  US Colleges
Rifle - Includes men on co-ed teams 3.6 3.6 - - -
Rowing 20 20 - - -
Rugby 12 12 - - -  
Skiing 7 6.3 - - -
Soccer 14 9.9 - 12 18
Softball 12 7.2 - 10 24 Odds of a US high school female athlete going pro
Swimming & Diving 14 8.1 - 8 15
Tennis  - NCAA I is a head count sport 8 6 - 5 9
Track & Field - NCAA limits include Cross Country 18 12.6 - 12 20
Volleyball  - NCAA I is a head count sport 12 8 - 8 14
Water Polo 8 8 - - -
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.

The above limits are annual and apply to the entire team, so incoming student athletes at a four year institution are typically completing for approximately 25% of the maximum available scholarships.

If a sport is not listed, this indicates that it is not an official sport of the governing association and therefore is not subject to the scholarship limits. For example, Men's rugby, rowing and bowling are not official sports of the NCAA and schools are not subject to NCAA athletic scholarship limits with respect to these sports. However, for many of these sports the respective teams have agreed to follow rules of other sport associations regarding scholarships and other assistance, often so a varsity level program does not receive a significant advantage over a competing club program from another school.

* NCAA Division I institutions that do not sponsor indoor/traditional Women's Volleyball are allowed an annual limit of 8 equivalency scholarships for beach / sand volleyball.

** All NAIA sports are equivalency sports for scholarship limits whereas all NJCAA sports are head-count sports for scholarship limits. For NAIA schools, aid to students who play at the junior varsity levels does not count in the overall limit on athletic scholarships.


*** Athletically based student aid is the average per participating student athlete for all varsity sports sponsored by the specific school. Some athletes receive full awards, some receive partial and many receive none. Additionally some sports within a school may be fully funded, some partially and some sports provide no athletically based student aid. Private schools generally have higher tuition than public schools and the average award will reflect this. These averages are strictly for athletically related student aid and do not include academically based and other financial assistance that all students - including athletes - may qualify for. NCAA & NJCAA Division III schools  do not award athletic scholarships, but provide other financial assistance that student athletes may qualify for. 

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