In the last 20 years, collegiate lacrosse has seen many changes. From the equipment to the rules, the game has completely transformed into the product you see today. College lacrosse scholarships are no exception.
One of the major factors that has brought about all the change is schools across Division I, II, and III have put more emphasis on both their men’s and women’s lacrosse programs. The NAIA has also become more of a player in the recruiting landscape because of the resources it has built, too. There are more opportunities now to receive some type of college lacrosse scholarship than ever before, but as a potential recruit, it’s very important to manage your expectations when it comes to this process.
What To KNow About College Lacrosse Scholarship
First, it is vital for students and parents to understand that many colleges cannot and do not have the ability to give out full scholarships. The top 1 percent of the top 1 percent of players are often the only ones who receive anything close to a full scholarship. There are NCAA limits when it comes to maximum scholarships allowed per team, and usually that number is reduced because of institutional limited placed on programs. This is where the terms “fully funded” and “not fully funded” come from.
Below is a grid explaining what the maximum scholarship limits are for both men’s and women’s lacrosse across NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, and JuCo. Please note that in Division III, there are no athletic scholarships. You should know what level the schools you’re talking to are – it shows coaches that you’re informed and have researched their school.
Do The Math
NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse teams have an average roster size of 48 players, but only a maximum of 12.6 scholarships are available per team. That means that if all 12.6 scholarships were divided equally among an average roster, each player would receive less than 30 percent of a full ride. However, scholarships are not typically distributed evenly throughout a roster – usually, teams have scholarship players and non-scholarship walk-ons, and the money is not divided equally.
Something to remember, though: that’s the amount of scholarships available only IF the school is fully funded! Some schools in Division I and II also offer no athletic aid. For example, Ivy League schools are NCAA Division I members but they (technically) do not aware scholarships based on athletic ability, though they do grant other forms of financial aid to student-athletes, as do most other schools. The U.S. Service Academics – Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard – do not aware athletic scholarships, but all students receiving an appointment to the academics have their tuition paid in full.
NCAA Division III schools do not award athletic scholarships, but they do grant other forms of financial aid that student-athletes may qualify for. Often times, the financial aid packages at some Division III schools are better than some Division I and II schools that offer athletic aid.
Understanding the Coach’s Position
College coaches want to create an opportunity for their student-athletes that will allow them to get a great education at an affordable price. Some coaches can do more than others, because they have the resources to do so.
EVERY INSTITUTION is unique in its own way when it comes to finances and scholarship packages. Every coach has to balance a scholarship budget, and it can often be very complex.
It’s important for both sides to be transparent throughout the recruiting process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when it comes to scholarships and the process, but don’t be mad if you don’t like the answer. You might come in as a walk-on, and then leave as a scholarship player. This happens every year across every sport.
Bringing It All Together
When it comes to college lacrosse scholarships and making your cost of attendance as low as possible, here’s one thing that will help you get the most money possible: BE A GOOD STUDENT.
If your grades are good, coaches and schools can often do more for you financially when it comes to scholarships. Some of the best programs in the country are often the strongest academically, so it’s important to do well in school from your freshman year all the way through to high school graduation!