Men's basketball at the NCAA Division 1 level admits fewer than 1% of their high school athletes, but we already knew the competition was fierce. A scholarship is unlikely, but it isn't out of the question. There are a variety of athletic scholarships available, ranging from NCAA Division 1 to JUCO programs. College coaches in Division 1 award headcount scholarships, which means that each player receives a full ride. Conversely, equivalency scholarships are awarded by NCAA Division 2, NAIA, and JUCO institutions. Student-athletes may be eligible for partial financial aid if their coaches have access to a pool of athletic aid that they can distribute to as many of their athletes as they see fit. While Division 3 college coaches cannot offer athletic scholarships, they still provide attractive financial packages that can cover the majority of the costs of attending college in the United States of America.
It's important to know the difference between a headcount scholarship and an equivalency scholarship when it comes to basketball scholarships. Full rides are awarded to student-athletes in NCAA Division 1 who are awarded headcount scholarships. To put it another way, coaches are unable to distribute the money they receive in any other way than by awarding 13 athletes full-ride scholarships. Equivalency scholarships are offered at the Division 2, NAIA, and JUCO levels by college coaches. Each coach is given the opportunity to award as many athletes as he or she sees fit. Athletes at these levels are eligible for partial scholarships, depending on the school's policy.
There are certain things that every coach looks for in a prospective student-athlete. As you search for scholarships, here are some of the most important considerations:
For the most part, it's not that simple, but it's not impossible. There are 32,890 men's basketball players from NCAA Division 1 to JUCO in 2,009 programs. It is impossible for a high school basketball player to make a Division I basketball roster, and it is impossible for a high school basketball player to make the roster of any college basketball team.
There are a total of 13 full-ride scholarships available to Division 1 basketball coaches, so they can only award 13 scholarships to 13 players. Athletes in Division 2 are eligible for full scholarships or partial scholarships, depending on the coach's discretion. There are 10,773 athletes in these two NCAA divisions competing for 7,719 scholarships. We're looking at 4,616 NAIA athletes vying for 1,845 college basketball scholarships. JUCO is the best option because each team can receive a maximum of 15 scholarships, and there are typically 15 players on each team.
Possibly, but not likely. Walk-ons are the term used to describe non-scholarship basketball players in the NCAA Division 1. One to two walk-ons are allowed to try out at some Division 1 schools. However, most of these players never get a chance to play. For one thing, recruits may be up against a "preferred walk-on," an athlete who has built a rapport with the college's coaching staff before they even walk on the campus.
Walk-ons are more likely to be accepted into Division 2, NAIA, and JUCO colleges, where they can compete for spots on the roster and even earn scholarships. Because Division 2 coaches award partial scholarships and renew them each year, it is possible for a student-athlete to enroll in a Division 2 program his or her freshman year and earn a scholarship the following year and the one after that.
Scholarships at the NCAA Division 1 level are extremely difficult to come by. Athletes at this level only make up a fraction of high school athletes. A total of 13 full athletic scholarships are available to men's Division 1 basketball programs. If you're eligible for these headcount scholarships, you'll be able to pay for all of your college expenses. Athletic aid is no longer available to walk-ons after all 13 scholarships have been awarded.
Coaches begin recruiting for Division 1 positions well before the start of the academic year. And we mean as early as middle school, if not earlier. It's important for student-athletes to be on the radar of college coaches before their junior year in order to secure a Division 1 scholarship. Then, of course, they must be excellent. Coaches are extremely picky when it comes to awarding athletic scholarships to the country's top collegiate basketball players. Elite Division 1 athletes, such as those ranked in ESPN's Top 150, are nationally recognized. Only 1% of high school basketball players go on to play in the NCAA Division I level.
AAU club teams, which typically have the best players in the country and compete nationally, are a great source of high-quality recruits for Division 1 schools. However, AAU basketball is not a prerequisite for playing college basketball outside of Division 1. Taking part in tournaments during the summer is a great way to get noticed by coaches. Another option is to participate in a college-sponsored elite camp. Choosing the right camp for a student-athletic athlete's and academic needs is important in this case, so that they can maximize their chances of evaluation. Keep in mind that college coaches are concerned about your grades. There will be more opportunities available to a recruit with a higher GPA and test scores.
The most important thing for student-athletes to remember is that they must take action. Make a highlight video, get game footage, and set up an online profile with your stats and educational background. The next step is to contact college coaches, which we cannot stress enough. Email them an introduction, follow up when necessary, and let coaches know when they'll be calling. Basketball is unique in that recruits can initiate phone conversations with coaches. As a result, coaches are not allowed to call recruits, but if a student-athlete puts in the effort and reaches out to them by phone, coaches are allowed to speak with them. Athletes may be reaching out to programs that aren't a good fit if they're not getting a response from schools they applied to. A family's high school or club coach can be a great source of information when it comes to narrowing down their list of schools to attend.
Ten men's basketball scholarships can be awarded by NCAA Division 2 coaches. NCAA Division 2 athletic scholarships are equivalency scholarships: college coaches receive a pool of athletic aid and decide how many athletes receive athletic scholarships, unlike NCAA Division 1. As a result, partial scholarships, rather than full rides, will be given to some players.
Athletic scholarships are not available to students attending NCAA Division 3 institutions. Other forms of financial aid such as academic scholarships and merit-based aid can also be used to create an attractive scholarship package for the recruit. Small private schools predominate in Division 3, so these resources are readily available. More than eighty-two percent of Division 3 athletes receive financial assistance. Division 3 scholarships are best for athletes with high test scores and a strong GPA.
There are currently two NAIA basketball divisions, each of which awards a maximum number of scholarships, and each division has a different scholarship limit. There are 11 scholarships available per team in NAIA Division 1, but only six per team are available in NAIA Division 2. Although the NAIA plans to merge these divisions in 2020-21, each team will be able to award eight scholarships at that time. NAIA will also continue to use the equivalency model in which coaches receive athletic funds and decide how to distribute scholarships. A common practice among coaches is to provide partial financial aid to a number of their players in order to maximize their recruiting efforts. Some student-athletes will, however, require additional forms of financial assistance, such as academic scholarships and need-based aid.
Basketball scholarships at the junior college level aren't always clear-cut. First and foremost, it is determined by the division. It is possible to receive an athletic scholarship to play college basketball in Division 1 and Division 2 of the NJCAA. The only division that can provide a full ride is Division 1. Tuition, fees, and books are covered by Division 2, but not housing. In addition to an athletic scholarship, both divisions will cover an athlete's transportation costs once a year.
There is an NCAA Eligibility Center registration process for all NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 college-athletes who are interested in participating in college sports. Eligibility Center clearance is required for student-athletes to be eligible for a roster spot and athletic scholarship.
Athletes must complete 16 core courses during high school, maintain a minimum grade point average in these courses, and pass the NCAA Sliding Scale in order to be eligible to compete in Division I or Division II athletics. Explore the Eligibility Center requirements to learn more about the GPA and test scores you must have to be considered for admission.
Basketball scholarships can be secured by finding colleges that are the best fit for an athlete's athletic abilities. It's important for student-athletes to find programs where they can make an immediate impact, because coaches will prioritize scholarships to their strongest players. In the event that a recruit's athletic ability doesn't quite match up, the coach is less likely to grant a scholarship.
Listed below are the best colleges for basketball scholarships at each division level to assist you in your search. Visit the team's roster and learn more about the coach's recruiting strategy, such as which areas the coach focuses on, to see if you're a good fit for the team. At each level, we've listed the best colleges based on information taken from NCSA Sports Org.
There are a maximum of 13 scholarships available per team in NCAA Division 1 basketball. Headcount scholarships, also known as full-ride scholarships, are the most common type of scholarship. Three walk-ons who don't qualify for athletic aid might be on an NCAA Division 1 team with an average of 16 athletes.
Equivalency scholarships are awarded to Division 2, NAIA, and JUCO college coaches. Athletic scholarships can be given to as many players as they want. As a result, many student-athletes at the D2 and NAIA levels are on partial scholarships. Because JUCO programs offer equivalency scholarships, they receive a maximum of fifteen per team, which means that athletes receive close to full-ride scholarships here.
College basketball programs, on the other hand, aren't all well-funded. Division 2 coaches are allowed to offer a maximum of 10 scholarships per team, but their budget may only allow for seven scholarships. So the best way to get a clear picture of your financial aid options is to talk to a college coach at a Division 3 school you're interested in. Student-athletes can still work with the admissions department to create attractive financial aid packages even though D3 coaches cannot award athletic scholarships.