Baseball Scholarships 101

Also check out this information on NCAA Eligibility and Recruiting. It is important to start planning for eligibility as early as your freshman year in high school as you’re required to take a certain amount of specific “core” classes (for example, 4 years of English and 3 years of math for NCAA Division 1…and 3 years and 2 years of math for Division 2) and your ACT or SAT scores must fit a sliding scale in relation to your core GPA (core GPA includes English, math, science, social science, etc…sorry, your gym and basket weaving classes don’t count).

*Keep in mind that academic scholarships can be added to athletic scholarships (though the combination cannot exceed 100% of total cost of attendance) at any level (except NCAA D3 where there are no athletic scholarships, making academic scholarships even more important). As you’ll see below,  there is a very limited amount of  baseball scholarship available  so doing well in the classroom can greatly increase your chances of funding your college education and in many cases increase you chances of playing baseball at a higher level.

NCAA – Division I

  • 11.7 full scholarships per team, divided amongst 27 players (i.e. full rides are extremely rare).
  • a maximum of 27 players can receive athletic aid.
  • the minimum award for those 27 players receiving athletic aid is a 25% scholarship.
  • maximum roster: 35 players, so 9 non-scholarship/walk-on players
  • a hand-full of programs do not fully fund all 11.7 scholarships (i.e. leave some scholarships unused due to lack of funding).

Bottom line: Full rides are extremely rare. For top players, scholarships of 40%, 60% or (in rare cases) 80% are more realistic than a full-ride/100% scholarship.

Out-of-State vs In-State considerations
: Because full-rides are extremely rare, cost of attendance becomes a major consideration. At a typical state funded university, tuition is much cheaper for in-state residents.

*This is just a hypothetical example, but the numbers are roughly accurate.
-Approximate cost of attendance for state resident: $18,000 pear year (tuition, fees, room and board, books).
-Approximate cost of attendance for non-resident: $30,000 per year (tuition, fees, room and board, books).

Assuming a 60% scholarship, a student-athlete would need to come up with an additional…
-In-State: $7,200 per year ($28,800 over 4 years).
-Out of State: $12,000 per year ($48,000 over 4 years).

Assuming a 40% scholarship, a student-athlete would need to come up with an additional…
-In-State: $10,800 per year ($43,200 over 4 years).
-Out of State: $18,000 per year ($72,000 over 4 years).

NCAA – Division II

  • 9 full scholarships per team, typically divided up (i.e. full rides are rare).
  • *many programs do not fully fund all 9 scholarships (i.e. leave some scholarships unused due to lack of funding).

NCAA – Division III

  • Division III programs cannot award athletic-based aid.
  • Must rely on academic scholarships or other non-athletic based sources of funding.

NAIA

  • maximum of 12 full scholarships per team, typically divided up (i.e. full rides are rare).
  • *many programs do not fully fund all 12 scholarships (i.e. leave some scholarships unused due to lack of funding). In fact, most in this region only fund about half of there allotment.

NJCAA – Junior College (JUCO)

NJCAA Division I

  • up to 24 full-scholarships per team (tuition, fees, room and board, books).
  • *many programs do not fully fund all 24 scholarships (i.e. leave some scholarships unused due to lack of funding).

NJCAA Division II

  • up to 24 full-tuition scholarships per team (tuition and books, but no room and board or fees).
  • *many programs do not fully fund all 24 scholarships. (i.e. leave some scholarships unused due to lack of funding).
  • *all Michigan JUCOs are Division II.