Football is one of the most powerful and most played sports in the United States. High school students who are football players dream of getting a scholarship for college based on their football skills. Winning a football scholarship is a very complicated and long process. The process of applying for a scholarship starts in the junior and senior years of High School. When football players want to pursue their career in sports then they start thinking about scholarships at the moment they join the high school team. For the scholarship, providers consider the performance of the player during their high school years. So, how many football scholarships are given each year is discussed below with insight into some other points like what are the requirements for a football scholarship, how to get a football scholarship, and the types of divisions for football scholarships.
What is a Football Scholarship?
The scholarship is given to football players after assessing their playing qualities. In this, a school or college gives scholarships to students for their education but on the condition to play football for that school or college. There are a large number of football scholarships available in the U.S. These scholarships are divided into various schools or divisions like Division 1 schools, Division 2 schools, NAIA, etc. Students can apply for these scholarships as per the eligibility criteria and requirements.
How many Football Scholarships are given each year?
It is very difficult to tell about the exact number of football scholarships that are given each year. According to the data, there are around 850 football scholarship programs at United States Universities and colleges. The 850 scholarships are divided among the major three divisions. Divisions like NCAA, NJCAA, and NAIA are maintained by authorities as per their abilities and skills. Football players can get a scholarship with any of these three divisions. They can apply where they feel more suitable regarding the amount, eligibility, facilities, etc. Now, let’s discuss the football divisions.
The categories of Football Scholarships
Football scholarships are divided into categories and according to the student’s eligibility; scholarships are provided from these categories. Students can apply according to their convenience with these categories.
- NCAA football scholarship (National Collegiate Athletic Association)
NCAA is the body that protects athletic student rights by regulating all college-level aspects of football. The scholarships of the NCAA are divided into three divisions. Each division is solely responsible for the growth of its athletics students. They have to schedule the playing and practice sessions for students.
- Division 1 of NCAA: There are around 236 colleges and universities that work under Division 1. Some of these schools are Baylor, UCLA, Michigan State, etc. The football teams of Division 1 consist of top-notch and expert athletes. Divisions 1 colleges and universities of the NCAA have restricted to give 85 full-ride scholarships each year to football athletes. The competition between Division 1 schools is so high and only elite players will get a chance to earn a scholarship.
- Division 2 of NCAA: Under NCAA’s Division 2, there are around 36 scholarships offered each year. It includes both fully-funded and partially-funded scholarships. This division has limited finances and deals with smaller private colleges and public universities. It provides scholarships to multi-talented players. It also offers other increased opportunities to the players who provide a wide range of skills to their team members.
- Division 3 of NCAA: Division 3 includes a small institute that provides scholarships only to those candidates who are good in their academics. Students have to maintain good academic scores to get scholarships with Division 3. They do not judge the students based on their athletic qualities. Division 3 schools do not provide football scholarships but they provide other general scholarships to those who have great interest in extracurricular activities.
- NAIA football scholarships (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)
This program is not as famous as the NCAA. It provides scholarships to students who can earn scholarships for their education with the help of their football skills. This program works as an alternative option for students who don’t want to apply to NCAA. It comprises around 257 member universities and colleges. NAIA has schools that provide a way for students to turn their athletic skills into funding college fees by getting scholarships.
- NJCCA football scholarships (National Junior College Athletic Association)
This Association has around 525 colleges and universities as members across the United States. From these 525, around 67 colleges are working on competitive football programs. Students neglect junior colleges to apply for scholarships because of schools like NCAA and NAIA. This association is best for those students who have less chance to get selected for NCAA. With NJCAA, students can earn 2-year experience and then can take admission to a 4-year university easily.
Therefore, these are the categories (NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA) where you can apply for football scholarships. In total, there are around 850 college and university football programs available in the whole United States.
What are the requirements for Football Scholarships?
The basic requirement for a football scholarship is good academic scores and good athletic skills. Every school’s coach has different criteria for selecting students for scholarships. So, students should be in the good books of coaches and also work hard to earn scholarships. Every criterion of athletic scholarships is dependent on the policies and rules of individual schools. If you are looking for NCAA football scholarships then you have to fulfill the requirements of the Division 1 school as Division 1 requirements include all the terms and conditions. Division 1 eligibility will give you a chance to get selected for Division 2 as well. Some eligibility criteria are as follows.
- To get eligible students have to complete 10 core courses before junior year of their High School. There are a total of 16 core courses and the completion of 10 core courses is important.
- Athletes must complete their graduation from high school with good academic scores.
- Athletes should score a minimum of 400 marks on SAT which includes only maths and reading and 37 on the ACT.
- The minimum GPA requirement for a football scholarship is 2.3.
So, these are the basic eligibility criteria that every student has to fulfill for taking advantage of football scholarships.
If the students manage to earn football scholarships in the United States then they will get a good opportunity to train themselves with top-class facilities and the best coaches. The NCAA is one of the best associations that provide scholarships and also provides various divisions through which students can choose according to their capabilities. Each division of different eligibility criteria for football scholarships. Division 3 does not provide football scholarships but offers different opportunities to train themselves in athletics. The competition between Division 1 and Division 2 of the NCAA is very high. Therefore there are around 840 football scholarship programs available in the United States under the categories of NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA.