Every high school athlete wants the proverbial “full-ride”, the all-inclusive package that makes you a BMOC or big man on campus the first day of classes. Athletes naturally want to feel rewarded for their hard work. Possibly, they want their parents to feel the money and time spent traveling to tournaments was worth it. It is important to remember that lacrosse is a powerful tool in gaining admission to a great school, the rewards of which will be felt through an athlete’s career and life.
Let’s demystify scholarship and examine a few misconceptions below.
- There are many scholarships available, including “full rides”
— Fully funded Division I men’s and women’s programs typically spread 12.6 and 12 full scholarships, respectively, across their entire roster; as a result, incoming recruiting classes have to share 3 full scholarships amongst themselves
— Division II men’s and women’s programs have 10.8 and 10 full scholarships, respectively
— Most Division I and II programs are not fully funded and therefore offer less than the maximum amount of scholarships allowed by the NCAA
— College coaches generally focus on making sure all players receive a partial scholarship, making the “full ride” a rarity in college lacrosse
- Athletes will pay the full price of tuition and expenses without a scholarship
— Student-athletes are eligible for need-based financial aid, grants and loans; refer to the net price of a school to see what incoming freshman actually pay on average after grants and scholarship aid
— Scholarships are renewed annually and prospects who do not receive a scholarship their freshman year are eligible to receive them in later years; these one-year renewable grants are guaranteed for one year, not four but it is common practice for them to be renewed at the same level year-to-year
- Coaches only consider my athletic skills and grades in offering a scholarship
— Coaches perform an extensive background check into an athletes’ character before offering a scholarship because it is a financial risk for the coach and school
— Coaches may call your high school and club team coaches, guidance counselors, teachers and possibly even your friends
— Make sure you are a leader and setting a positive example on the team and in the classroom; be aware of your class attendance and how you get along with teammates, demonstrate a strong work ethic and integrity in your activities