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Navigating the Field: High School and College Soccer Scholarships Guide

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

As an aspiring collegiate soccer player, understanding the complexities of scholarships can be a crucial step towards achieving your athletic and academic goals. It’s a competitive process, but with the right knowledge and strategy, you can increase your chances of earning a scholarship.

This guide, brought to you by Athlete Plus, will shed light on the process of securing high school and college soccer scholarships, as well as tackle some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic.


Understanding Soccer Scholarships

The journey to a soccer scholarship begins with understanding the process. In the United States, there are several different divisions and leagues offering scholarships, including:

  • NCAA Division I and II

  • NCAA Division III

  • NAIA

  • NJCAA

In Divisions I and II, colleges are allowed to provide full or partial scholarships to their student-athletes. However, Division III does not offer athletic scholarships but does have academic grants and aids. Similarly, NAIA and NJCAA, also offer a mix of athletic and academic scholarships.


NCAA Division I and II

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the largest collegiate athletic organization in the U.S. It is divided into three divisions, with Division I being the most competitive. These schools tend to be larger and have more financial resources than their counterparts in Divisions II and III.

For soccer, NCAA Division I men’s teams can offer up to 9.9 full scholarships, while women’s teams can offer up to 14 full scholarships. In Division II, men’s and women’s teams can offer up to 9 scholarships each. These scholarships can be divided among players, meaning most student-athletes receive partial, rather than full scholarships.

However, NCAA scholarships are not only about sports prowess. These divisions also require academic eligibility, including maintaining a certain GPA and meeting standardized test scores.


NCAA Division III

While NCAA Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, they do offer other forms of financial aid. These schools emphasize the balance between academics and athletics, which often results in a different college experience. The focus is more on participation rather than competition, and these schools typically have smaller athletic budgets.

It’s important to remember that being a student comes first in Division III, but that doesn’t mean the athletic experience is any less rewarding.


NAIA

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is another option for student-athletes. While smaller than the NCAA, the NAIA still offers competitive athletic scholarships. Soccer teams in the NAIA can offer up to 12 full scholarships for both men and women, which can be divided among players.

NAIA institutions often have smaller student bodies and lower student-to-teacher ratios. This can provide a more personalized educational experience while still allowing for competitive athletic participation.


NJCAA

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) governs athletics at the community college level. These institutions offer a two-year program, after which students often transfer to a four-year institution.

NJCAA Division I and II schools can offer full athletic scholarships (Division I) or tuition and fees (Division II) for soccer, with a limit of 18 for men’s teams and 24 for women’s teams. NJCAA Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships but may provide other forms of financial aid.

Community colleges can be an excellent choice for student-athletes who wish to develop their skills and academic profile before transferring to a more competitive environment.

Navigating these divisions and understanding where you fit can be challenging, but remember, each one offers unique opportunities.




Identifying the Right Pathway

Not every pathway suits every student-athlete. It’s important to assess your skills, academic performance, and career goals before deciding the right division or league for you. Working with a professional consulting agency like Athlete Plus can help determine the right fit, as they can assess your potential, guide you through eligibility rules, and help create a strong player profile.


Building Your Player Profile

Your player profile is a vital component of your soccer scholarship application. It’s your personal advertisement, showcasing your skills, dedication, and potential to college coaches. Here at Athlete Plus, we are not just your consultants, but your partners in creating a standout player profile.

Our professional consultants will help you prepare a comprehensive player profile that includes:

  • Player’s bio: Your personal information, including your name, age, position, and contact details.

  • Academic record: Your academic performance matters in the athletic recruitment process. We’ll help you compile your academic achievements, including GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and relevant coursework.

  • Athletic achievements: This section includes your statistics, accolades, and achievements in soccer, providing coaches a quick snapshot of your athletic abilities.

  • Highlight reels: This is your chance to showcase your skills on the field. We guide you in creating a compelling highlight reel that captures your best plays.

Once your profile is polished and ready, Athlete Plus also assists with profile promotion. We understand the best ways to connect with college coaches and can get your profile in front of the right people. This strategic promotion can greatly increase your chances of being recruited and, ultimately, receiving a scholarship.

The first step towards creating and promoting your player profile with Athlete Plus is to fill out our free assessment form.

Remember, a solid player profile can set the foundation for your college soccer career. Allow us to assist you in creating a profile that leaves a lasting impression. With Athlete Plus, your athletic journey is in expert hands.


Staying Eligible

Academic performance is a key factor in maintaining your eligibility for scholarships. Different leagues have different academic standards, but all require student-athletes to maintain a certain GPA.






In conclusion, earning a soccer scholarship requires effort, strategy, and dedication. As a leading athletic scholarship consulting agency, Athlete Plus is dedicated to helping young athletes navigate this complex process and achieve their dream of playing soccer at the collegiate level. We hope this guide has shed some light on the scholarship process, and we invite you to contact us for personalized guidance. Let’s kick-start your journey to a successful soccer career!

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