Updated: May 24, 2022
So you want to play soccer at the college or university level? How hard is it to earn a soccer scholarship?
There are 205 NCAA Division I men’s soccer programs that can give out a maximum of 9.9 scholarships a year per school. However, these can be a mix of full-ride scholarships and partial scholarships. Some DI men’s soccer programs may have fewer scholarships available due to budget limits.
There are 48 NCAA Division I programs in the US. Only the very best high school soccer players go on to play college soccer. In fact, 7.9% of U.S. high school men’s soccer players ended up competing in college across the NCAA, NAIA, and junior college levels. The lowest qualifying GPA is a 2.3 but, your GPA needs to be much higher for the larger, more popular programs. An SAT score of at least a 900 or better and an 80% or higher score on the TOEFL is required to qualify for a soccer scholarship.
The NCAA Division II offers 214 men’s soccer programs where some offer full-rides. Men’s soccer is an equivalency sport by the NCAA. Therefore, schools are not required to give out full rides. Division II programs can offer their nine full-ride scholarships or split up the scholarships among the roster, which is an average of 31 players. The coach decides how much money they want to give to each athlete. The lowest GPA is a 2.3 but, on average your GPA needs to be much higher for the larger, more popular programs. An SAT score of at least a 900 or better and an 80% or higher score on the TOEFL is required to qualify for a soccer scholarship.
There are 415 Division III men’s soccer programs. Student-athletes who have solid grades and high scores have a good chance at qualifying for an academic scholarship. Student-athletes’ GPA and SAT/ACT score are dependent on the college for academic scholarships. Most of these programs require at least an 80% or higher on the TOEFL. Those involved in extracurricular activities and their community can earn a merit-based scholarship. Families can apply for need-based financial aid, which is awarded based on factors like household income.
The NAIA offers 188 schools to choose from that have 12 scholarship opportunities per team. NAIA programs have fewer recruiting rules than the NCAA, and NAIA coaches can contact athletes anytime during high school. This makes it easier to earn a scholarship for some soccer players. Student-athletes must have test scores of at least an 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT. Only critical reading and math sections are considered on the SAT. In addition, you must graduate from high school with at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and you must graduate in the top 50 percent of your high school class.
There are 217 NJCAA men’s soccer programs that have 18 scholarships per team available. For the most part, coaches split them up to offer more to different players. Only 25% of scholarships at a junior college can be given to international students. Generally, NJCAA colleges do not have a minimum passing score for the SAT although individual colleges may set one.