Understanding Scholarships

There is no such thing as a “Full Athletic Scholarship” in College Baseball. 

To get a “Full Ride” athletes must rely on academic scholarship as much as athletics.

Unlike football or basketball, teams are given a limited number of total scholarships which are broken up or divided amongst players on the team. Scholarships are year by year. Not guaranteed for four.

NCAA Division III does not allow athletic scholarships. Often times these are high academic institutions, where academic grants are available. 


Division Level

Number of Teams

Total Athletes

Average Team Size

Scholarship Limit Per Team

Scholarship Limit Type


298 10,400 35 11.7 Equivalency


259 9,000 39 9 Equivalency


374 11,200 34 N/A N/A


212 6,300 38 12 Equivalency


511 15,300 30 24 Equivalency

What do these scholarship numbers mean?

To put this in perspective let’s take a look at DI schools and their scholarship allotment. Each DI school is allowed to have 35 players on their roster, 27 of those players will be awarded some type of scholarship and 8 will be recruited walk-ons. Being an invited walk-on has value as DI schools need them to fill out roster spots. Plus, if the walk-on does well enough, most schools will award walk-ons scholarships in future years. These numbers represent the maximum amount that each level has to distribute.

Each baseball program is different depending on the level of university support. Typically the top conferences in the country are fully funded. Other conferences limit the number of scholarships each program has so that there is parity among schools. Some Division I schools, like those in the Ivy or Patriot Leagues, do not offer athletic scholarships at all. Although DIII schools do not offer athletic scholarships there is still hope for those who are looking for ways to defer costs of tuition. Coaches at these schools can provide assistance with state and university grants as well as financial aid awards.

In baseball, a 30% scholarship offer is considered a major commitment on behalf of the college. Players also have the potential to earn scholarship raises throughout their college careers. This means that someone who starts off with a 25% athletic scholarship could be receiving a 75% athletic scholarship his senior year. Keep in mind that the average high school coach has fewer than five personal college contacts, 90% of whom are local.