Softball Scholarship Opportunities By the Numbers

Here are the latest numbers on collegiate softball scholarships, courtesy of the NCAA and NAIA:

Division I Softball Programs: 295
Division I Maximum Softball Scholarships/Program: 12*
Total Potential Division I Softball Scholarships: 3,540

Division II Softball Programs: 290
Division II Maximum Softball Scholarships/Program: 7.2*
Total Potential Division II Softball Scholarships: 2,088

Division III Softball Programs: 420
Division III Maximum Softball Scholarships/Program: 0**
Total Potential Division III Softball Scholarships: 0

NAIA Softball Programs: 192***
NAIA Maximum Softball Scholarships/Program: 10*
Total Potential NAIA Softball Scholarships: 1,920

The good news is there are nearly 1,200 four year colleges across America that field softball teams with the potential for over 7,500 athletic scholarships.

*Note that many programs choose not to utilize their maximum allotted athletic scholarships each season.

**Although D III programs cannot offer athletic scholarships they are very adept at lining up academic scholarship money for student athletes.

***Unlike the NCAA the NAIA rules allow coaches to talk to high schools athletes prior to the end of their junior year.

It is certainly a trend total with college softball programs to combine athletic and academic scholarships to as many of their recruits as possible. Very few players are on full athletic scholarships, so if your athlete is a great student her opportunities to play in college with substantial financial aid will be greatly enhanced.

Recent NCAA rules make it possible for member schools to now offer multi-year athletic scholarship commitments rather than just year to year renewals.

Remember with over 1,100 schools offering softball programs don’t limit your sights to regional programs or ones that attend showcases. As several D-II and D-III softball coaches have told me their budgets limit their ability to travel but they are always looking for top notch players. Many of these smaller schools will offer your daughter a great opportunity to both play ball and get a great education, so be proactive and reach out!

Thanks for reading!

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