USA College Soccer Scholarship

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College soccer scholarships to the USA are a fantastic option for students once they graduate high school.  Not only will you get a world class education, but you will also have the opportunity to train in an incredible environment, where you will be able to develop both physically and mentally over four years.  

By the time you graduate as 22-23 years old, you will be more mature, physically stronger and have a much better awareness of your game, therefore perfectly placed to have a proper shot at going pro at a professional club if that is the direction you want to pursue.  

If you are from a country that has limited professional resources and pathways, the college soccer route is even more perfect for you, because it will give you a platform to make a name for yourself amongst other players from around the world.  And with a great education to fall back, I know we are a little biased but we think it's a no-brainer!?

Through the years the American college soccer system has proven a fantastic way for thousands of soccer players at all different levels to develop. Starting with the top club/regional player who can use their soccer ability to help fund their education, all the way through to those where the college soccer pathway has served as a springboard to international stardom. 

Players such as Ryan Nelsen (Greensboro College), Brad Friedel (UCLA), Brian McBride (Saint Louis), Kasey Keller (Portland), Clint Dempsey (Furman) and Claudio Reyna (Virginia) to name a few all went on to play in the English Premier League and represent their country for many years.

college soccer scholarship usa

College soccer scholarship opportunities vary considerably depending on each players soccer and academic ability.  A good point of reference standard-wise if you are considering the US soccer route, is to think that you need to be around a regional level player and/or have strong academic grades in order to receive a good financial scholarship offer. The exact level and grades will depend on your college aspirations and families financial backing.

We work with college soccer coaches on a daily basis in all the various associations and divisions, including the NCAA division one to three, the NAIA and the NJCAA and have done so for the last ten years in order to help soccer players like you find a college that fits what you are looking for.  

Here is brief outline for you on the range of soccer scholarships that each division has available to them and the number of programs within each across the country.

Mens College Soccer Scholarships

In the NCAA division one there are 204 mens college soccer programs across the country competing. Each of these programs has a maximum of 9.9 full athletic scholarships per team to spread out amongst its squad, with amounts typically ranging from a full 100% to 25% in financial aid.  

The NCAA division two has 172 programs, each having 9 full soccer scholarships per squad.  Both of these divisions vary in standard significantly with some very strong colleges and players in each, but the mid to lower end level is an achievable target for good club/regional players. 

In the NAIA there are 12 full scholarships available per squad amongst the 216 college soccer programs.  With the NAIA being a separate association to the NCAA with its own eligibility centre, rules and regulations, you will often find some very good players and teams although generally the standard is not as high as the NCAA.

For student-athletes that have not met the initial eligibility criteria for either the NCAA or NAIA, the NJCAA is a great option that will act as a stepping stone for two years, allowing you to transfer to a four-year institution for the remaining two years until you graduate.  There are 18 full soccer scholarships per squad available to the 291 colleges that compete in this division, with only 25% of the team however being allowed from outside of the USA.

Womens College Soccer Scholarships

Womens soccer in the USA is one of the biggest female sports in the country, with the US national team consistently ranked amongst the best in the world.  

For womens college soccer due to the Title IX rule in college sport there are often more scholarships available to student-athletes good enough to be able to pursue one than their male counterparts.  In the NCAA division one for example there are 314 college programs across the country, with each being able to offer 14 full athletic scholarships to spread out amongst its team. 

With in the 223 NCAA division two programs there are a maximum of 9.9 full soccer scholarships available for the college coaches to use through their teams.  The level of play in each of these divisions is high with the best soccer players around the world all striving for them.  However if you are a good club player or regional representative then please contact us and we will happily assess your chances for free!

The NAIA is another great avenue for student-athletes to pursue, they are able to offer 12 full scholarships per team and there are 221 US colleges that offer this. 

For high school leavers who do not meet the initial eligibility criteria for the NCAA or NAIA, the NJCAA is a fantastic pathway that will get you right back on track with your academics.  There are 276 NJCAA college programs, each able to offer students 18 full soccer scholarships per squad, with only 25% of the team being allowed from outside of the USA.

As well as the soccer scholarships that are available to students at these colleges/universities, if the student-athlete has good academic grades it may also be possible to receive an academic scholarship as well to help with the families financial commitment.  

Please contact one of our Play Atlantic Recruitment Coordinators if you would like further advice on anything here or alternatively check out our packages and see what we can do for you.