NCAA Divisions I and II schools provide more than $3.6 billion in athletics scholarships annually to more than 180,000 student-athletes. Division III schools do not offer athletics scholarships.
Only about two-percent of high school athletes are awarded athletics scholarships to compete in college. Of the student-athletes participating in sports with professional leagues, very few become professional athletes. A college education is the most rewarding benefit of the student-athlete experience.
Full scholarships cover tuition and fees, room, board and course-related books. Most student-athletes who receive athletics scholarships receive an amount covering a portion of these costs. Many student-athletes also benefit from academic scholarships, NCAA financial aid programs such as the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund and need-based aid such as Federal Pell Grants.
Division I schools may provide student-athletes with multiyear scholarships. Additionally, Division I schools may pay for student-athletes to finish their bachelor's or master's degrees after they finish playing NCAA sports.
If a school plans to reduce or not renew a student-athlete’s aid, the school must notify the student-athlete in writing by July 1 and provide an opportunity to appeal. In most cases, coaches decide who receives a scholarship, the scholarship amount and whether it will be renewed.