THE AMOUNT OF ATHLETIC BASED SCHOLARSHIPS IN BASEBALL IS VERY LIMITED BASED ON THE SCHOOL AND CONFERENCE YOU PLAY IN.
Today’s article is based on a question from one of our newest ABPA members. The question is: “How much money is really out there?”
This is a great question. I will answer it from a D-1 perspective. D-3 has no athletic aid, D-2 has 9 scholarships per team (if fully funded), and NAIA has 12 scholarships (if fully funded.)
At the D-1 level, each school is allowed 11.7 scholarships per baseball team. This scholarship can be divided out among only 27 of the 35 players on roster. This means at least 8 players have to be “walk-ons.” Each player on scholarship MUST be given at least a 25% scholarship. This is very different from a few years ago when there was NO roster limit, a player could be given just “books” as a scholarship and you could have unlimited players receiving money.
The above 11.7 scholarships (along with the D-2 number of 9 and NAIA number of 12) are only given IF a team is fully-funded. The problem with many of the smaller schools, especially many schools outside of the major BCS football conference, is that they do not have a lot of money. If the athletic department does not have the money, they cannot give the teams the full amount of their allotted scholarships. This means that some D1 schools may only have 4 scholarships (some have more and some have less) available to give out instead of the 11.7.
So now that we have discussed the numbers each program gets, what is a “good” scholarship offer for you or your son? First and foremost, you have to understand a ‘Full-Ride” scholarship in baseball is VERY rare. Any time a friend tells you he’s been offered a “Full” scholarship, he is most likely a) lying to you b) an academic wiz who is getting a ton of academic money or c) a first round talent who probably isn’t going to school anyway.
Most times, the amount of money you get is determined based on what position you play. Pitchers will get the most money followed by Catchers/Shortstops, Centerfielders, and then guys who can really hit but are corner guys.
If you get offered 25%, know that the school is VERY interested in you. If you are offered 50-60%, that is considered a great offer and usually goes to the Pitchers/Catchers/Shortstops. Most other players will get in the 25-40% range.
The low amount of money available for baseball is why your ACADEMICS are so important!
If you do well in school, the baseball programs can put a package together with both baseball and academic money in order to get you as much money as possible. If you do poorly in school, it is only costing you and your parents more money in the long run! Have a goal to get in the 3.8-4.0 range. Study for your ACT and SAT because good scores on those usually will land you more scholarship money.
As you go through middle school and high school, treat both your baseball and academics as your JOB. If you make them your job and work as hard as possible at both, you can land a scholarship of well over 6 figures throughout your 4+ years of college….I don’t think you could earn that much working part-time at McDonald’s!