College Soccer Recruiting Basics:
With over 1,200+ men’s college soccer programs across the country and over 1,400 women’s programs, finding a scholarship is harder than you might think. Coaches divide their money up and very rarely give full ride scholarships.
Women's Soccer - There are a maximum of 14 scholarships for a DI team, 9.9 for DII teams, 12 for NAIA programs and a fully funded NJCAA program has up to 18 scholarships per team.
Men’s Soccer - There are a maximum of 9.9 scholarships per team DI team, 9 per DII team, 12 at the NAIA level, and 18 scholarships per team for NJCAAA programs.
Steps For High School Players
- Take the ACT/SAT and keep your grades up - Remember that the primary purpose of going to college is to get an education. As a high school student you need to prepare yourself academically to be able to handle the course work load once in college. The ACT or SAT is required to attend college - ACT Test Dates / SAT Test Dates. See your High School guidance counselor about ACT/SAT prep courses and take the test(s) several times if needed.
- Decide what level of college soccer you can play - Be realistic about your ability to play at the next level. Technical skill, athleticism, vision, and experience are just some of the things that will determine what level of soccer you can play. Talk with your select coach, director of coaching, and high school coach for recommendations.
- Research schools that have the degree programs that you want - Think long term. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? If you want to be an engineer, you do not need to go to a school that focuses on education and business. Do some research on what you might want to do when you leave college. Find out if there is a demand for this profession and how much this job will pay. Will you need to attend graduate school? School counselors, high school coaches, select coaches, parents, and family members are all good people to speak with when trying to plan a path for your education and future.
- Complete clearing house registrations - NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, and NAIA schools all require prospective student athletes to complete the respective clearing house registration process. See below for information regarding the requirements and links for each level of college soccer.
- Create a Soccer Resume - See these resources as a starting point be be sure to do your own research as well:
- Contact college coaches - Once you have figured out what level(s) of soccer you can play, taken the ACT, decided the type of degree that you want to pursue, completed the clearing house process, and chosen a few schools that match all of your criteria then you are ready to contact the college coaches.
- Have a back-up plan!
Division II & Division I
- NAIA Eligibility Center - The NAIA requires all student-athletes who have never played a championship sport in the NAIA to have their eligibility determined before they can play.
Starting the college process early is the key! You should consider starting the process of contacting college coaches in your Sophomore year. You may not have taken the ACT/SAT, but that should not prevent you from reaching out. Typical registration for the clearinghouse is in your Junior year or the summer prior to your Senior year. By your senior year, you should already be on the radar of the school in which you are interested. Early Admission is December of the Senior year and Fall is the college soccer season, so do not wait to contact coaches!
There are far more academic scholarships than soccer scholarships, so excelling in school makes you a valuable proposition to the coach! Coaches have limited scholarships and a great player with great academic qualifications means the highly qualified candidate from an academic perspective is not costing their program any money and can translate into more one-on-one time with the coach.
Players need to ask themselves this important question, "If you were to have an injury that takes you out of the game, is this a school you would choose?" A player must understand that playing in college is a piece of the WHOLE college experience. If a player hates snow and cold weather, then they do not need to commit and play for a school in Maine.
This site will be continually in-progress and we will add additional pertinent information as it becomes available.