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College Resources

As a Parent, the Answer is Simple!


Parents and Players,

NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, and NJCAA all have different recruiting guidelines that each follows.  College coaches are restricted from contacting recruits during certain periods of the year.  In contrast, the rules for potential recruits contacting coaches are not as strict.  Therefore, it is important for athletes to directly contact coaches early and often to promote interest and form relationships.

The competition for a soccer scholarship starts as early as or earlier than any other college sport. Playing club soccer and attending soccer camps and showcases is essential in the process of securing a soccer scholarship. With the majority of scholarships coming outside of the NCAA DI level, finding a scholarship comes down to finding the best division level for you.

Men 9.1% and Women 10.1%

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 then you might think.

Coaches divide their money up and very rarely give full ride scholarships.

For women’s programs there are a maximum of 14 scholarships for a DI team, 9.9 for DII, 12 for NAIA programs and a fully funded NJCAA program has up to 18 scholarships per team.

Men’s soccer can offer 9.9 scholarships per team DI, 9 per team DII, 12 at the NAIA level and 18 scholarships per team for NJCAAA programs.

Soccer Scholarships and Chances of Playing College Soccer

DI scholarships are not the only option:

Over 85% of soccer scholarship opportunities fall outside of the NCAA DI level and non-DI programs typically evaluate recruits during their sophomore, junior and sometimes senior years in high school. The competition level is very different between division levels and finding the right level is critical in finding scholarships. Just being on a DII team won’t get you a scholarship but contributing solid minutes at the NAIA level will give you a better chance for a scholarship.

  • When to start?  Initial contact can be made as early as the Sophomore Year.
  • First step.  Visit the team website and complete the questionnaire.  Research the school, academics, social life, soccer program and roster (graduating class and underclassmen).
  • Second step.  Prepare a personal email or letter to introduce you.  This letter should be personalized for each coach and include your team name, squad number, upcoming tournaments with game times and fields if available.  Familiarize yourself with the program and provide program specific references in your letter.
  • Attending a school’s summer camp is a great way to see the campus, but more importantly, spend time around the coaching staff for an extended period of time.
  • Follow-up.  Prior to tournaments, you should reconnect with the coach either by phone or email to confirm playing times and field information.  Take time to prepare your talking points.  Speak to your club coach and make sure you are playing in the game that you are asking a coach to watch.
  • Remember, NCAA coaches are not allowed to approach or speak with a potential recruit during the tournament/showcase.  However, NAIA and NJCAA schools are.
  • Post tournament.  Send an email to see if they attended the showcase, and/or attended any of your games, and thank them.  If possible, upload tournament highlights via YouTube and send the coach a link.
  • Common mistakes.  Do not send generic emails with "Dear Coach".  Do not carbon copy multiple programs in one email.  Do not have your parents call or write for you.  Coaches want to learn about you and know that you are capable and mature.

Remember that coaches are being contacted by 100s of prospects.  Be persistent and creative in how you reach out to coaches. Start contacting coaches early and often.  If you are not following up with a coach, remember another player is. 
Also, you will find a list NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, and NJCAA Men's and Women's programs from around the state, region, and across the country.  Remember there are alot of opportunities out there, these are only a few.  Good Luck.

If you or your parents have any questions, or would like to discuss the College Soccer Recruitment and Eligibility Guide, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Shawn Slater