Getting that scholarship to play Division I. It’s the dream for a lot of athletes playing sports. But what is the reality?
There are a lot of factors that go into earning that scholarship, and your play on the high school lacrosse field is just one part. College coaches look at grades, community involvement, character and more when deciding whether to offer that spot to a young athlete.
Will the amount of money spent to get a young lacrosse player noticed and earn them a scholarship pay off?
LaxRecords.com takes a look at the numbers from various sources, including US Lacrosse and ScholarshipStats.com to look at the ratio of high school lacrosse players versus the availability of scholarships.
I also discussed some of this and more with the founder of ScholarshipStats.com and you can listen to it on Episode 6 of the LaxRecords.com podcast.
Fastest Growing Sport
Sports resemble a funnel. Starting from the youth through professional sports, the largest amount of players are in youth and the numbers get smaller the higher you go.
According to US Lacrosse’s 2015 survey there were 287,519 boys playing youth lacrosse. That number represented a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year.
In fact, the growth of lacrosse is on an upward swing. High school lacrosse participation increased 2.7 percent while college participation increased 5 percent.
But while there are more people playing lacrosse than ever before, the amount that went pro remained the same - a zero percent growth rate.
The funnel went from 287,519 to 240.
But what if you don’t dream of suiting up on the National Lacrosse League or Major League Lacrosse. Your dream is to play in college.
There were 24,411 men playing college lacrosse, according to the survey. Right about now, you might be uttering Jim Carrey’s line from ‘Dumb and Dumber’ - “so you’re saying there’s a chance.”
And yes, there’s a chance, but knowing where you stand and what you need to do to reach your goal should be your starting point.
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What Are the Odds?
More recently according to a 2018 report from NCAA.org, 12.4 percent of high school athletes will play lacrosse, at some level, in college. This includes Division I, II, and III.
If you’re looking at odds, your best opportunity to play is with a Division III program where seven percent of high school players move on to play. That's a huge jump when compared to Division I or Division II lacrosse.
Just 2.9 percent of high schoolers play Division I followed by 2.3 percent in Division II. Just .4 and .7 percent go on to play at NAIA or NJCAA schools, respectively.
What Does The Scholarship Cost?
Using numbers from ScholarshipStats.com, the average number of scholarships per team is 36. The low was 29 with the high being 43.
In dollars, the average total scholarship per team was $12,203 with a high of $17,483 and a low of $8,078.
The NCAA allows 12.69 scholarships per program for Division I men. In Division 2 there are 10.8 scholarships for men.
The average roster size for Division I and II teams is 41 players. If every player was awarded a scholarship (which they are not), they would get an average scholarship amount of $298.
Four-year schools typically only have 25 percent of scholarships available for incoming freshman or transfers. The data above includes responding schools only. Programs that do not award athletic scholarships (Ivy League, etc.) are not included in these results.
According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015–2016 school year was $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.
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