Men’s college lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the country. In 2019, Division 3 lacrosse added 16 new programs, Division 2 added five new programs and the remaining divisions added three programs each. This growth in popularity has led to an increase in roster size over the years, which has a significant impact on student-athletes’ scholarship chances. This section takes a look at the most commonly asked questions about men’s lacrosse college scholarships, including how many lacrosse scholarships are given each year, how to get a men’s lacrosse scholarship and more.
Number of NCAA lacrosse scholarships by division level
The NCAA D1 Council adopted legislation that loosened regulation regarding need-based aid and academic scholarships that are not tied to athletic ability. Beginning August 1, 2020, lacrosse teams will not have any athletes’ need- and academic-based aid count against the maximum athletic scholarship limit. Prior to this ruling, athletes had to meet certain criteria for their additional aid to not be counted against a team’s athletic scholarship limit.
Lacrosse teams will still have a maximum athletic scholarship cap, but student-athletes can seek to add as much need-based aid and academic scholarships as they qualify for. With school and family budgets being impacted by the coronavirus, this rule change should allow lacrosse programs that have the funds to extend more money to families and athletes that need it—especially at pricier private colleges.
How to get a men’s lacrosse scholarship
When awarding lacrosse scholarships, coaches typically prioritize goalies, followed by their top recruiting interest on down.
Maintain good grades: The best way to get a scholarship is maintaining a good GPA and high academic standing in high school. The majority of NCAA lacrosse programs are offered at schools with high academic standards. While a full ride is unlikely, student-athletes can combine a partial athletic scholarship with an academic scholarship to make up the difference.
Do your research: Student-athletes gunning for an athletic scholarship should begin by researching what programs actually offer scholarships. Academic scholarships are offered at the NCAA Division 1 and 2 level, as well as the NAIA.
Be open-minded: Division 1 scholarships are highly sought after, yet very few are available. If cost is a big factor in selecting a school, student-athletes shouldn’t overlook programs like the NAIA. The NAIA may not have the same prestige and notoriety as the NCAA, but it does offer athletic scholarships and the opportunity for student-athletes to pursue college lacrosse.
Identify alternatives: Athletic scholarships aren’t the only form of aid available to student-athletes. Be sure to ask about grants, work study and other alternatives offered by the school to cover costs.
What are the chances of getting a lacrosse scholarship?
There are roughly 15,200 men’s college lacrosse players across 440 programs from NCAA D1 to the NJCAA. If we break that number down into the two NCAA divisions with athletic scholarships, it comes out to 5,786 players competing for roughly 1,578 NCAA lacrosse scholarships. The high volume of players paired with the limited number of scholarships makes for fierce competition. Student-athletes looking to get a lacrosse scholarship should be diligent in building relationships with college coaches and finding opportunities to showcase their athletic talents.
How many lacrosse scholarships are given each year?
Total # of men’s lacrosse teams: 431
D1 men’s lacrosse scholarships: 12.6
D2 men’s lacrosse scholarships: 10.8
JUCO men’s lacrosse scholarships: 20
It’s important to note that the numbers above are not directly indicative of how many scholarships are available each year. These numbers represent the maximum scholarships allowed per program at each division level, but the reality is that many programs are not fully funded and don’t offer the maximum number of scholarships. Lacrosse is also an equivalency sport, which means scholarship money is awarded according to the coach’s preference.
How much scholarship money do men’s lacrosse players get?
There is no way to truly know how much scholarship money men’s lacrosse players receive. Every college is different in terms of funding and how a college program uses scholarship money. Because lacrosse is an equivalency sport, college coaches are free to divide the pool of scholarship money in the way that best suits their needs each year. For example, the coach could divide up the scholarship money evenly amongst the entire roster to ensure each athlete has some financial aid.
Because full-rides in lacrosse are very uncommon, student-athletes will need to rely on more than just athletic scholarship money to cover costs. To maximize financial aid opportunities, student-athletes will need to do well in school, maintain a high GPA and explore other forms of financial aid, such as grants.
How many Division 1 men’s lacrosse scholarships are there?
Total # of D1 men’s lacrosse teams: 73
Maximum scholarships available per team: 12.6
The NCAA offers full-ride scholarships to only six college sports, unfortunately, men’s lacrosse is not one of them. While Division 1 men’s college lacrosse awards the most scholarships, college lacrosse players will frequently need to pay for some of their college costs. That is why it is important you understand all forms of financial aid available to you.
Division 2 men’s lacrosse scholarships
Total # of D2 men’s lacrosse teams: 61
Maximum scholarships available per team: 10.8
Like NCAA Division 1, NCAA Division 2 programs utilize the partial-scholarship model, or “equivalency system”, to recognize student-athletes for their athletic talents. Partial scholarships can cover tuition, room and board, books and other fees. To cover the rest of their college expenses, student-athletes can use academic scholarships, apply for student loans and use job earnings.
Division 3 men’s lacrosse scholarships
Total # of D3 men’s lacrosse teams: 236
Maximum scholarships available per team: 0
Divisions 3 schools may not offer athletic scholarships, but 82 percent of all Division 3 student-athletes receive some form of financial aid through academic scholarship, grants and other forms of aid. In some cases, Division 3 schools are able to offer better aid packages than Division 1 and 2 schools. This is a great option for athletes who are strong academically and rely on scholarship money to finance college costs.
NAIA lacrosse scholarships
Total # of NAIA men’s lacrosse teams: 33
Maximum scholarships available per team: 0
The NAIA does not set scholarship limits per team. That said, based on our experts’ feedback and communication with the NAIA, it is safe to assume the scholarship opportunities are similar to the NCAA level. Each team is going to be different in terms of the number of scholarships they have and how that coach divides them up.
Junior college men’s lacrosse scholarships
Total # of JUCO men’s lacrosse teams: 28
Maximum scholarships available per team: 20
Student-athletes have the opportunity to receive a full scholarship at a junior college. The NJCAA offers 28 men’s lacrosse programs a maximum of 20 full-ride scholarships per team. Coaches are free to divide up the 20 scholarships however they like, which means partial scholarships can be given to athletes. Student-athletes who plan to transfer to a four-year NCAA college should keep in mind that the GPA and standardized test score requirement to transfer might be stricter.
What are the best colleges for lacrosse scholarships?
Below is a list of the best colleges for lacrosse scholarships across all three NCAA divisions. Student-athletes looking to play at these top programs should research athletes on the current roster to learn at what level they played in high school and determine where these coaches look for recruits.
NCAA DI: North Carolina, Virginia, Duke, Michigan, Maryland, John Hopkins, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Georgetown, Colgate
NCAA DII: Bentley, Rockhurst, Le Moyne, Rollins, Molloy, Tampa, Florida Southern, Wingate, Assumption, Indianapolis
NCAA DIII: Amherst, Tufts, Williams, Wesleyan, MIT, Washington & Lee, Middlebury, Franklin & Marshall, Haverford, Swarthmore
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Lacrosse Scholarship FAQ's
Can you get a full ride scholarship for lacrosse?
Lacrosse is an “equivalency sport”, which means coaches can divide a scholarship among multiple athletes. While not impossible, full ride college lacrosse scholarships are very rare. The most common way an athlete can get a “full-ride” is by combining a partial athletic scholarship with an academic scholarship.
Am I eligible?
Having a high enough GPA or SAT/ACT score is the passport to obtaining an American football scholarship. Achievements on the football field will count for nothing if you do not have the right academic grades. ASM Scholarships team has the ability and the experience to steer you through the qualification process. It is an integral element of our approach to carefully evaluate and fulfill your personal potential by tailoring a college program to improve your grades if necessary.
What are the chances of getting a lacrosse scholarship?
The average men’s player will receive about a 26% scholarship. There’s roughly 150,000 high school players (and growing) and only about 500 Division 1 spots out there. So the odds of receiving any funding at the D1 level are less than 1%.
Will attending showcases and tournaments help me get a men's lacrosse scholarship?
Showcases are a critical part of any overall recruiting strategy. Don’t expect to get recruited solely by attending events however, make sure you have a plan for video as well. Ensuring that you get viewership-enable video to college coaches should be your first recruiting priority. This way coaches will have seen you play prior to the event and can prioritize you on their list of players to evaluate while on site.
Connect to lacrosse universities on our online college recruiting platform.