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  • Jordan Laroche

NCAA Golf Scholarships: How They Work

Getting a golf scholarship is tough but at the Junior Asian Golf Academy, we will do what we can to get you in front of as many coaches as possible and make sure they know who you are.


But which schools offer athletic scholarships? Can golfers get full-rides at NCAA schools? Are there options outside of the NCAA? We will look to answer these questions and give you more information on scholarships at the college level.



How Scholarships Work


Of the 1,318 schools that offer golf, 972 of them offer athletic scholarships. However, golf works on an equivalency method, meaning teams have to distribute it’s scholarship pool across multiple athletes making full-rides rare.


Athletic scholarships are only offered at division 1 and 2 schools. Division 3 schools can make scholarship packages with other sources of money, usually with educational scholarships, which vary from school-to-school.


Men's golf

Women's golf

The tables above shows the total number of scholarships offered by NCAA schools and junior colleges. Because golf is an equivalency sport, that means coaches will try and offer parts of their 4.5 scholarship limit to each of its students, some student-athletes may receive more than others due to skill level.


The scholarship limit is the amount of money coaches are allowed per team; if a men’s golf coach at a university with $50,000 tuition means, at most, he can give out $225,000 (4.5 x 50,000) across an average of 10 players. Meaning, most players will be on partial scholarships, the student-athletes can supplement this with an academic scholarship.


Keep in mind that this is the maximum number a school can offer, in many cases a team’s funds may not be at the limit, meaning they will need to be more cautious with their money. This is more prevalent at the division 2 level.


In 2020, the NCAA loosened it’s regulations on need-based aid and how it counts against athletic scholarships. Need-based scholarships are offered based on financial-need, student-athletes who can demonstrate need at the predetermined level will receive it.


But now, need-based aid and athletic scholarships will no longer affect each other meaning, student-athletes can receive as much need-based aid as they would like without losing athletic scholarship money.



How to Get a Scholarship


Although a roster is made up of 10 players, on average, but only 5 players will travel to tournaments, and once there only 4 will compete. So typically, the top 5-7 players on a roster will be the student-athletes receiving the most scholarship money. Because of this it is important to see what each coach is looking for in their roster.


Coaches will use a calculation in their recruiting to see what they need. They find the average score of their four best players and subtract it by two. While not totally foolproof, this is a good way for coaches to see what they need, but also for high school student-athletes as they can determine whether they have a shot at a roster spot. Keep in mind that they will only look at courses greater than 6,600 yards for this.


There are other things you can do to help you in this process:


  • Know the different divisions and identify which one is best for you - student-athletes will need to do some of their own research to identify which schools and teams fit them. Whether it’s a program they want to study, a school that’s entrance requirements fit their grades, and match your golf level to the correct division.

  • Academics - Having a high GPA and SAT/ACT scores show schools that players are more likely to succeed once getting to university. If high enough, student-athletes can receive academic scholarship money on top of an athletic scholarship.

  • Expand your search - Division 2 and 3 schools can compete with division 1 schools, but also think of the experience you want. Do you want to go to to a school that has a big name with tens of thousands of students, or would a smaller school fit you better personally?



Can You Get a Scholarship?


Between NCAA division 1 to Junior College there are more than 25,000 college golf players across over 2,600 teams. In other words, you have more than 8,000 student-athletes competing for around 4,500 scholarships in men’s and women’s golf, the opportunity for a scholarship is there, but they are hard to come by.


If you want to be a part of the less than 2% of high school golfers that go on to get a scholarship you need to start early. Some division 1 schools will make verbal offers after their grade 10 year, these are not binding agreements, and coaches are typically only looking to bring in 2-3 golfers per year.


Here are some things student-athletes can do to get themselves prepared:


  • Go to division 1 programs that they’re interested in and check the team’s average scores and admission requirements to see if they’re a fit. Most division 1 golfers shoot in the low 70’s.

  • Improve your ranking whether it’s WAGR, or a regional ranking service.

  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center where they will provide their education history, SAT/ACT scores and will ask questions regarding their amateur status.



NPU Placement Services


NPU Placement Services started in conjunction with the Junior Asian Golf Academy and the Junior Asian Sports Academy to help our students play sports at the college level. The team provide a list of services for our students and others that have signed up. Their main task is profiling our students and talking to coaches on behalf of our students to open the door for them.


Stay tuned for another blog regarding Canadian universities and their new AFA scholarship program.


For more information please contact Jordan Laroche - jordan.laroche@np-u.ca


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