Every parent alive would love for their kids to get a complete scholarships and dodge the escalating tuition bullet. For athletes, these are called full rides. We read about them in the paper on signing days, and the write-ups make it seem like every scholarship athlete is rewarded with a full ride.
But no. That’s not true.
But these scholarships are only offered to students who participate in “head-count sports” such as basketball, Division 1-A football, women’s tennis, women’s gymnastics, or women’s volleyball. All other sports fall under the category of “equivalency sports”, which allows a coach to determine the allotted scholarship amount for many players. Some of these scholarships may be partial while others are full-ride.
Equivalency Sports for Men and Women
Equivalency sport scholarships can be used as a starting point to obtain a full-ride scholarship in future years, or at least an increase in funding as you progress through the program. Sports that fall under this category for men include baseball, Division 1-AA football, gymnastics, wrestling, tennis, rifle, and volleyball. The women’s list of sports includes equestrian, rowing, field hockey, softball, squash, and rugby. Equivalency sports for both men and women include cross-country/field and track events, fencing, ice hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, skiing, diving and swimming, as well as water polo. Athletic scholarships through these sports will offer monetary and support benefits that can be crucial for the development of student-athletes.
Full-ride athletic scholarships are expected to cover all costs involved in the education of a student. Of course, there are incidentals and travel home on vacations, but the scholarship will be a huge factor in saving a lot of money over the duration of your student-athlete’s college career.