How Do College Coaches Make Scholarship Offers?

If you’re trying to get a college athletic scholarship, then you’re likely hoping to receive multiple offers from coaches. Depending on your sport, you could receive your offer in a few different ways. Receiving a scholarship offer makes all your hard work during high school worth it, and it’s even better if you get more than one.

It’s essential to understand what you can expect in an offer and how to identify if it’s fair or not. If you get a few offers, you can then make an educated choice about which one is best. Before you accept any scholarship offer, take some time to think about some of the factors in this article.

Types of scholarship offers

There are a few different types of offers you can expect to receive from college coaches. If you’re a gymnast, you can check out to ensure you’ve done everything you can to have the best chance of getting an offer in the first place. Once you have your offer, determine which of the following it is:

  1. Full scholarship
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A full scholarship is what every athlete strives for. It fully covers tuition, room and board, and textbook and material fees. The scholarship should cover all of the costs involved in attending the school.

  1. Partial scholarship

Partial scholarships can vary dramatically, but in general, they will only cover part of school expenses. It will depend on the sport and how much money they have to spread out between their athletes. Most athletes will only get a partial scholarship, and the average amount is about $18,000 per student-athlete.

  1. Head count sports

Head count sports scholarships for Division 1 are those that can only be given in full for a whole year. That is, they cannot divide them up amongst multiple athletes. Athletes either get a full scholarship or nothing at all. The head count scholarship structure is only for specific sports, including women’s gymnastics, women’s volleyball, football, basketball, and women’s tennis.

  1. Equivalency sports

Equivalency sports are any that are not in “head count sports” and all sports in Division 2. In equivalency sports, the schools allocate a certain maximum amount of money to the coach, which they can divide up between athletes however they want. Each sport gets a different amount, and the coaches are in charge of how they want to split it up. They may even offer some athletes a full scholarship. It all depends on how much they want you on their team. If you’re trying to get a scholarship for an equivalency sport, then you can potentially negotiate the amount with the coach to try to get more.

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Once the coach gives you one of the above offers, you have the choice of whether to accept or not. Any verbal commitments are non-binding, meaning both the coaches and athletes can still change their minds. Once in your senior year, you will receive a National Letter of Intent, which will state the exact amount of the scholarship and for what school. The scholarship is finalized once you sign the document, which is then legally binding.