What Sports Are Easiest to Get College Scholarships?

Sports scholarships provide an excellent opportunity for talented student-athletes to pursue higher education while participating in their favorite sports. These scholarships not only offer financial support but also allow athletes to showcase their abilities and compete at a collegiate level. However, not all sports scholarships are created equal, and certain sports tend to have more opportunities for securing financial aid. In this article, we will explore the world of college sports scholarships and identify the sports that are considered the easiest to obtain scholarships in.

Understanding College Sports Scholarships

Before delving into specific sports, it’s important to grasp the general structure of college sports scholarships. Scholarships are typically awarded by colleges and universities to recruit talented athletes and enhance their sports programs. These scholarships can cover various aspects of a student’s education, including tuition fees, accommodation, textbooks, and other related expenses.

Athletic scholarships are typically divided into two main categories: full scholarships and partial scholarships. Full scholarships cover the entire cost of attending college, including tuition, fees, room, and board. Partial scholarships, on the other hand, cover only a portion of these expenses. The number of scholarships available for each sport varies depending on the college or university and the division level of their athletic program.

Factors Influencing Scholarship Opportunities

Several factors influence the ease of obtaining sports scholarships. Here are a few key factors to consider:

Popularity and Competition

The popularity and competitiveness of a sport play a significant role in scholarship availability. Sports that attract a large number of participants often have a higher level of competition, making it more challenging to secure scholarships. However, some sports that are less popular can provide excellent scholarship opportunities due to the lower competition level.

Title IX Compliance

Title IX is a federal law in the United States that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities, including sports. Colleges and universities must provide equal athletic opportunities for both male and female students. Therefore, scholarship availability can vary between sports based on the compliance requirements of Title IX.

Division Level

Collegiate sports are organized into different divisions, such as NCAA Division I, Division II, and Division III. Division I schools typically offer the most scholarships and have highly competitive sports programs. Division II and Division III schools may have fewer scholarships available but can still provide opportunities for talented athletes.

Academic Performance

While sports scholarships primarily focus on athletic abilities, academic performance also plays a crucial role. Many colleges and universities consider a student’s academic achievements alongside their athletic skills when awarding scholarships. Maintaining good grades and meeting the academic eligibility requirements are often necessary to retain sports scholarships.

Sports with Easier Scholarship Opportunities

While the ease of obtaining sports scholarships can vary from year to year and from college to college, certain sports tend to have more scholarship opportunities compared to others. Here are some sports that are generally considered to offer relatively easier scholarship opportunities:

1. Football

Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States, and as a result, it offers a significant number of scholarships. College football programs, especially at the Division I level, have substantial scholarship budgets to recruit talented players. However, due to the high level of competition, securing a football scholarship still requires exceptional skills and dedication.

2. Basketball

Similar to football, basketball attracts a large number of participants and offers numerous scholarship opportunities. Both men’s and women’s basketball programs at various collegiate levels provide scholarships to talented athletes. Division I basketball programs are highly competitive, but there are still opportunities available at lower division levels.

3. Soccer

Soccer is a globally popular sport, and its popularity has been growing steadily in the United States. Many colleges and universities have established competitive soccer programs and offer scholarships to talented players. Both men’s and women’s soccer provide opportunities for scholarships, with women’s soccer particularly benefiting from Title IX compliance.

4. Track and Field

Track and field encompasses various disciplines, including sprinting, jumping, throwing, and distance running. It is a sport that offers a wide range of scholarship opportunities. Athletes who excel in specific track and field events, such as sprinting or pole vaulting, have a better chance of securing scholarships. Both men’s and women’s track and field programs provide scholarships at different collegiate levels.

5. Volleyball

Volleyball is another sport that offers relatively easier scholarship opportunities. Many colleges and universities, especially at the Division I and II levels, have competitive volleyball programs and provide scholarships for talented players. Both men’s and women’s volleyball offer opportunities for securing financial aid.

6. Golf

Golf is a sport that combines athleticism and skill. While it may not attract as many participants as football or basketball, it offers good scholarship opportunities. Golf scholarships are available for both men’s and women’s programs, and talented golfers can find opportunities at different collegiate levels.

7. Tennis

Tennis is a sport that offers excellent scholarship opportunities, particularly for talented players. Many colleges and universities have strong tennis programs and provide scholarships to recruit skilled athletes. Both men’s and women’s tennis programs offer scholarships at various division levels.

It’s important to note that the ease of obtaining scholarships in these sports may vary depending on factors such as the level of competition, the size of the athletic program, and the specific college or university. Additionally, other sports not mentioned in this list can also provide scholarship opportunities, especially in niche sports or at smaller colleges and universities.

Maximizing Scholarship Opportunities

While some sports may have easier scholarship opportunities, it’s essential for aspiring student-athletes to focus on their athletic development, maintain strong academic performance, and actively pursue scholarship opportunities. Here are a few tips to maximize your chances of obtaining a sports scholarship:

  1. Develop your skills: Dedicate time to improving your athletic abilities and becoming the best athlete you can be in your chosen sport. Seek guidance from coaches and trainers to enhance your skills and performance.
  2. Research colleges and universities: Identify colleges and universities that have strong athletic programs in your sport of interest. Research their scholarship offerings, athletic achievements, and academic programs to find the best fit for you.
  3. Contact coaches: Reach out to coaches at colleges and universities you are interested in attending. Introduce yourself, share your athletic achievements, and express your interest in their program. Building a relationship with coaches can increase your visibility and enhance your chances of receiving a scholarship offer.
  4. Maintain academic excellence: Strong academic performance is often a requirement for sports scholarships. Stay focused on your studies, meet the eligibility requirements, and aim to excel academically.
  5. Attend showcases and tournaments: Participate in showcases, tournaments, and camps where college coaches and recruiters are present. These events provide opportunities for athletes to showcase their skills and catch the attention of college programs.
  6. Seek guidance: Consult with your high school coaches, guidance counselors, and sports organizations to gather information and guidance on the scholarship application process. They can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the scholarship landscape.


Sports scholarships present a valuable opportunity for student-athletes to pursue higher education while showcasing their athletic abilities. While the ease of obtaining scholarships varies, certain sports, such as football, basketball, soccer, track and field, volleyball, golf, and tennis, tend to offer relatively more scholarship opportunities. However, it’s crucial to remember that scholarship availability can fluctuate and depends on various factors. Aspiring student-athletes should focus on athletic development, maintain academic excellence, and actively seek scholarship opportunities to maximize their chances of securing financial aid for college.

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