Educated athletes are, by far, more respected and sought-after than those who do not devote enough time to obtain higher education. There are more than seven million high school student-athletes across the USA, though only very few of them are lucky to receive a sports scholarship. On the flip side, luck is the wrong word when your chances of getting a sports scholarship depend a lot on your preparation. Read on to find more information about basketball scholarship options and tips to improve your chances of getting one of them.

Before Applying for Scholarship

National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and II regulate athletic programs and provide opportunities for talented athletes worth almost $3 billion annually. But significant overall sum creates a considerable level of competitiveness. So the more you prepare, the bigger chance you have to make the cut. 

The first thing to keep in mind ― this is not about your sport achievements only. Even the most wanted players will not be eligible for any grant or qualify for a desirable university because of bad grades and low test scores. Although many athletes do not particularly enjoy writing essays or research papers, with the help of services like, you will not miss the deadlines and have all of your assignments on time.

Another important thing is that you need a lot of time for recruitment preparation. Apart from improving your grades, which also cannot be done in the short term, try to start the whole process as early as possible. You will need to research academic institutions you would like to enter and make more contact points with teammates and coaches to become more recognizable. This might be a helpful strategy, but don’t get upset for not hearing back from college coaches as they are not allowed to actively contact students. 

Opportunities for Basketball Players

NCAA Division I Scholarship

This is the highest level division, which includes major athletic powers and greater budgets than its counterparts. Students-athletes of Division I schools may be provided with long-term scholarships as well as obtain a degree with all costs covered by the organization after they finish playing NCAA basketball. It also may be called the University Division. 

The Division I recruits about 4,500 basketball players per year with full rides, covers over 340 higher institutions, and provides up to 13 scholarships for each team. To find out about your eligibility, to get certified, and to find answers to your additional questions, visit the NCAA Eligibility Center.

NCAA Division II Scholarship

Second or College Division is a little more complicated in terms of the offered programs. Depending on a player’s level of professionalism and academic history, the institution provides a full or partial scholarship. The first one covers all college-related expenses, while a partial grant provides for various options like half-tuitions including meal and so on.

There are around 280 college-partners covered by Division II, including smaller institutions. The quantity of College Division teams reaches 320 with a limit of ten grants for each team.

NAIA Scholarships

NAIA, or the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, covers smaller higher education institutions throughout the country. They provide students-athletes with options to earn a degree while playing basketball on a professional level. NAIA offers scholarships on both the Division I and Division II levels, the range and type of each grant depend on the college and division within which this college plays. The average financial aid for athletes comprises $7,000. The association encourages skillful players with remarkable academic achievements. 

Unlike NCAA, this is a smaller association that consists of about 300 institutions, with over 60,000 students getting a scholarship. The good thing is that eligibility requirements are not that strict as for NCAA. More information concerning requirements you can find on the NAIA Eligibility Center.

NJCAA Scholarship

The National Junior College Athletics Association establishes the standards of participation in programs and obtaining awards for junior education institutions. The association offers a vast range of scholarships, as well as it may be a good alternative for those who are not planning to enter a university for a full 4-year study.

The association consists of 3 Divisions, which differ in the number of institutions, teams, and scholarships. The first Division offers about 400 basketball programs with full-tuition awards. The second Division covers 250 programs and provides grants which bear all expenses without textbooks and accommodation. NJCAA Division III consists of 98 institutions that give talented players a chance to monetize their basketball skills to pay tuition fees.

Bottom Line

A scholarship is a great opportunity to turn your sports skills into higher education. But remember that you will need to manage your time properly and make great efforts. Even the fact that you will represent your team and the university professionally will not exempt you from attending classes. So the best way to survive a busy schedule is to learn to balance sports and study.