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Managing the Recruiting Process


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Types of Offers

Key Facts About Athletic Scholarships

  • Most offers are typically one-year agreements

  • Verbal offers are non-binding agreements

  • The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a legal binding contract between a student-athlete and the academic institution.

Full-ride and Partial scholarship offers


Full-Ride Scholarships are only given in the following sports:

  • Football

  • Women’s Basketball

  • Men’s Basketball

  • Women’s Gymnastics

  • Tennis

  • Volleyball

These sports are known as head count sports because they generate revenue for a college. A full-ride scholarship covers the majority of the costs associated with attending college such as tuition, room and boarding, textbooks, and course fees. Full-ride scholarships are also one-year agreements that may or may not be renewed.

Partial Scholarship Offers:

The remaining sports, also called “equivalency sports”, in NCAA D1 and D2 are where coaches are allocated a certain amount of scholarship money, which they decide on how to divide among their players. While not a full-ride scholarship, a partial scholarship can still cover a significant amount of the cost of attendance or very little. It depends on many factors such as the athlete, program, division, and sport.


Being a Preferred Walk-on on Signing Day


As preferred walk-ons are not receiving an athletic scholarship, they do not have anything to sign on signing day.

Recruited and Unrecruited Walk-On Offers


Recruited walk-on offer:

A recruited walk-on offer indicates that a college coach is interested in an athlete. However, no financial assistance is provided, and they must earn a spot on the team through tryouts and summer training camps.

Unrecruited walk-on offer:

This scenario is present when a student-athlete who gains admission to a college and plans to tryout for the team. In this case, the athlete should contact the college coach before enrollment to confirm their interest to tryout for the team.

The Multi-Colored Shirts


Redshirt: Athlete has a scholarship but cannot compete for a year. They will be able to play 4 seasons in a 5 year time horizon.

Grayshirt: Athlete postpones full-time enrollment and participating with the team for a semester.

Greenshirt: Athlete enrolls a semester early and participates with the college team.

Blueshirt: Athlete will participate in team activities but will not be allowed to compete for a year. These athletes are considered unrecruited unlike redshirts.



While D3 institutions do not offer athletic scholarships, 80% of D3 athletes receive some form of financial aid. Furthermore, the NAIA has said that their athletes receive on average $7,000 in financial aid. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NAJCAA) also offers full and partial scholarships at over 500 institutions.

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