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Scholarship Opportunities in Women's College Basketball

Only 1.2% of the 400,000+ women´s high school basketball players will make a NCAA Division I roster. Receiving a college scholarship for women's basketball is difficult but not impossible. In this article, we will explain the different opportunities available for young female student-athletes.


From NCAA Division I to Junior College there are more than 28,000 women playing college basketball for over 1,900 programs. The likelihood of a female high school basketball player making a Division I roster is 83:1 (1.2%), and making any college roster is 15:1 (6%).

The competition for scholarships is fierce, especially in Division I & Division II programs where there are more players than scholarships available. Between these two divisions there are 10,414 athletes competing for 8,345 scholarships, leaving 20% of players without scholarships.

NAIA chances are just as difficult with 3,757 athletes competing for 1,875 scholarship opportunities, leaving 49% of players without scholarships.

Junior College offers the best opportunities for scholarships, as programs can have 15 scholarship players on teams that consist of 13 roster spots. This leads to almost 5,000 basketball players on athletic scholarships.

It's important to remember that not all college basketball teams are fully funded. A Division II program is allotted 10 scholarships, but their budget might only allow for 8 or 9. This type of information is best learned from direct communication with program coaches during the recruitment process.


Division I

Total Teams - 349

Scholarships per team - 15

Average Roster size - 16

Only 1% of high school athletes will make a NCAA Division I roster. Every women's basketball program is allowed a maximum of 15 scholarships, which are full rides. Any additional players on the team are considered walk-on players and can´t be given any athletic aid.

Division II

Total Teams - 311

Scholarships per team - 10

Average Roster size - 15

Different from Division I, NCAA Division II programs award equivalency scholarships. This meansDivision II programs have a certain amount of athletic aid (equal to 10 full scholarships) that can be distributed between as many players as they choose. To maximize finances, coaches can award partial scholarships in addition to full ride scholarships.

Division III

Total Teams - 442

Scholarships per team - 0

Average Roster size - 15

Basketball scholarships are not available in NCAA Division III. There are alternative financial aid options, as most Division III athletes qualify for academic scholarships, merit-based grants, and need-based aid.




Total Teams - 235

Scholarships per team - 8

Average Roster size - 17

Similar to NCAA Division II, NAIA programs have equivalency scholarships. This means NAIA programs have a certain amount of athletic aid (equal to 8 full scholarships) that can be distributed between as many players as they choose. To maximize finances, coaches usually award partial scholarships instead full ride scholarships. This requires some athletes to receive additional types of financial aid, academic scholarships, and need-based aid.


Total Teams - 391

Scholarships per team - 15

Average Roster size - 13

Only the top two Divisions in NJCAA can offer athletic scholarships. Division 1 is allowed to offer players full ride scholarships, while Division 2 can only pay for tuition, fees, and books, without housing.




When in search of a college scholarship, you need to choose schools based on the best athletic fit. Women's basketball scholarships are rare (6% of High school students) and extremely valuable to college programs. Coaches are looking for players who can contribute to their program immediately. If you don´t fit what a program is looking for, they are less likely to award you a scholarship. Be sure to know what programs are in line with your athletic abilities.


Now that you understand women’s basketball scholarship opportunities, you should Schedule a Free Assessment to begin your recruiting process.

If you have already begun the recruiting process, be sure to increase your efforts through our Recruitment Services.

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