As lacrosse grows in popularity across the country, especially on the East Coast where Division I lacrosse play is concentrated, so does the competition for lacrosse scholarships at schools with top athletic programs. The first thing to do before working on your financial aid package is to determine the level you’re playing at with an honest assessment and decide whether you can compete in the elite programs, as that will determine where you’ll be applying. Many schools with even the best lacrosse teams will offer only partial scholarships to players as they are more on building a successful team rather than coaxing one excellent player to a school.
As lacrosse is a sport with a long history, many college-based awards will have ties to alumni who had played the sport at that university. Don’t rule out looking locally if you’ve been playing in local lacrosse leagues all your life, as these often only require your participation in that league for as short a time as a season. Lacrosse players who want to play the sport on the club or intramural level rather than trying out for a varsity team still may be eligible for scholarships from these local organizations who judge athletes less on talent and more on other factors such as academic achievement, work in the community or affiliations with their groups. Players then at all skill levels may find themselves eligible for awards not offered directly by the college they plan to attend.
Check out some examples of lacrosse scholarships below. For additional information about lacrosse scholarships and awards based on different criteria, try conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.
About $1 billion in full and partial athletic scholarships are awarded each year by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to more than 126,000 undergraduate student-athletes at Division I and Division II schools. Although these scholarships are awarded and administered directly by each academic institution, not the NCAA, you’ll be required to meet the requirements of the NCAA to receive any funding. Those requirements include a minimum GPA for both the college-bound and those already on campuses, and qualifying standardized test scores. Contact your intended school’s athletic department for more information if you have the academics and the skill to play on a college team.
The NCAA won’t be the only resource for you to investigate if you’re pursuing lacrosse on the post-secondary level. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) also awards full and partial scholarships to talented athletes. If you’re a lacrosse player interested in community college, consider contacting those schools about potential scholarship opportunities in your sport. If you’re at a high level of play with a decent academic record, consider your options on the junior college level, but know that if you transfer to an NCAA college after two years, the GPA and standardized test score requirements may be stricter.
If you’ve been playing on a youth league, especially if your high school doesn’t have a dedicated lacrosse program, that league could have a scholarship fund set up for graduating high school seniors. The Annapolis Youth Lacrosse Association, for example, awards an annual $1,000 scholarship through its Willie Gateau Scholarship Fund. Eligible applicants are graduating high school seniors who have a history with the youth group for a minimum of one spring season. All applicants must meet the basic requirements for NCAA eligibility, but participation in college lacrosse is not required. Make sure you look to groups you’re already a part of, or if you know you’re interested in the sport, look into joining a local league for the potential benefits. If you’re going to play, why not get rewarded for it?
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