You've played your way to a respectable high school and club soccer career. You've put together a recruiting video, and you have an idea of different schools you would be interested in attending.
There are a couple of big steps to be made before recruiting gets rolling. One is being proactive, and the other is being informed.
Being on top of what different schools can offer you--and being realistic about where your talents could fit in--will make it easier to be effective when you make college soccer coaches aware of your abilities. The first step is knowing the number of scholarships out there so you have a better idea of what coaches have to work with.
Here's a quick rundown:
NCAA Division I
How Many Schools: There are 199 men's soccer programs in Division I, including powerhouses like Indiana and UCLA. There are 320 women's programs, including titans like North Carolina, Notre Dame and Portland.
Scholarship Count: Women's soccer is allowed 14 scholarships. Men's soccer is allowed 9.9 scholarships.
Scholarship Breakdown: Scholarships can be full or partial rides at the Division-I level, but with rosters exceeding 20 players, they are used carefully.
NCAA Division II
How Many Schools: There are 179 men's programs and 227 women's programs in Division II soccer.
Scholarship Count: Women's soccer has 9.9 scholarships to work with. Men have nine scholarships.
Scholarship Breakdown: Partial rides are common in Division II soccer, as coaches can distribute the money to as many players as they wish.
NCAA Division III
How Many Schools: Division III soccer consists of 401 men's programs and 424 women's programs. Powers include Messiah (Pa.) College for the men and Wheaton (Ill.) College for the women.
Scholarship Count: Athletic scholarships are not offered in Division III athletics.
Scholarship Breakdown: With no athletic scholarships, students often find financial aid or academic scholarships to assist with costs while playing soccer.
How Many Schools: There 218 men's programs in the NAIA and 223 women's programs.
Scholarship Count: Both men's and women's soccer are allowed 12 scholarships per team.
Scholarship Breakdown: Partial scholarships are common. Strong students who meet certain academic criteria can receive aid without it counting toward the program's limit.
NJCAA Division I
How Many Schools: There are 136 men's soccer programs at the junior-college level and 118 women's programs.
Scholarship Count: Men's and women's soccer are allowed 18 scholarships at the junior-college level.
Scholarship Breakdown: Many scholarships at the junior-college level are full rides, but partial rides are common, too.
NJCAA Division III
How Many Schools: There are 78 men's programs in NJCAA Division III, and 58 women's programs.
Scholarship Count: Much like Division III four-year schools, D-III schools at the junior-college level do not offer scholarships.