College Soccer Scholarships and Recruiting

How do I Get a College Soccer Scholarship?

There are over one thousand universities that offer the chance to play college soccer, and coaches do not have the resources to find every qualified athlete. Coaches expect you to take the initiative and contact them first. If you want to increase your chances of being considered for a soccer scholarship, follow our guide.

How to Get College Coaches to Watch Your Matches

Getting college coaches to your matches is not easy. Because of small recruiting budgets, many soccer coaches require you to come to them. In fact, for the top schools in the country it is mandatory that prospects attend their summer camps for further consideration. Find out what else you can do by following our tips.

Use our COLLEGE SEARCH TOOL to find the best soccer colleges… Compile your own list of soccer colleges that fit your needs. A list of DI soccer colleges can also be found here. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for the link that will take you to the search tool. In just a few minutes you will have your list of soccer colleges that exactly match your needs.

How the Soccer Recruiting Process Works

There are thousands of international and domestic athletes for soccer coaches to choose from, and it takes a lot of hard work to show coaches that you are exactly what they are looking for. If you want to play at the top level, it is mandatory that coaches watch you in person. Finding those opportunities is up to you; here is our advice.

Make Sure You Are Academic Eligible

Based on what level you want to compete, the requirements change. Keep in mind that just meeting the minimums does not guarantee you admission into your school of choice. Check here to see if you have met the academic eligibility standards of each division level.

How Good do I Need to be to Get a Scholarship?

These marks were gathered by evaluating the freshman classes of some of the top programs at each level. There are always exceptions if you fit what a program is looking for. Use these as a guide and do some research on your own.

Men’s and women’s soccer.

Division I

ODP Experience:

  • National Team/Pool
  • Regional Team/Pool
  • State Team NOT Pool

Club Experience:

  • US Development Academy
  • Attend Major Tournaments:
    • Surf Cup
    • US Development Academy Showcases
    • Potomac Memorial Tournament
    • Disney Showcase
    • Score at the Shore
    • Jefferson Cup
    • Nomads Thanksgiving Tournament
    • Dallas Cup
    • President’s Cup
    • Adidas Blue Chip Showcase
    • Crossroads Showcase
    • USA Cup
    • Mustang Inv.
    • WAGS Tournament
    • Las Vegas College Showcase
    • PDA Showcase


High School Experience:

  • All-American
  • Varsity starter
  • All-State
  • All Region/Conference/Sectional

Division II

ODP Experience:

  • Tryouts/Camps
  • State Pool

Club Experience:

  • Team travels to out of state tournaments

High School Experience:

  • Varsity starter

Division III and NAIA

Club Experience:

  • Travels to Tournaments
  • Not AYSO or REC

High School Experience:

  • Varsity Starter

**Foreign players must have video and references

Division II/III Soccer Notes:

Over 95% Division II, III, and NAIA soccer players have club experience and nearly 70% of Division II, III, and NAIA soccer players have earned individual recognition at the high school level if they played high school soccer.

Preferred Grades for All Divisions: 3.0 GPA or higher, 24 ACT score or higher and 1000 SAT score (out of 1600) or higher

How Many Soccer Scholarships are Available and What Schools Offer Them?

Scholarships are only awarded to the best players. Getting a scholarship is a matter of being honest in your abilities and your contribution to the team.

Number of Scholarships Offered per Team, per Year, by Division

Competition for scholarship money is extremely competitive. If getting a scholarship is the most important thing maybe looking at the NAIA level would be better than the NCAA DII level.Remember, soccer is an equivalency sport which means all scholarships are NOT full scholarships, and coaches may divide the total number of scholarships allotted to them between as many athletes as they wish.

Men’s Soccer

NCAA D1: 9.9
NCAA D2: 9
NAIA: 12

Women’s Soccer

NCAA D1: 14
NCAA D2: 9.9
NAIA: 12

Number of College Soccer Programs

Men’s Soccer

NCAA D1: 204
NCAA D2: 172
*NCAA D3: 394
NAIA: 216
NJCAA: 291
Total: 1,277

Women’s Soccer

NCAA D1: 314
NCAA D2: 223
*NCAA D3: 409
NAIA: 221
NJCAA: 276
Total: 1,443

*NCAA Division 3 schools do not offer athletic scholarships, but do offer other forms of financial aid.

The Top College Programs in Each Division

The top programs on any given year can change but these are some of the best programs over the past few years.

Men’s Soccer

NCAA D1:Louisville, Akron, Maryland, North Carolina, Butler, California, SMU, UCLA, Connecticut, Princeton, Monmouth, William & Mary, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Notre Dame, Charlotte, Creighton, South Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, Brown, Providence

NCAA D2:Franklin Pierce, Midwestern State, Colorado Mines, Northern Kentucky, Rollins, Charlestown, Grand Canyon, Truman, Montevallo, Dowling, Regis, Ashland, Flagler, West Virginia Wesleyan, Tampa

NCAA D3:Trinity, Ohio Wesleyan, Messiah, Christopher Newport, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Bowdoin, St. Lawrence, Washington-St. Louise, Swarthmore, Dominican, DePauw, Emory, Stevens, Middlebury, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Texas-Tyler, Calvin, York

NAIA:University of Rio Grande, Notre Dame College (Ohio), Hastings College, Simon Fraser University, Lindsey Wilson College, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Mobile, Kansas Wesleyan University, Bryan College, Belhaven University, Vanguard University

Women’s Soccer

NCAA D1: Stanford, Portland, North Carolina, Maryland, Florida, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Virginia, Texas A&M, UNC Greensboro, Florida State, Marquette, Illinois, West Virginia, Oregon State, UC Irvine, Ohio State

NCAA D2: St. Rose, Central Missouri, Fort Lewis, West Chester, Grand Valley State, West Florida, Columbus State, St. Edward’s, Seattle Pacific, California (Pennsylvania), Armstrong Atlantic, UC San Diego, CW Post, Tampa

NCAA D3: Messiah, Hardin-Simmons, Otterbein, Loras, Wheaton, Trinity, Emory, Illinois Western, Williams, William Smith, TCNJ, Johns Hopkins, Oneonta State, Eastern Connecticut State

NAIA: Concordia University, Lee University, Azusa Pacific University, Martin Methodist College, Indiana Wesleyan University, The Master’s College, Graceland University, Lindsey Wilson College, Robert Morris University, California Baptist University, University of Mobile, Oklahoma City University

IMPORTANT: NAIA Rule Changes. You must now register with the NAIA Clearinghouse.

The history of Soccer.

Attending a college soccer summer camp could be the best recruiting move you ever make.

Build your list of soccer colleges here. Click here for a list of DI soccer colleges.

Author: David Frank