Chances of a High School Athlete getting an Athletic Scholarship Scholarship
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What are the chances of a high school athlete
getting a full ride in College?
#  of US High School Athletes 2013-14 * 7,539,099
#  of College Athletic Scholarships ** 136,364
#  of HS Athletes to each Scholarship 55:1

We compared the  number of athletes participating in varsity sports at US high schools to the maximum available athletic scholarships at NCAA & NAIA schools and come up with the following. Overall there were 55 high school athletes for every available athletic scholarship and the chances of a high school athlete going on to play a varsity sport at a 4 year school was a little over 6% for both male & female athletes. And even for those athletes with the ability to make a college varsity team, there are a limited amount of scholarships available. The bottom line is athletic ability can help get a talented student athlete into a good school, but the proverbial "full ride" is rare:

      # of HS Athletes % of HS Athletes   # of College Athletes
  High School # of Athletic to each available Competing at # of 4 year to each available
NCAA & NAIA Schools      Boys *      Scholarships **      scholarship     4 year colleges *** College Athletes     scholarship    
Baseball 482,629 8,062  60:1  8.1% 38,894 4.8
Basketball 541,054 9,504  57:1  4.1% 22,161 2.3
Cross Country 252,547 2,722  93:1  6.3% 15,967 5.9
Fencing 2,189 99  22:1  29.5% 646 6.5
Football 1,122,024 25,918  43:1  6.9% 77,682 3.0
Golf 152,647 2,998  51:1  6.7% 10,163 3.4
Gymnastics 1,995 101  20:1  17.4% 347 3.4
Ice Hockey 35,393 981  36:1  11.6% 4,122 4.2
Lacrosse 106,720 1,251  85:1  11.3% 12,034 9.6
Rifle 2,668 47  57:1  7.2% 191 4.1
Skiing - Alpine 5,593 107  52:1  8.4% 470 4.4
Soccer 417,419 6,152  68:1  6.8% 28,554 4.6
Swimming & Diving 138,373 1,994  69:1  7.1% 9,760 4.9
Tennis 191,004 2,417  79:1  4.7% 8,963 3.7
Track & Field  653,971 5,930  110:1  3.7% 24,457 4.1
Volleyball 52,149 294  177:1  3.7% 1,936 6.6
Water Polo 21,451 126  170:1  4.8% 1,022 8.1
Wrestling 269,514 1,530  176:1  3.0% 8,001 5.2
Totals 4,449,340 70,233  63:1  6.0% 265,370 3.8
 
      # of HS Athletes % of HS Athletes   # of College Athletes
Female Athletes High School # of Athletic to each available Competing at # of 4 year to each available
NCAA & NAIA Schools        Girls *           scholarships **        scholarship     4 year colleges *** College Athletes     scholarship    
Basketball 433,344 10,165 43:1 4.8% 20,704 2.0
Bowling 25,751 275 94:1 3.8% 976 3.5
Cross Country 218,121 3,817 57:1 7.9% 17,326 4.5
Equestrian 1,306 390 3:1 161.6% 2,110 5.4
Fencing 1,774 134 13:1 37.8% 670 5.0
Field Hockey 61,471 1,119 55:1 9.4% 5,794 5.2
Golf 72,172 3,056 24:1 8.2% 5,902 1.9
Gymnastics 19,231 810 24:1 8.6% 1,659 2.0
Ice Hockey 9,150 612 15:1 22.8% 2,089 3.4
Lacrosse 81,969 1,779 46:1 11.9% 9,748 5.5
Rifle 1,587 46 35:1 11.5% 183 4.0
Rowing 4,242 2,080 2:1 178.5% 7,570 3.6
Rugby 322 36 9:1 48.4% 156 4.3
Skiing 4,541 133 34:1 10.7% 484 3.6
Soccer 374,564 9,266 40:1 8.2% 30,600 3.3
Softball 371,891 7,402 50:1 6.1% 22,500 3.0
Swimming & Diving 165,779 3,550 47:1 7.6% 12,540 3.5
Tennis 215,737 4,480 48:1 4.5% 9,763 2.2
Track & Field  545,011 8,536 64:1 4.4% 23,856 2.8
Volleyball 429,634 8,101 53:1 4.7% 20,307 2.5
Water Polo 18,899 344 55:1 6.2% 1,177 3.4
 
Totals - Female Athletes 3,089,759 66,131 47:1 6.3% 196,114 3.0

 


* High school data is from the 2013-14 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Statistics for both High School and College athletes above report participation on school sponsored varsity,  JV and freshman teams,  and do not reflect club, travel and/or intramural sports teams.
 
** Scholarship totals are the computed maximum full-equivalent athletic scholarships available per NCAA and NAIA 2013-14 regulations. However, most programs are equivalency sports which means these awards can be split into partial scholarships in any proportion up to the maximum allowed, so the actual number of awards (full & partial) are higher than the number presented - see our page on scholarship limits for additional more information.
2014
*** These percentages contain numerous caveats: the number of participants at the high school level does not include high school age athletes who don't play on a high school team, but compete on club, travel and similar teams. So for sports such as high school football that have a large number of high school participants and few travel teams, these percentages are a  good indication of a high school athlete's chances of playing at the college level. However for  sports with a high percentage of travel or club teams, the chances of competing in college are likely not as high as presented.   Additionally, high school data may not include foreign student athletes who comprise a significant percentage of many college athletic rosters. These factors may result in computed odds for many sports that are artificially high - see our page on the chances of a High School Athlete competing in College for more information

 

          
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