College softball scholarships not only offer an opportunity to continue playing the sport you love but also provide a pathway to achieve your academic goals.
While many high school athletes hope to go on to play college softball, the first steps can be intimidating—especially when it comes to finding scholarships. If you are not currently being recruited by a college softball program and need to look for other ways to reach the next level, here is a collection of college softball scholarships and resources that will help with the process.
College Softball Scholarship Types
When looking for college softball scholarships, there are a few options outside of traditional collegiate scholarships.
NCAA Scholarships: Each year, the NCAA awards about $1 billion in athletic scholarships to more than 126,000 undergraduate athletes at Division 1 and 2 schools. While these scholarships are funded by the NCAA, they are distributed by the individual institution. You will still be required to meet the NCAA’s requirements in order to receive the funding.
Institutional Scholarships: Colleges and universities may have their own institutional scholarships, which can include merit-based awards and scholarships based on factors like leadership, community involvement, or specific areas of study. Softball players should explore all available institutional scholarship opportunities at their chosen schools.
Endowed Scholarships: Some colleges and universities have endowed scholarships specifically designated for softball players. These scholarships are often funded by alumni, donors, or supporters of the softball program.
National Governing Bodies: Organizations like USA Softball and other national governing bodies for softball may offer scholarships to talented players. These scholarships can be competitive and may require applicants to meet specific criteria.
Scholarship Opportunities & Resources
An updated list of private softball scholarships can be found at scholarships.com. Each scholarship has its own individual requirements.
University Scholarships by State
A list of universities with softball programs and scholarships can be found at NCSA College Recruiting’s website. Through this page, you can sort the softball programs by state.
Softball by Division
Visit these pages to view a full list of the colleges with D1, D2 and D3 softball teams. From here, you can select each school to read about their scholarship offerings and information. Then, if you decide you are interested in that school, you can visit their individual website to explore applications and scholarship options.
National Collegiate Athlete Association – Rules & Eligibility
The NCAA has very strict rules for eligibility when it comes to playing sports at the collegiate level. You should visit the NCAA website to read more about what it takes to play college sports. Then, visit this page to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. For additional educational resources from the NCAA regarding requirements, visit this page.
Preparing for Scholarship Applications
Step 1: Start Early
- Begin the recruitment process early, ideally in your sophomore or junior year of high school. The earlier you start, the more time you have to build your skills, academic profile and connections with college coaches.
Step 2: Create a Standout Player Profile
- Player Resume: Develop a player resume or profile that includes essential information such as your name, contact information, academic achievements, softball stats (batting average, ERA, etc.), position and accolades.
- Highlight Video: Create a highlight video showcasing your best plays, including hitting, fielding, pitching and base running. Ensure the video is well-edited and showcases your skills effectively.
- Academic Information: Include your GPA, standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) and transcripts in your profile. Strong academics can make you a more attractive recruit.
Step 3: Research Colleges
- Research colleges and universities that offer softball programs that align with your athletic and academic goals. Consider factors like the division level (NCAA, NAIA, etc.), location, academic majors and coaching staff.
Step 4: Contact Coaches
- Create a List: Develop a list of colleges you’re interested in and identify the softball coaches at each school. You can find coach contact information on college athletic websites.
- Send Introductory Emails: Craft personalized introductory emails to coaches expressing your interest in their program. Attach your player profile and highlight video. Mention specific reasons why you’re interested in their school.
- Follow Up: If a coach expresses interest, maintain regular communication. Keep them updated on your progress, achievements, and tournament schedules. Ask questions about their program and what they’re looking for in recruits.
Step 5: Attend Showcases and Tournaments
- Participate in reputable softball showcases and tournaments where college coaches are likely to attend. These events provide visibility and opportunities for coaches to see you play.
Step 6: Campus Visits
- Once you have generated interest from coaches, schedule official or unofficial campus visits to the colleges you’re considering. Official visits are typically paid for by the school and have specific NCAA guidelines, while unofficial visits are arranged by the recruit and family.
College Softball Scholarship Q&A
What is a college softball scholarship?
- A college softball scholarship is a financial award given to student-athletes who have demonstrated exceptional softball skills and the potential to contribute to a college or university’s softball program. These scholarships can cover tuition, room and board, and other educational expenses.
What percent of high school athletes will play at the college level?
- In recent years, there were about 362,000 high school softball players and only about 32,000 college softball players. This means that less than 10% of high school players end up competing at the college level.
What are my chances of getting a softball scholarship?
- In 2018-2019, approximately 1,691 schools sponsored varsity softball teams. According to the NCSA, here’s how that number shakes out for each division level:
- While D2 schools can offer full-ride scholarships, they are not required by the NCAA to give them out. Ultimately, this decision is up to the coach to determine how much money will be awarded through scholarships.
How do I contact college coaches to express interest?
- You can start by creating a well-crafted player profile and sending it to college coaches along with a personalized introductory email. Attend college showcases and camps where coaches may be present to showcase your skills and make in-person connections.
Prepare for College Softball with Powermill
At Powermill Training Academy, our skilled instructors are what sets us apart.
With more than 45 years of collegiate and professional experience and a track record of elevating player performance, our softball instructors craft training programs designed for each individual player.