Going to College Archive

What is a Full Scholarship?

Understanding the Math

How often have you heard junior golfers (or parents) say they were offered a full scholarship? In most cases, they were probably making an inaccurate statement. Full scholarships in menís golf are extremely rare. They are, however, more common for ladies golf. To better understand this process, letís start with the basics.

With new NCAA bylaws going into effect August 1, 2015, a full scholarship is now defined to include not only tuition, room, board, books and required course fees (full grant in aid) but also other expenses (such as transportation) related to the cost of attendance at the particular school. Student- athletes may be awarded all or part of a full scholarship on a yearly basis. Renewals are not automatic but Division I schools can now grant (promise) multi-year scholarships in the recruiting process.

For NCAA Division I, menís golf programs may award up to 4.5 scholarships annually versus 6.0 scholarships for womenís golf programs. In NCAA Division II, the limits are 3.6 for men and 5.4 for women. NCAA Division III institutions are prohibited from awarding athletic scholarships. NAIA institutions and Junior Colleges are also permitted to award athletic scholarships. It should be noted that even though schools are permitted to offer the aforementioned number of scholarships, not all schools have budgeted or ďfully fundedĒ their golf scholarship allowance.

To comply with NCAA bylaws, golf has been categorized as an equivalency sport. The cash value of each student-athleteís scholarship is divided by the institutionís total cost of education to determine the playerís scholarship percentage (100% or less). For Division I programs, the aggregate of the percentages cannot exceed 450% (4.5 full scholarships).

Here is a simple example:

Golf University Full Grant-in-Aid Value (based on NCAA Bylaws)

Tuition and course fees


Room and board




Full Grant-in-Aid Value


Golf University 2014-15 Team Roster Ė Scholarship budget $90,000 (4.5 x $20,000)


Scholarship Cash Value


Player 1



Player 2



Player 3



Player 4



Player 5



Player 6



Player 7



Player 8



Player 9 (walk-on)



Total Cash Value



(4.5 full scholarships)

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