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NBA

What does a college basketball scholarship include?

Thousands of basketball athletes seek earning college scholarships. Depending on a few factors, these grants can cover everything a student-athlete needs

Update:
Thousands of basketball athletes seek earning college scholarships. Depending on a few factors, these grants can cover everything a student-athlete needs
Rick OsentoskiUSA TODAY Sports

College basketball is managed by three national athletic associations, the NCAA, the NAIA and the NJCAA. These three organizations determine all the rules surrounding college basketball and all its aspects, as well as govern all student-athletes’ needs.

A crucial part of these aspects is regulating the athletic scholarships that different schools can offer. The NCAA, which is the National Collegiate Athletic Association, controls a great deal of the funding for these basketball scholarships that don’t only depend on athletic talent.

In addition to the type of scholarship at hand, academic requirements can make up a big part of a coach’s decision to offer bigger and better scholarships to student athletes. The two types of basketball scholarships are: a headcount scholarship and an equivalency scholarship.

In NCAA Division 1, student-athletes receive headcount scholarships, which are full rides, as coaches are required to only offerfull” scholarships in men’s and women’s basketball.

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These scholarships cover all college costs, including tuition and fees, housing, books, etc. However, they are one-year contracts that are not guaranteed for all four years of university. Each year, the scholarship needs to be re-considered, based on several factors, like academic performance, coaching changes or injury.

At the Division II, NAIA, (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) which is two separate governing bodies of college athletics, and JUCO (Junior University college) levels, student athletes can receive equivalency scholarships.

These are essentially partial scholarships that coaches are given to distribute on as many athletes as they want. So depending on the program, some student-athletes will receive partial scholarships, which would partially cover tuition, room and board and whatever other expenses are included.

NCAA basketball scholarships by division level

Division LevelNumber of teamsTotal athletesAverage team sizeScholarships limit per team grantLimit type
NCAA D13535,5221613headcount
NCAA D23135,2511710Equivalency
NCAA D34467,76718-N/A
NAIA D1931,8642011Equivalency
NAIA D21372,752216Equivalency
JUCO 4306,3521515Equivalency
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