How Do College Baseball Scholarships Work?

How Do College Baseball Scholarships Work?

College baseball has unique rules pertaining to scholarships. Get to know some of the key facts.

Sep 29, 2023 by Kyle Kensing
How Do College Baseball Scholarships Work?

Among college sports, baseball has some of the most unique and interesting specifics when it comes to scholarships. 

For example, NCAA Div. I programs are allowed slightly less than 12 scholarships, but more than 11 — which means a fraction-of-a-scholarship. NAIA programs offer the most scholarships per team among four-year universities and colleges, but that's still only half of what junior colleges offer

The following offers some quick clarity on the nuances of scholarships around the college diamond. 

NCAA Div. I 

Programs at the highest level of the NCAA are allotted up to 11.7 scholarships per team, as a general rule. Not every program awards the full allotment, while some conferences eschew scholarships outright. 

And, because there is a fractional total of scholarships available, those awarded are not head-count scholarships but rather equivalencies. A program can thus distribute the value of 11.7 scholarships among the team in different ways among as many as 27 different players, so long as each scholarship athlete receives at least 25 percent of the total program allotment. 


As in other NCAA sports, Div. II baseball programs have fewer scholarships to offer than their Div. I counterparts. Baseball scholarships in Div. II, as in Div. I, are equivalencies, meaning the value of nine total scholarships can be distributed at different increments throughout the roster. 

Div. II baseball rosters typically carry more players overall than Div. I teams, but the NCAA does not have the same strict guidelines on number of players able to be on scholarship and percentage of distributed funds available to them. 


With 12 equivalency scholarships available, NAIA programs have the most to divide among their rosters at the four-year level. NAIA's distribution of those 12 scholarships is similar to NCAA Div. II without limitations based on player numbers or percentages. 

NAIA also has the fewest programs among four-year colleges and universities with 212 members. 


Like the various four-year levels, junior college baseball programs distribute equivalency scholarships among their roster. JUCO teams also typically carry fewer players, so with 24 available scholarships, have a higher portion to distribute.

For NJCAA Div. II, the 24 scholarships are equivalent to 24 full scholarships covering tuition, room-and-board and educational expenses. For NJCAA Div. II, the 24-scholarship allotment is for partial scholarships covering tuition and some classroom expenses.