How to Negotiate Your Athletic Scholarship Offer

by Matthew

How to Negotiate Your Athletic Scholarship Offer


As part of the college recruiting process, responding to and receiving a scholarship offer from a college coach is one of the most exciting aspects. You have put a lot of effort into your work, and now it is paying off. Despite this, you still have a long way to go. The process which involves How to Negotiate Your Athletic Scholarship Offer can be complicated when you are a recruit and you do not know how to ask a college coach for more money or how to ask for a higher scholarship offer. As a student, you need to consider being honest with the coach, not offending him or her, and making sure you get the financial support you need for you to attend your dream school.

Also read: How do you tell a coach you want to commit

Also read: when can a college coach offer a scholarship

As you begin to think about How to Negotiate Your Athletic Scholarship Offer, the first thing you need to bear in mind is that coaches will usually increase a scholarship offer for three main reasons:


You should avoid losing recruits to other schools. If you want to negotiate for more scholarship money, this is the best way to do it. Below, we provide more information about this, but in order to be able to leverage your existing offers from schools you’re interested in in order to negotiate for more scholarship money, you’ll need to have a number of different offers from colleges.

At a later stage in the process, more money became available. There really isn’t much that you can do in order to control this situation as a recruit. It is possible to tell the coach what your target number is if the coach offers you an offer and you discover that it is still not enough to make the school affordable for your family even after the coach makes you an offer. As a coach, there is no guarantee that he or she will be able to find more money in the budget to meet your goals.

When a recruit improves significantly, their value increases as well. The ability to control this is also one of the toughest aspects of negotiation. Make sure that the coach is kept up to date about your progress and stay on top of the roster. In the event that one of the key players in your position graduates and there aren’t many athletes on the roster who may be able to fill that position, it could make you a more valuable addition.


It’s important to note that athletes in equivalency sports usually have the easiest time negotiating their athletic scholarship offers. There is a good chance that you will receive offers based solely on headcount programs (for example, FBS football, DI volleyball, etc. ), in which case you will receive full-ride scholarships for those schools. There are no limits as to how much scholarship money can be offered to coaches of equivalency sports, so the coaches are free to give more to recruits toward the top of their list and less to those toward the bottom.


We’ve put together a list of common misconceptions about full-ride scholarships below in order to help you better understand this topic. Keeping reading, you’ll find further tips on negotiating scholarship offers, including how to ask college coaches for more scholarship money.

Also read: Parents count down to college coach

Never try to rush the process of scholarship


It’s a natural reaction to feel excited when you receive an offer and even relieved if you receive more than one. The process of accepting a scholarship offer and making a final college decision can also be quite stressful for student-athletes and their families, especially when it comes to the financial aspect. At the end of the day, this is a life-changing decision, and it’s important not to rush the process.


Be sure to do the following before accepting a scholarship offer from a potential sponsor:


Please take a moment to review the offer you have received. As soon as you receive an offer from a college, it may seem that your recruiting has ended, however it is not always the case. If a coach offers you a position, you shouldn’t just accept it immediately. I would suggest communicating to the coach that you’re going to need more time to think things over before you make a decision. Recruits are normally given anywhere from a few days all the way up to 1-2 weeks for you to make a final decision before a commitment is made.

Consider talking to someone you trust about your decision before making it. A coach, a family member, a parent, a member of your high school or club team or an athlete or coach from a current or former college team will be able to walk you through the process if you have someone to talk to.


Pro tips: There are more than 750 former college players and coaches in NCSA’s network, so you are sure to be connected to the right school or program if you contact them. Get started by creating your FREE recruiting profile online and scheduling your FREE recruiting assessment today.


You should consider all your options before making a decision. Especially if an offer is made to you before the end of your junior or senior year, this is extremely important. Are you aware of all the schools on the list of your target schools? Have you had a chance to explore each of them? Is there any school you are considering attending that you have visited yet? Are you considering this school as your dream school or are you high on your list of schools? Compared to other schools or programs on your list, how does this school or program compare to the rest? Is this offer better than the others that you have received if you have received multiple offers?

Identify whether or not the school is a good fit for you. If you are considering a job offer, you might want to ask yourself a few questions to help you determine if this is what you have been looking for. If your offer to this school was taken off the table, or if you were no longer able to pursue your sport at this school, would you be happy there? Do they have a major or field of study that you are interested in? Have you been to the school in which you are awaiting an offer? If so, how was it? Considering the size, location, and general atmosphere of the university campus, how do you feel about it? Have you had the opportunity to meet the team or coach? Did you get a chance to meet them?

You should be aware of what kind of offer you have received. The fact that a verbal commitment has been made does not necessarily mean the deal has been closed. The verbal offers (and commitments) you receive from coaches are more like informal agreements that can be backed out by either party at any time, so be mindful of this before you make an offer (or a commitment). In order for your offer to become official, you need to sign your National Letter of Intent, get accepted to the college, and file your financial aid paperwork with them once you have officially signed your National Letter of Intent.


Financial aid can be maximized with offers from other schools


In order to negotiate your athletic scholarship offer, you will need to have legitimate offers from other schools in order to have the greatest leverage possible. It is for this reason that it is important to have a large group of schools in mind and to continue corresponding with coaches at those schools as you continue your recruitment process, rather than narrowing down your list to only one school at the very beginning of the process. If you wish to negotiate an athletic scholarship offer with your dream school, at this stage in your recruitment process, you should have at least five schools expressing serious interest in you as a recruit.


In the event a school is competing with another school for a recruit, they are more likely to increase their offer to entice the recruit. The rivalry between colleges runs deep, and this can be helpful in recruiting, as long as both colleges have a genuine interest in you. It is even more likely that a school will increase your financial aid package if they believe that they are about to lose you to a rival institution.

In schools that are classified as Division III, where athletic scholarships are not permitted, you can still find some form of financial aid that can make the package you’re offered competitive with what you’re getting from the rival school in terms of compensation and benefits. Don’t just engage with one school because they are offering you a better offer than the one you want with the school you would like to attend. If you are receiving offers from schools, you should make sure that they are all institutions that you are truly interested in attending.

Also read: How do you tell a coach you want to commit

Also read: when can a college coach offer a scholarship

After receiving the initial offer, you will have some time to contact other coaches


As a matter of fact, it’s more than likely that you won’t receive all of your offers at once, which can make negotiating your athletic scholarship offer difficult, especially when you’re trying to get the best deal possible. Make sure you thank a coach when he or she makes an offer, and that you let them know you are interested in their program when you accept the offer. As long as you state that you need time to think over the issue and ask the coach when they need your response, you are perfectly acceptable to say to them that you need some time to do so. Normally, when you apply to a school, the coach will give you only a week or two, during which time you should contact your other top choices.


Give the coaches of the other colleges a call to find out how you are doing on their list of recruits, so that you can discuss where you stand. You should let them know if you have been offered a position at a different school and in what time frame you have to respond to that coach. If you are interested in a particular program, it is important for you to inform the coach of your interest and to find out where you are on their list of recruits when you contact them. You run the risk of turning off the coach entirely if you enter the conversation asking for scholarship money at the beginning of the conversation. Normally one of the coaches will need to figure out if they have any money to offer you and if so, how much before contacting you and answering your questions.


Getting a better scholarship is something that shouldn’t be done after you’ve received an offer from a school, so don’t start contacting schools once you’ve received an offer. In both areas of this equation, coaches are aware that recruits tend to try and get additional offers at the last moment, and it is possible for them to rescind their original offer as a result of this practice. It is never a good idea to call a coach and say something like, “Hey, I just received an offer from X school. What should I do?”. “Would you be interested in recruiting me for your school??? “You never know who the coaches are at the schools you’re interested in that may have connections to the schools you’re considering. As a result, you should avoid burning bridges in the recruitment process since it can have repercussions in the future.


You should make use of recruiting media sites as well as Twitter in order to advertise your offer, if you do wish to do so. It is often wise to do so. You may be noticed by coaches on Twitter, on or on 247Sports and will become more interested in you as a recruit if they see your announcement on these sites.

Consider your contribution when negotiating an athletic scholarship


After you have reviewed all your offers, it is time to do some calculations once you have had a chance to review them all. You might think that some schools that you are interested in will be more willing to give you a larger sum of money, but if the tuition at the school you choose is double the price of the other schools you are considering, then you still have to pay more money at the end of the day. It is always a good idea to calculate your family’s expected contribution after you have considered all the scholarship money you are awarded when negotiating your athletic scholarship offer. Generally, scholarships are designed in such a way that it is obvious to your family up front what contribution they can expect from you in terms of the scholarship package.


There are a number of other costs to consider, in addition to tuition, such as the cost of books, room and board, and even additional fees that might be applicable to specific schools. The coaches can provide you with an idea of the kind of costs that you can expect to pay, or you can inquire with the school’s financial aid office about what you can expect to pay. The next step is to calculate the amount you are expected to pay at each school and then negotiate your athletic scholarship offer with your top schools to see if they are able to match your best offer.


It will take a lot of back-and-forth interaction with college coaches for you to be successful in negotiating your athletic scholarship offer. As a result, it would be wise not to get lazy at this point in time! Keep a professional demeanor whenever interacting with coaches, and make sure to comply with their requests in a timely manner. In order to get your top athletic scholarship offer, you will need to negotiate your offer delicately, with patience and honesty. However, if you do this, you will be in the most advantageous position possible.


What is the easiest athletic scholarship to get?

Lacrosse. There is no sport in which you can get an athletic scholarship that is as easy as this one. Since the game of lacrosse is mainly played in the United States, it does not have much competition on an international level. The data indicates that approximately 110,000 students played lacrosse at the high school level and over 14,000 played lacrosse at the college level.

What division gives the most athletic scholarships?

Division I – D-I

Colleges and universities in Division I – D-I have some of the most competitive athletic programs and award many scholarships to students. Majority of the NCAA’s funding goes to colleges and universities that are classified as D-I, a group of 346 colleges. 106,536 student-athletes, enrolled at D-I schools, received some sort of financial aid of some kind, according to statistics from the NCAA.

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