Track Scholarship Info updated 2-3-97

note Div. 1 Woman now get 18 scholarships instead of 16 a nice scholarship link -

This is an attempt to explain X-country and Track scholarships
in College.  The information has been gathered by many people
from the t-and-f e-mail news list. Specific questions about
certain colleges could be directed there.  Caveat - this is my
current opinion of the situation (I could be wrong).

  Many division I and II schools give XC and Track athletic scholarships.
By NCAA rules this is limited to 12.6(men),18(women). That is 12.6 full
scholarships. Many schools break this up into part time (1/2 1/4 etc)
scholarships. So on the average a school can only give 3 or 4 scholarhips
to incoming freshman. As a comparison Football at Division I schools
gives 66 ?? scholarships. The discrepancy between men and women is because
of the Title IX rules. X-country and track are considered one sport
(this might have just changed) , hence coaches like to give out
distance scholarships more than field and sprints.(they get more
for their money - 3 sports) A typical mix might be 8 distance and
 4 field & sprints.

 Some Div I and II schools don't give out any
scholarships. For example the Ivy league gives out only "need based" financial
aid.  Division III gives out no athletic scholarships. 
It seems that many schools
give out scholarships to only upper class performers who have "proved"
themselves worthy. The coach determines who gets scholarships and it
seems that coaches "don't like talking much about the subject".

Coaches can also influence admissions decisions. Exactly how much seems
to vary with schools and is very difficult to find out. Some "submit" a
priority list to the "Admissions" office. Sometimes they can add 100/150
points to SAT scores. This influence is seen in Div I,II and III.
In schools where "need based" financial aid is given, there are rumors
that some coaches could cause their selected athletes to "need" more
than other students.(only rumors and this phenomena is rumored more in
the major sports other than XC/Track)

In Division III there are few exceptions for "special type" scholarships,
awarded to students with sufficiently high grade point averages
or test scores. These are awarded independently of athletics.
These "specialized" scholarships could be according to some
defined criteria and usually do not exceed a few thousand dollars
and there is no obligation to participate on a team.

I'm not sure but I think Divsion II schools have the same limit
of 12.6 and 16 scholarships but many don't use the full allotment.

The bottom line is that it is difficult to get XC/track scholarships
and it helps to have good grades and test scores.

If anybody has additional information or corrections to this
please email to and I will include it or update
this web page.