Many parents, especially those who are new to the world of college sports at the scholarship level, are under the misconception that receiving a scholarship for any sport at the NCAA D1 level means receiving a full scholarship. That is not accurate and it tends to be a real eye-opener, particularly to parents of baseball, hockey and lacrosse players.
Scholarship money is driven by revenue, and football and basketball are the only sports with TV contracts and attendance significant enough that they are considered to be revenue producing. Consequently, in men’s sports football and basketball are, by NCAA rule, the only ones that can offer full scholarships to each member of the team. For women, it’s a little different because they don’t play football. Like the men, they offer full scholarships for basketball (in fact, they get two more than men, 15 vs 13). Title IX requires schools to compensate for football scholarships by offering women more scholarships in a variety of other sports, including some not offered to men. This can result in certain entire women’s teams having full scholarships.