Can You Play College Soccer Without a Scholarship?

College soccer is played by teams made up of soccer players enrolled in academic institutions. It is most common in the United States, although it is also prominent in Canada and other European countries.

Although the student-athletes are largely amateurs and are not paid, the colleges often hire full-time professional coaches and personnel.

College soccer is a popular sport in the United States and a competitive sport that can be expensive to play. However, regular people can’t afford to pay full tuition for college soccer tuition, so they play on scholarships.

Nevertheless, most people do not know if college soccer can be played without a scholarship. In this article, we’ll discuss whether college soccer can be played without a scholarship and other means of financing yourself aside from a scholarship.

Can You Play College Soccer Without a Scholarship?

Can You Play College Soccer Without a Scholarship?

Yes, soccer is a big department in many universities and colleges around the world. You can play soccer for a college without a scholarship.

However, you have to be prepared to finance the tuition fees one way or the other. Scholarships are just a way to pay for college, there are other ways to pay tuition fees.

Soccer is a major sport played in every corner of the world. Originally, scholarships were only awarded to bright and intelligent students. However, sports athletes are given the same privilege as bookworms.

How To Play College Soccer Without A Scholarship?

The scholarship is just a way out of numerous ways to pay for soccer college tuition fees. Many students played for college without a scholarship. Not having a scholarship shouldn’t stop you from playing soccer.

Here are ways to play college soccer without a scholarship;

Talk To The Coach

Coaches always want a talented player included in their team. You can be in another department and still play college soccer. All you have to do is speak with the coach, and they might give you a spot as a walk-on player.

Consider Attending A Smaller School

You can consider attending a smaller college. These types of schools are usually not in the top division, they are usually in the third division.

Schools like these give students a higher percentage of getting a scholarship, and if you’re good enough, there’s a strong probability of you playing for the college team.

Play Club Soccer

If you don’t have a scholarship and you don’t have the means of financing yourself. You can opt to play club soccer, there are lots of grassroots clubs that you can play for.

Most of the time, coaches of college soccer will go to these clubs and recruit players from them. If you’re good enough, the coach might speak to the school board to offer you a scholarship to join their team.

Keep Your Grades Up

The reason why most prolific players are denied scholarships is that they have terrible grades.

If you have a good grade, you might get an academic scholarship instead of a soccer scholarship.

Be Prepared To Finance Yourself

If you want to play soccer for college and do not have a scholarship, be prepared to pay for yourself or find someone capable of paying for your tuition.

How To Get Scholarships For College Soccer

Going to college without a scholarship can be expensive. To be honest, not many people can afford to rack up the required amount needed for college tuition.

However, there are different ways to qualify for a college soccer scholarship. The most important thing is that you have to be a talented player, and you also have to be consistent with your playing abilities.

Here are ways to get scholarships for college soccer:

Reach Out To College Coaches

You can reach out to college coaches, display your talent in front of them, and let them know your intentions to play for their school.

If you impress the coach, he might speak with the school’s admission board, and they may offer you a scholarship to play for their team. Even if you don’t get a full scholarship, you might get a partial one.

Showcase Your Skills At Soccer Camp

There are soccer camps where you can showcase your skills. Most of the time, there are usually scouts from different colleges looking for brilliant players to recruit to join their team.

If you’re lucky to be seen by any scout, they might recommend you to coaches.

Contact Schools

Another way of getting a soccer scholarship is by contacting the schools directly and inquiring if their soccer program is still available and if you’re eligible for it.

You can also send all your details and videos of you playing to their inbox, and know if you’re eligible for their scholarship.

Check Out Private Organizations

There are many private institutions that offer scholarships for students who are talented but do not have the financial means to pay for tuition. They are usually called foundations.

However, they are usually competitive, but they are worth looking into.


How To Finance Your College Soccer Without Having A Scholarship?

Even though getting a scholarship will ease the burden of paying tuition, getting a soccer scholarship these days is very hard, and schools only offer their scholarships to the best of the best.

Students who want to play soccer at college, but have scholarships, will have to look for an alternative means of paying tuition.

Here are ways to finance your college tuition without a scholarship:

Governments usually offer grants to students who are otherwise incapable of paying their fees.

There are also private organizations that provide grants for athletes.

However, there is a contract involved. It could be that you’d have to play for their team after your college education or other stuff.


This is the most common alternative after not getting a scholarship. Lots of student loans are available to help students through college.

However, make sure you research their interest rates before taking them, and also make sure you don’t take out loans more than the ones you can afford to pay back as soon as possible.

Work-Study Programme

Many colleges in Europe and America offer work-study programs. These programs allow students to do part-time work while still being full-time students.

Work-study programs help students make money while studying to pay for their tuition fees. Make sure the work-study program you choose doesn’t affect your training schedule.

Personal Savings

It’s always good to have money saved up for emergencies or planned expenses. If you have prior savings, you can use them to pay the college tuition fees.

Parents Or Guidance

Your parents or guide can also pay for your college soccer fees, as long as they have the financial means to do so.

Is There A Required Grade For Getting a Soccer Scholarship?

Yes, there is a required grade before an athlete can be eligible for a scholarship. However, the needed grade varies from school to school.

A general rule of thumb is that students hoping to play for college should aim to have at least a GPA of 3.0, while students looking to play for a Division One soccer college team should have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Having a high grade as an athlete will increase your chances of being eligible for a scholarship.

Do European Colleges Offer Soccer Scholarships?

Yes, European colleges offer scholarships for playing soccer, as long as you meet their requirements and are talented in the sport.

However, most European soccer scholarships sometimes do not cover living expenses, and if you’re a foreign student, you’d have to pay for the visa and plane ticket by yourself.

Is College Soccer The Same As Football Academy In Europe?

No, both of them differ. Even though, both require playing soccer at a competitive level. College soccer is usually in the United States, and they are usually offered by universities and colleges.

They also require a specific educational background.

Football academies are usually created by football clubs, and they are professional training programs that aim to develop players that can be integrated into their clubs or sold to another soccer club.

Do College Soccer Players Get Paid?

No, college soccer players do not get paid. They can only receive scholarships that cover tuition and other expenses. The school, however, covers everything they’ll need to play soccer.

In case of an injury, the school will also cover their treatment.

Is College Soccer The Same As High School Soccer?

No, college soccer is more technical and competitive than high school soccer. Anyone can play soccer in high school, but you have to be strong physically to play college soccer.

College soccer also offers opportunities to play at a professional level than high school soccer.

Do Colleges Make Money From Soccer College?

Yes, colleges make money from soccer. They make money in different ways, such as ticket sales, jerseys sales, and sponsorship deals. Some college soccer teams also make money from selling television rights.

This money is then used to provide for the teams and athletes.

Is It Compulsory To Have A Scholarship To College Soccer?

No, a scholarship is not compulsory, as long as you have other alternatives to finance yourself in college.

How Much Is A Soccer Scholarship In The United States?

A soccer scholarship in the United States could be as high as $60,000 per year. If you are good enough, you can get your tuition covered for 4 years.

How Much Is A Soccer Scholarship In The United States?

A scholarship in the United States could be as high as $60,000 per year.

A bachelor’s degree takes up to 4 years, and if you’re good enough, you can get the institution to cover four years of your tuition fees, which are about $240,000.


Colleges That Offer Scholarships For Soccer In The United States

Many colleges in the United States offer scholarships for soccer. Some of these colleges include:

Stanford University

Stanford University is at the forefront of producing academic and athletic talents. Their soccer scholarship program covers tuition, orientation, health, personal expenses, travel, and many more.

The school makes it easy for students who are athletically inclined to thrive.

University of California, Los Angeles

This college also provides soccer scholarships. They offer scholarships to over 280 athletic students annually, soccer included.

Michigan State University

This school offers both full and partial scholarships. The full scholarship covers tuition, other fees, textbooks, and room and board. On the other hand, the partial scholarship covers only a portion of the full scholarship.

University of Washington

The University of Washington also offers soccer scholarships to students who perform exceptionally well at trials.

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland also offers soccer scholarships to students.

Number Of Men’s Soccer Scholarships By Division

In 2017, approximately 1,410 colleges sponsored men’s soccer teams. Here’s how the numbers shake out for the major division levels:

Division Level Number of Schools Max Scholarships per School Average Roster Size
D1 205 9.9 29
D2 214 9 31
D3 415 N/A 29
NAIA 188 12 30
JUCO 217 18 19




Contrary to many opinions, you can play college soccer even if you do not have a scholarship. However, you need to have other means of financing yourself through college.

There are also different ways to finance yourself without relying on scholarships. You could use your savings, get a grant, or take out a loan to finance yourself through college.

Ultimately, look for a college that offers what will suit you and benefit you in the long run.







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