Baseball has always been in the top three of America’s favorite sports, the other two being football and basketball. Most baseball fans know the greatest players, from Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Joe DiMaggio to Alex Rodriguez, and stick to their teams through strikes and storms. Indeed, baseball is America’s national pastime!
But why is it that college baseball isn’t as popular as college football and basketball? Think about it: Both football and basketball have their designated seasons – bowl season and March Madness, respectively – but baseball just doesn’t seem to get the glory it deserves! Many reasons have been made to explain the aberration, from aluminum bats and smaller stadiums to less media coverage.
Fortunately, there’s good news on the horizon! The increasing popularity of professional baseball will likely bring with it a more positive perception of college baseball. Indeed, many of the greatest baseball players came from college baseball, and it’s a trend that will continue for as long as the best college players go on to the MLB.
The bottom line: You should consider pursuing your dream of playing top-level college baseball! While college is a fairly expensive endeavor, you can ease the financial burden by winning a baseball scholarship.
Of course, getting a 100% free ride on a baseball scholarship for four years is rare. But even a partial athletic scholarship combined with academic scholarship, financial aid, and grants, if permitted, will result in significant reductions in your cost of attendance.
The rarity of a 100% free ride on a baseball scholarship is because baseball is considered an equivalency sport. This means that a baseball coach must divide 11.7 scholarships, the number of scholarships under NCAA guidelines for Division I schools, among the players in his team. As such, a baseball player will likely receive a partial scholarship and make up for the difference in other ways.
Most baseball coaches also avoid giving a few players full scholarships, even when they are the top picks. Giving partial scholarships to as many players as possible will attract more top talents to the team.
If you’re a parent, you should consider finding other means to make up for the difference between the partial scholarship and the total cost of attendance plus living expenses. This tip is also applicable to high school baseball players eyeing an athletic scholarship at their preferred colleges and universities.
Note: For softball, the equivalent of baseball in NCAA-approved women’s sports, the number of scholarships allowed is 12. The following 15 best colleges for baseball only cover the men’s sports, not women’s sports.
There are also differences in the number of scholarships that schools can give their student-athletes, as implied above. For Division I schools, there’s an allotted 11.7 full-ride scholarships that can be distributed up to 30 players. Take note that the number of scholarships isn’t per year but the team (i.e., for all players).
For Division II schools, the NCAA allows nine full-tuition scholarships for every team. Coaches in Division II schools are more likely to award partial scholarships than their Division I counterparts, mainly because there’s fewer to distribute.
But for Division III schools, their coaches and athletic directors aren’t allowed to offer baseball scholarships for recruiting purposes. But players are encouraged to apply for academic scholarships and financial aid – and in some schools, general athletic grants – to lessen their attendance costs.
Check out the 15 Best Colleges for Baseball Scholarships using these page jumps:
- Vanderbilt University
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of California – San Diego
- University of California – Los Angeles
- University of Florida
- Texas Tech University
- Bentley University
- Grand Valley State University
- Truman State University
- Point Loma Nazarene University
- University of Texas at Austin
- Texas Christian University
- University of Miami
- University of Virginia
- University of Michigan
The Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team reigns as the NCAA Division I national champion and says something about its excellent play. Indeed, Vanderbilt University has undoubtedly the best college program in the country!
Furthermore, Vanderbilt University offers athletic scholarships for its baseball players. The head coach typically has the discretion of scholarship distribution but with NCAA guidelines in mind.
Student-athletes can also apply for merit scholarships offered by the private research university. However, these merit scholarships are open only to the top 1% of the freshmen applicants, and these are competitive due to their limited number. These are renewable for four years of undergraduate and financial needs aren’t considered unless otherwise specified.
Vandy offers three signature scholarships:
- The Ingram Scholarship Program
- The Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship Program
- The Chancellor’s Scholarship Program
All three programs provide full tuition support for an academic year and a one-time summer stipend for a summer service project, either after the sophomore or junior year. Scholars with demonstrated financial need in excess of full tuition may also be provided with additional financial aid by the university. But there are different eligibility requirements for each scholarship.
Take note that there are only about 250 recipients of these three scholarships every year and, thus, it’s an extremely selective process.
For clarifications about athletic and academic scholarships, be sure to complete the contact form or call the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at (615) 322.3591. Office hours are 9:00 am – 4:00 pm CST, Monday – Friday. No walk-in applicants will be entertained since the office is temporarily closed at this time due to the pandemic.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The North Carolina Tar Heels baseball team competes in NCAA Division I baseball and in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). They have eight ACC championships and have made 11 College World Series appearances, and it’s one reason high school baseball players are attracted to its program.
UNC offers athletic scholarships to its baseball players, but most of them are only on partial scholarships. Every student-athlete typically has his unique scholarship agreement outlining what’s being offered. The scholarship agreement can also be multi-year or single-year contracts with an annual renewal option. For example, Player A may have part of his tuition and fees covered while Player B may have part of his room and board covered.
These athletic scholarships may not necessarily be provided only to active players. Student-athletes who have suffered career-ending injuries and those who are still pursuing their degree but their athletic eligibility has expired may still be under scholarship.
UNC has a unique program called “Complete Carolina,” which the Department of Athletics manages. The program provides financial support to former student-athletes who left UNC in good standing before earning their degree, usually because they chose to pursue professional sports careers.
The financial support is proportional to the athletics scholarship that the student-athlete received during his initial enrollment. This can include tuition and fees, room and board, and textbooks.
At UNC, a full-ride scholarship costs about $25,400/year for an in-state student and $52,400 for an out-of-state student.
For more information about athletic scholarships and financial aid, email UNC at email@example.com or call them at 919-962-8396.
University of California – San Diego
Did you know that 82 UCSD Tritons have been recognized with Academic All-America honors while 37 have been awarded NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships? Such academic excellence combined with athletics superiority makes the Tritons baseball team among the best in the NCAA Division II!
More important, UCSD offers its student-athletes generous scholarship opportunities that will cover their tuition and other educational costs. Keep in mind that these scholarships are merit-based athletic grants, so applicants must meet stringent academic and athletic requirements. These scholarships are designed to attract promising baseball players to UCSD and make their education more affordable to student-athletes from diverse backgrounds.
The most notable scholarships aside from the athletic scholarships include:
- Regents Scholarship ($8,000 honorarium)
- Ellen and Roger Revelle Scholarship ($10,000)
- James Avery Scholarship ($4,000)
- Black Alumni Scholarship ($4,000)
- Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship ($40,000)
All of these scholarships have their total award amount spread out over four years.
The scholarship application process is relatively easy, too, but be mindful of the deadlines. Be sure to file your application for admissions and scholarships on or before November 30. You may also need to file your FAFSA or a California Dream Application by March 2; you cannot file for both types of aid. You may also be required to file additional documents on or before May 1
UCSD will then consider your application and provide notification by March 30. You can check your application status at UCSD’s Application Portal.
University of California – Los Angeles
Athletic scholarships awarded by UCLA are strictly based on academic and athletic ability – not on demonstrated financial need. These are also funded by UCLA Athletics ticket sales, private donations, media contracts, and corporate partnerships – not by state funds.
The university awards about 285 full athletic scholarships to its best student-athletes in various varsity sports every year, including baseball. These scholarships cover tuition and fees, as well as room and board. Their recipients have to meet the stringent scholarship requirements and be registered at the NCAA Eligibility Center.
If you’re interested in becoming a UCLA student-athlete, you can contact the baseball coach through email or phone, or you can ask your high school coach to do so on your behalf. You may also submit a recruiting questionnaire.
Student-athletes may also be allowed to apply for other internal (UCLA-managed) and external (third party) scholarships. The notable internal scholarships include:
- Regents Scholarships ($2,000 honorarium plus additional aid to cover the difference between the honorarium and demonstrated financial aid)
- UCLA Alumni Scholarships (Freshman gets $6,000 to $20,000 total over four years while transferees get $6,000 total over two years)
- UCLA Achievement Scholarships ($500 to $10,000 per year for up to four years)
- Chancellor’s Blue and Gold Scholarship ($1,000 to $5,000 per year for up to four years for newcomers and up to two years for transferees)
Contact Shana Wilson, the Bruins Sr. Associate Athletic Director for Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 310-206-7870 for more information.
University of Florida
The Florida Gators baseball team players are usually offered athletic scholarships to recognize their contribution to the university’s vibrant athletics record. The team has won 15 SEC championships, won its first national championship in 2017, and appeared in a dozen College World Series tournaments.
For high school students interested in becoming a Gator, contact the baseball coach at U.F. You can also write the University Athletic Association, P. O. Box 14485, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32604-2485 or call (352) 375-4683. You may be asked to submit documentation and videos of your games.
Gator student-athletes may also be allowed to apply for merit-based and need-based scholarships, including:
- Presidential Scholarship ($5,000 per year)
- Presidential Gold Scholarship ($8,000 per year)
- Presidential Platinum Scholarship ($10,000 per year)
These are merit-based scholarships available for in-state students. The awards are renewable for up to four years, too. There’s no separate application since all students who apply on or before November 1 are automatically considered.
Out-of-state students can apply for these scholarships:
- Alumni Scholarship (Up to $8,000 per year)
- Sunshine Scholarship (Up to $16,000 per year)
- Gator Nation Scholarship (Up to 20,000 per year)
These are also renewable scholarships for up to four years, and there’s no separate application required.
Other notable scholarship programs at U.F. are the National Merit Finalists/Benacquisto Scholarship, the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars (full scholarship package with comprehensive support), and Lombardi and Stamps Scholarships.
You can also use U.F.’s online search engine to search for more scholarship opportunities.
Texas Tech University
The Texas Tech Raiders are proud of themselves for a good reason! While they have yet to win a College World Series Championship, they have two conference tournament championships and five conference championships. Tim Tadlock, their current head coach, has made the Red Raider program among the premier programs in the NCAA and the USA.
And Texas Tech can now offer more baseball scholarships, thanks to the new NCAA Division I rules for college baseball teams. The team now has the prerogative to grant scholarships to five more players than in the previous years. Plus, any 2016-2020 seniors who will return to finish their senior season on the team will not be counted as part of this number.
The bottom line: The Red Raiders can grant up to 34 baseball scholarships for the next season. This is an opportunity for incoming newcomers and transfer students as well as current students.
But emphasis must also be made that very few baseball players, if any, have a full athletic scholarship. Most players only receive a 25% scholarship due to NCAA rules.
Nonetheless, student-athletes can apply for merit-based scholarships to bridge the gap between their grants-in-aid and their cost of attendance. The baseball-specific programs include:
- The R.J. Latham Family Scholarship program welcomes former student-athletes whose athletic scholarship and eligibility have expired.
- The Kal Segrist Scholarship Fund is open to baseball letter winners who have exhausted their athletic eligibility but are still pursuing their degrees.
Texas Tech also offers several test-optional, general, and presidential merit scholarships.
For more information, contact Forrest Kirsch at Fkirsch@ttu.edu or call him at 806-834-7161.
The Bentley Falcons have the highest graduation rate among student-athletes in the U.S. at 99% (NCAA Division II Academic Success Rate). And what’s even more amazing is that this is the third straight year that Falcons have occupied the top spot! This is just one of the reasons for the popularity of athletic scholarships at Bentley University.
Prospective student-athletes can send their inquiries about Bentley’s athletic scholarships to the Athletic Department or completing the recruiting questionnaire. First-year students and transfer students can also course their questions to the Undergraduate Admission office.
Bentley offers a wide range of academic scholarships to first-year students based on their academic record. All admitted freshmen, including aspiring student-athletes, are automatically considered for many of these academic scholarships – there’s no separate application process. Eligible students are notified at the admission time to prepare and submit additional documentation on or before the deadline.
But there are scholarship programs with a different application process. The Women’s Leadership Award is one of these programs, and it’s open to newcomers with strong leadership potential. The recipients will receive $10,000 per year for four years and participate in a leadership program.
Bentley also offers micro-scholarships through its RaiseMe partnership. Transfer student-athletes can also vie for the limited number of academic scholarships, which have awards ranging from $15,000 to $20,000 per academic year.
More information can be secured by sending an email to email@example.com or calling 781.891.3441 or 877.362.2216.
Grand Valley State University
The GVSU Lakers baseball team has experienced moderate success with frequent appearances in NCAA Division II tournaments. But its great athletic scholarship program continues to attract many top student-athletes.
Athletic scholarships are available to students who participate in varsity sports, including baseball. Most baseball players have partial scholarships, too, for reasons mentioned above.
GVSU also has several merit-based awards open for incoming newcomers and transfer students who are first-timers at the university. Take note that most of these scholarships have high academic requirements, usually in high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Many are awarded based on the information provided on the admission application.
The university’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships sends out the scholarship notices in mid-January. Final decisions, such as the list of scholars and the type of scholarships they were chosen for, are made by July 31. Students are well-advised to file for FAFSA to maximize their financial aid.
The notable scholarships at GVSU include:
- Presidential Scholarship ($4,000 to $7,000 per year for up to four years; up to $2,000 extra for National Merit Finalists)
- Faculty Scholarship ($1,000 to $3,000 per year for up to four years; up to $2,000 extra for National Merit Finalists)
- Award for Excellence Scholarship ($5,000 per year plus the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition or about $40,280; $5,000 per year for a non-Michigan resident)
You can search for scholarship opportunities, too, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at (616) 331-3234.
Truman State University
The Truman Bulldogs play in NCAA Division II and compete in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). While the team has yet to win national and conference championships, it’s well-known for its great athletic scholarships.
Truman State University also offers other forms of scholarships aside from baseball scholarships. Student-athletes should look into these opportunities, too, since an athletic scholarship may not meet all their education and living expenses.
Most of these scholarships don’t require additional steps from first-year students, too. The completion of the undergraduate application results in automatic consideration for scholarships and financial aid. Students eligible for the TruMerit scholarships only need to submit their application, official transcripts, and verified standardized test scores.
The automatic scholarships include:
- General John K. Pershing Scholarship (Covers tuition, meal plan, and on-campus room annually and a one-time $4,000 stipend for studies abroad; up to 12 scholars)
- Harry S. Truman Leadership Award ($10,000 per year for tuition, meal plan, and on-campus room assistance)
- Midwest Student Exchange Program (About $3,370 for AY 2020-2021)
- Non-resident Tuition Waiver (Covers portion of out-of-state tuition or $7,975 for AY 2020-2021)
- Bulldog Legacy ($1,000 for in-state students and $2,000 for out-of-state students annually)
The Financial Aid Office is the best resource for more information about scholarships suitable for student-athletes. The head coach should also be consulted on matters related to athletic scholarships. Contact the Financial Aid Office at email@example.com or call them at 660-785-4130.
Point Loma Nazarene University
The PLNU Sea Lions baseball team plays in the NCAA Division II, but it played under NAIA until 2014. Marty Decker and Mike Ekstrom, two of its former players, have made it to the professional league. Many high school players dream of being in the MLB, too, and think of PLNU as their stepping stone.
And rightly so, considering that PLNU has a good athletic scholarship program. The athletic scholarship can be used in paying for the tuition and fees and on-campus room and board.
Students can either complete the application form for prospective student-athletes or call the intercollegiate athletic department (619) 849-2265.
PLNU also offers several scholarship programs that student-athletes can look into. More than half of students receive a merit-based scholarship, and many of them are student-athletes.
For AY 2021-2022, the merit scholarships for newcomers include:
- Bresee Scholarship ($10,000)
- Provost’s Scholarship ($12,000)
- Trustee’s Scholarship ($16,000)
- President’s Scholarship ($20,000)
These scholarships are based on cumulative GPA and ACT/SAT scores.
PLNU also awards merit scholarships for transferees. The amount depends on the GPA – transferees with 3.6 or higher GPA receive $8,000 while transferees with 3.3 to 3.59 GPA receive $6,000 per year. Transferable credits apply.
University of Texas at Austin
The Texas Longhorns are champions through their six NCAA national championships, 35 appearances in the College World Series, and the most individual CWS games won. Many of its members have also become MLB players, such as Drew Stubbs, Roger Clemens, and Burt Hooton.
No wonder UT-Austin is sought after by top high school baseball players, not to mention that it takes good care of its student-athletes. What’s more amazing is that the university doesn’t use public funds – it secures most of the funds for its scholarship program from ticket sales, private donations, and television rights. The athletic department transfers the funds to the academic section to cover the athletic scholarships.
For questions about athletic scholarships, feel free to email Texas One Stop at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at (512) 232-6988. You can also visit them on the Tower’s ground floor but be sure to make an appointment first.
The Division of Athletic Training and Sports Medicine also grants three students scholarships through the ATP PRIDE Award, the ATS of the Year, and the Most Improved ATS of the Year. None of these programs have a guaranteed amount and annual renewal.
Other scholarships include the Tina Bonci Excellence in Athletic Training Scholarship, the LATSA Inspiration Award, and the University Leadership Network (ULN) Scholarship. The ULN Scholarship is exceptional because of the number of students who can avail of it and the amount of incentive involved – up 500 students and up to $20,000 over four years, respectively.
Yet another notable scholarship is the Texas Advance Commitment Award, which will cover 100% of the tuition costs for students of families with AGI up to $65,000.
Texas Christian University
Emphasis must be made that TCU-based baseball players and their parents still have to shell out at least $45,000 per year, even with a partial scholarship. The cost of attendance is $60,000 per year and above, and an athletic scholarship will cover only about 25% of it. Most Division I baseball players are on partial scholarships only, not the desired full-ride scholarships.
But top-notch baseball players still come to TCU for a good reason – it’s among the most successful baseball teams in NCAA history! TCU has made 14 NCAA Baseball Tournament appearances and boasts of 29 All-Americans, two pitchers of the year, and three players of the year awards.
Tip: Submit TCU’s recruit questionnaire and possibly fast-track your college baseball career by getting on the radar of baseball coaches. Videotapes of your games, copies of statistics and articles, and other helpful materials may also be sent to the baseball department.
The baseball head coach makes a list of the student-athletes who he thinks deserves an athletic scholarship. Every student is evaluated based on his athletic and academic merits. The coach then carefully considers the official transcripts, recommendation letters, study of gameplays, and every applicant’s sports records.
You can mail these documents and videos to the head coach at TCU Box 297600, Fort Worth, Texas 76129.
Student-athletes who aren’t considered for athletic scholarships may also look into academic scholarships, including:
- Chancellor’s Scholarship (Full coverage of tuition and fees)
- Deans Scholarship ($21,000 per year)
- Faculty Scholarship ($18,000 per year)
Contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Financial Aid at email@example.com or call 817-257-7258 for more information.
University of Miami
The Miami Hurricanes baseball team is considered among the elite teams because of its impressive record. It has won four national championships and 29 NCAA Regional Titles and made 25 College World Series appearances.
These successes can be partly attributed to the University of Miami’s generous athletic scholarship program. The university even has a dedicated office for student-athletes, The Office of Student-Athlete Development, which ensures its players’ personal and professional development.
Students interested in becoming part of the Miami Hurricanes should contact the baseball head coach, Gino DiMare, at 305-284-4171. You can also visit the Hurricane Athletics website for more information.
The university also offers several academic scholarships for which student-athletes may be eligible. These include:
- The Stamps Scholarship covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, meal plan, on-campus housing, textbooks, university health insurance, and laptop allowance for four years. An additional $12,000 enrichment fund can be used for international studies, unpaid internships, and undergraduate research.
- The Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholarship covers the full cost of tuition for four years.
Other scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition for an undergraduate degree up to four years include the Ronald A. Hammond Scholarship, the Marta S. and L. Austin Weeks Endowed Scholarship, and the George W. Jenkins Scholarship.
University of Virginia
The Virginia Cavaliers baseball team is the 2015 College World Series champion. The Virginia Athletics Foundation establishes and promotes an annual fund that covers the team members’ athletic scholarships.
Student-athletes are strongly encouraged to apply for FAFSA, a requirement for many scholarship opportunities. The university’s Student Financial Services offer several endowed need-based scholarships, also, which student-athletes may well qualify for. There are dozens of scholarship programs, too, and patience is necessary to get to the bottom of the best ones.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the scholarships you’re interested in. You will be provided with further instructions.
University of Michigan
The Michigan Wolverines baseball team has won two national championships and made eight College World Series appearances. Its athletic scholarship partly relies on a privately-funded scholarship fund, which requires $25 million each year for tuition payments. The Michigan Athletics Endowed Scholarship Program provides educational assistance on many levels, including aid for tuition, fees, books, and full scholarships.
The most popular scholarship programs for baseball players are:
- Jim Campbell Baseball Scholarship
- William B. Giles Scholarship for Baseball
- Marlin H. Pemberton Baseball Scholarship
- Samuel L. Westerman Foundation Scholarship for Baseball
- Moby Benedict Scholarship for Baseball
- Buzz Newton Scholarship for Baseball
- Foussianes Family Scholarship for Baseball
- Don Lund/Ray Fisher Scholarship for Baseball
- Walter S. Harms Baseball Scholarship
- Ray Fisher Scholarship for Baseball
Write to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at email@example.com or call them at 313-593-5300 for more information about these baseball-specific scholarships.
College baseball players can have a shot at a successful professional career! It starts with the fullest possible support from their schools regarding scholarships, grants, and aids.