Did you know that women’s college basketball is almost similar to men’s college basketball except for the smaller ball? But the interest in women’s college basketball isn’t small, far from it! More people watched the 2019 NCAA’s Championship Game between Baylor and Notre Dame than the WNBA’s take-all Game Five – 5.5 million viewers and 440,000 viewers, respectively.
Of course, the NCAA can lead to the WNBA, a career highlight for college players, but the media coverage and popularity for the former usually exceeds the latter. No wonder then that many high school basketball players dream of entering an NCAA women’s basketball team!
But it isn’t easy because of the stiff competition. Think about the numbers: Over 400,000 female basketball players in high school, but only 1.2% – or about 4,800 – will compete in Division I, the topmost tier. This is true for Division II and Division III schools, too.
There’s also the matter of athletic scholarships. The gap between the average number of players in the team and the available number of scholarships makes the competition even fiercer! Take a look at this table to understand the dilemma among coaches and athletic directors when deciding on scholarship recipients.
|Division Level||Average Team Size||Scholarship Limit Per Team||Type of Scholarship|
|NCAA Division I||16||15||Headcount|
|NCAA Division II||15||10||Equivalency|
|NCAA Division III||15||0||Not Applicable|
Headcount scholarships are full-ride scholarships, which means every recipient will have his tuition, compulsory fees, room, and board, and required textbooks covered. Depending on the school, a full-ride may also include stipends for personal living expenses, miscellaneous expenses, and travel costs. With headcount scholarships, the head coach and athletic director of an NCAA Division I school can give 15 full-ride scholarships to 15 student-athletes; partial scholarships in any amount or percentage cannot be assigned student-athletes.
Equivalency scholarships can be partial or full-ride scholarships at the head coach’s or the athletic director’s discretion. The women’s basketball program in a Division II school will be allotted a pool of scholarship funds equivalent to 10 full-ride scholarships. The funds can then be distributed to as many student-athletes as the head coach and athletic director. For this reason, student-athletes are more likely to receive partial scholarships, which may or may not be in equal percentages or amounts.
Division III schools aren’t allowed to offer athletic scholarships to student-athletes under current NCAA rules. But they are allowed to offer merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid to their players.
Keep in mind that if you’re planning to attend one of the eight Ivy League schools, you won’t be getting athletic scholarships in any amount or form. This is because of their stand that they are in the business of education, not in sports. But they offer need-based financial aid to their student-athletes. The eight Ivy League schools are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.
In the NAIA, the allowable number of equivalency scholarships is eight. As such, partial scholarships among teams are the norm, not the exception. Take note that Divisions I and II of women’s basketball will be combined in the 2020-2021 academic year.
With that said, here are the best schools for women’s basketball scholarships. We must point out that all of these schools play in NCAA Division I mainly because of their more favorable headcount scholarship programs. We also think that these are the schools with the best basketball programs – the first seven schools, for example, are winningest teams in the NCAA’s women’s basketball history with at least two national championships.
Check-out these page jumps and explore the 15 Best Colleges for Women’s Basketball Scholarships in 2020-2021, and dribble your way to a tuition-free college!
- University of Connecticut
- University of Tennessee – Knoxville
- Baylor University
- Louisiana Tech University
- University of Notre Dame
- Stanford University
- University of Southern California
- Duke University
- University of Louisville
- James Madison University
- Texas A&M University
- Auburn University
- Purdue University
- Ohio State University
- University of Oklahoma
The UConn Huskies have won 11 NCAA Division I National Championships, the most successful women’s basketball program! Four of these national championships were won four in a row (2013-2016), not to mention their more than 50 regular conference and tournament championships. Such glorious performance is likely among the reasons for the program escaping the boot – Uconn is set to cut four sports and reduce funding for scholarships in other sports due to financial issues.
The bottom line: If you are a cut above the rest, you can be part of UConn’s glory! The Division of Athletics provides the necessary support, including scholarships for its student-athletes. The athletic scholarships are complemented by more than 140 endowed scholarships, a combination that attracts the best athletes from across the country.
Examples of endowed scholarships are:
- The Robert T. Crovo Family Scholarship
- The Chris Dailey Endowed Scholarship Fund
- The Herbert And Marcia Dunn Scholarship Fund
- The Baum, Cion And Newberg Families Scholarship
- The Irma K. And Alvin L. Evans Endowed Scholarship Fund
According to this matrix, there seem to be several more scholarship slots available in the women’s basketball program.
If you’re interested, you must complete the Prospective Athlete Form first. Emails and their attachments should not be sent to the Division of Athletics’ administrative unit. Send a letter or email and call here:
University of Connecticut
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
2131 Hillside Road, Unit 3088,Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3088
Phone +1 (860) 486 3137
Email: [email protected]
UConn also has several merit scholarships for first-year students, continuing and transfer students involved in sports. Ask the admissions office about the university’s stacking policy.
The Tennessee Lady Volunteers women’s basketball team has won eight NCAA National Championships, 17 SEC regular-season championships, and 17 SEC tournament championships. If that’s not impressive enough – it has made every single NCAA championship since the 1981-1982 season.
With such a record, there’s fierce competition for the slots and athletic scholarships in the team. Student-athletes should contact the Department of Athletics for more details on grant-in-aid, including eligibility, restrictions, and renewal.
Letters can be addressed to:
Tennessee Athletics, P.O. Box 15016, Knoxville, TN 37901-5016.
You may also contact Kellie Harper, the head coach since 2019, at [email protected] or Lacey Goldwire, the Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator [email protected].
UTK has a Partners in Sports Scholarships program for its student-athletes. Undergraduate applicants are eligible under the following conditions:
- Current students in good academic standing
- Completed 30 hours of undergraduate coursework
- Current and active members of Partners in Sports
- Enrolled in the Recreation and Sport Management program
Requirements include complete college transcripts, cover letter, resume, and a letter of reference, which should be in PDF file when sent to [email protected].
First-year students can also apply for merit scholarships, most of which are automatic scholarships (i.e., no separate application necessary). However, some scholarships require a valid FAFSA application.
- Volunteer Scholarship (up to $8,000/year renewable for four years)
- Tri-Star Scholarship Program (Covers tuition and mandatory fees when combined with institutional, state, and federal aid)
- Provost Scholarship ($2,000/year and can be combined with other scholarships)
- Beacon Scholarship (Between $3,000–$8,000/year for in-state students; Between $4,000–$18,000 for out-of-state students)
- Tennessee Explore Scholarship (Between $4,000-$7,500/year depending on ACT/SAT scores and GPA)
- Volunteer Scholarship (Between $10,000-$18,500/year depending on ACT/SAT scores and GPA)
Call 865-974-1111 or send an email to [email protected] for more information.
The Baylor Lady Bears has won three NCAA national championships (2005, 2012, and 2019), and they went undefeated during the 2012 championships. With its solid basketball program, Baylor University attracts the best players, including Brittney Griner, Odyssey Sims, and Chloe Jackson.
The Baylor Athletics Department gives the head coach of the women’s basketball program, Kimberly Duane Mulkey, complete discretion in determining the scholarship recipients. The Director of Athletics then gives his approval.
Send in your letters of inquiry about the headcount scholarships, including eligibility requirements and recruiting process, to Baylor Athletics at:
Baylor Athletics, 1500 South University Parks Drive, Waco, Texas 76706
You may also call 254-710-1234 for more details before submission of the required recruitment documentation.
Athletic scholarships are offered to the best prospects and continuing student-athletes. These grants-in-aid typically cover the tuition and compulsory fees, required textbooks, and room and board. Keep in mind that Baylor University is a private institution with the AY 2020-2021 tuition, fees, and room and board estimated at more than $63,000; the amount excludes books, supplies, and transportation, among other expenses.
Like its Division I counterparts, Baylor University is only allowed to give 15 headcount scholarships to its women’s basketball team. But the university emphasizes that as much as 90% of its student body pay the full tuition “sticker price.”
Students can avail of various scholarships, financial aid, affordable loans, and reasonable payment plans to fund their education. The university has financial aid counselors who provide professional guidance to students and find the best plan for their unique circumstances.
The Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters has won three NCAA national championships and boasts five Olympic medalists, 21 WNBA players, and eight members of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, among other accolades. Becoming part of the team is a dream of thousands of high school players!
If you’re interested in becoming a recruit, you can send in your letter and relevant requirements to:
Brooke Stoehr/ Scott Stoehr
Louisiana Tech Athletics
P.O. Box 3046, Ruston, LA 71272
You may also contact Brooke Stoehr or Scott Stoehr, the co-head coaches, through their email at [email protected] or [email protected], respectively.
You can also call (318) 257-5511 before sending recruitment and scholarship requirements, as needed.
There are also 15 headcount scholarships up for grabs. The co-head coaches identify the scholarship recipients every year and decide on the reduction, cancellation, and renewals.
The scholarships are funded through the Louisiana Tech Athletic Club, the Division of University Advancement’s athletic fundraising arm. The club seeks to provide the university’s 300-plus student-athletes with athletic scholarships and first-class support in academics and athletics.
Student-athletes may also look into merit-based and need-based scholarship opportunities through the university’s General Scholarship Program as well as the college-based programs. The office of Admissions administers the General Scholarship Program, which includes admission scholarships for freshmen students; admission scholarships are typically awarded based on demonstrated ability regardless of need.
The priority deadline is January 5, 2021, for incoming first-year students. The scholarship amount depends on GPA and ACT/SAT scores, and it ranges from $2,000 to $9,500 per academic year.
You can contact the Admissions Office at this address:
Admissions Office, Hale Hall, P.O. Box 3178, Ruston, Louisiana 71272
You may also call 318-257-3036 for more information.
Search for many more scholarship opportunities on this page, too.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish has two NCAA national championships (2001, 2018), and they are known for being feisty on the court. Both championships were won under the tutelage of Muffet McGraw, the team’s former coach, who ended her run in 2020. They also have numerous regular season and conference tournament championships.
Of the Fighting Irish women’s basketball team, most, if not all, have been on a full-ride scholarship, thanks to the headcount policy. The full athletics aid usually cover all the tuition, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation. The coverage is up to the cost of attendance, according to the university’s definition.
But there are also cases when a partial athletics aid will be provided. In full and partial aid, the disbursement manner is direct posting to the respective student-athletes account. The scholarship money is evenly divided each semester and can only be applied to tuition, compulsory fees, room and board charges. Student-athletes will receive refunds in case of excess athletic aid.
Athletic scholarships cannot usually be reduced, not renewed, and canceled due to athletic reasons, including injury and illness that prevent participation in the sports or contribute to the team’s success. But these actions can be done in case of ineligibility for competition, fraudulent misrepresentation, and serious misconduct, among others. Appeals can be made to the Faculty Athletics Representative for cancellation, reduction, and non-renewal.
Athletic scholarships don’t cover the summer term, but summer aid is available and disbursed separately from the regular aid. The IRS may subject athletics scholarships to tax, too.
For more information, you can contact the following persons:
Karen & Kevin Keyes Family Head Coach
Associate Head Coach
[email protected] , Phone: 631-5428
The Stanford Cardinal women’s basketball team has two NCAA national championships (1990, 1992) aside from their Pac-12 regular-season and tournament championships. Their current coach, Tara VanDerveer, has been with the team for 34-plus seasons.
Stanford is known for its full athletic scholarship program that provides financial support for student-athletes. It allows them to complete their bachelor’s degrees in four years. Student-athletes receive the full complement of academic and athletic support that contributes to their first-class university experience.
Note that fifth-year aid requires the approval of the Athletic Director. Summer need-based scholarships for student-athletes are only provided under certain conditions, including graduation at the end of summer or missing out on the same academic year’s standard quarter. Completion of the Summer Application via the Stanford Financial Aid Office is required in this case.
A full athletic scholarship will only cover:
- Compulsory fees like freshman fees, ASSU, telecommunication fees, documentation fees, and house dues
- Required textbooks
- Standard room and board
Athletic scholarships don’t cover all other items not mentioned above. The non-covered items include but aren’t limited to health insurance, P.O. box charges, cable television, class supplies, interim housing charges, fraternity/sorority fees, laboratory fees, and damage charges.
Student-athletes may also receive stipend checks with amounts that reflect a portion of their athletic aid value. Stipend checks are only issued when the scholarship amount exceeds the student account’s charges, such as when you live in an off-campus residence.
For recruitment and scholarships, contact:
The Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball
Email: [email protected]
Send an email to [email protected] or call 650-723-3058 for general scholarship information.
Read this file, too, for more detailed athletic scholarship information.
The Women of Troy has two NCAA national championships (1983, 1984) and their conference regular season and tournament championships. USC’s women’s basketball program is also notable because it’s the first NCAA Division I team to give athletic scholarships to its basketball players.
And the USC continues to uphold its strong tradition of athletic scholarships! Qualified student-athletes can vie for the full athletic scholarships, typically decided on by the head coach and athletic director under NCAA rules. The coverage usually includes tuition, required fees and textbooks, and standard room and board.
The award period is either on the first day of classes within the academic year covered or the first day of practice, whichever happened first. The period of award ends, as stated in the scholarship agreement. The period should not exceed the five years of eligibility, too.
Even a full athletic scholarship can be reduced, canceled, and non-renewed during the period of award or a period after it under certain conditions, as set forth by the university, the NCAA, and the scholarship agreement. The reasons for these actions include academic ineligibility and serious misconduct.
Contact these resource persons for more information on scholarships, recruitment, and eligibility:
Associate Head Coach
Email: [email protected]
The Blue Devils may not have an NCAA national championship yet, but its trophy case is full of several ACC conference regular season and tournament championships. Many of their alumni have also been successful in the WNBA and abroad, a testament to their top-notch basketball program.
The competitive selection process, however, is just the first hurdle for interested student-athletes! Once you’re on the team, your odds for getting a full scholarship increase, and you and your teammates will likely get a full ride. You must comply with and follow the eligibility rules set by Duke University Athletics and the NCAA.
Note that the Duke University Athletics’ rules and regulations will prevail over NCAA guidelines in case of conflict. Emphasis must also be made that the university’s athletics rules are more restrictive than the NCAA’s rules. Student-athletes are also expected to be in good academic standing and make appropriate contributions to the university and its community.
The head coach identified the possible scholarship recipients and informed the Office of Admissions about it. The Office of Admissions then notifies the student-athletes about their admission into the program.
Student-athletes must also present their credentials to the Dean of Admissions. These credentials include a personal information form, ACT/SAT scores; an official transcript; and secondary school reports and recommendation letters. The Dean of Admission decides for admission, and the coach will inform the Dean when a student-athlete signs an athletic scholarship agreement.
Contact the head coach for more information:
The Louisville Cardinals have won numerous ACC conference tournament and regular-season championships and enjoy a strong following among fans. Its current head coach, Jeff Walz, was instrumental in increasing attendance at games with an average of 6,456 fans per game.
More importantly, the University of Louisville Athletics has mobilized its resources to comply with the inclusion of the cost of attendance limit in full athletic scholarships! This means that, per the Power Five conferences’ agreement, the UofL Athletics will provide full funding for each student-athletes’ full cost of attendance with a full ride. The full grant-in-aid covers:
- Room and board
- Miscellaneous costs up to the cost of attendance include clothing, laundry, cleaning, transportation, recreation, dependent care, computer use, personal hygiene, and grooming.
The miscellaneous expenses component bridges the so-called cost of attendance gap that, according to the Financial Aid Office, amounts to $5,364 per year. The gap is also used in determining every student’s financial aid eligibility. Take note that every student-athletes with a basketball scholarship will receive the full amount related to the attendance gap cost.
We suggest reading the UofL student-athlete handbook for detailed information about student-athletes’ roles and responsibilities on scholarships.
You may also contact the following regarding recruitment and scholarship opportunities:
Email: [email protected]
Louisville Athletics Department
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: (502) 852-5735
The Dukes women’s basketball team has appeared in a dozen NCAA Division I Tournament games, an impressive feat indeed. More impressive is James Madison University’s robust scholarship program for its student-athletes, including its female basketball players.
As a Division, I school, JMU offers headcount scholarships according to the NCAA’s scholarship limits. A full athletic scholarship also covers tuition, compulsory fees, room, and board and required textbooks, among others, set in the grant-in-aid agreement. With a limited number of full-ride scholarships, continuing student-athletes are more likely to get them than the freshmen and transfer students.
Prospective student-athletes are well-advised to let the women’s basketball program’s coaching staff perform the recruiting process. The consent of the Compliance Office is a must to ensure that your eligibility as a prospective student-athlete will not be jeopardized.
Aside from the full-ride scholarships, all student-athletes are eligible for other assistance, including:
- Student Assistance Funds (SAF) intended for educational expenses and fees, such as professional program testing
- Personal or Family Expenses including emergency travel home and clothing allowance
- Health and Safety Expenses including medical, vision, and dental expenses not covered by other insurance programs
- Institutional Academic Enhancements, such as graduation awards, which should be within NCAA guidelines
You may also check out other scholarship opportunities that student-athletes may be able to apply for. You can also contact the Athletics Department for more information about the recruitment and scholarship selection processes. Your coach can also get in touch with:
Atlantic Union Bank Center 1057 (645 University Blvd.) / MSC 4702
Email: [email protected]
The Texas A&M Aggies women’s basketball team is under the tutelage of Gary Blair since 2003. They bagged the 2011 NCAA Division I national championship against the Fighting Irish and won five conference championships.
The Aggies student-athletes are eligible for the A&M-Texarkana Athletic Scholarships awarded by the Department of Athletics every year. Prospective student-athletes must meet two sets of criteria provided by the university’s Department of Athletics and the NCAA Eligibility Center. The eligibility requirements include but aren’t limited to:
- Admission into the university, per the decision of the University Admissions
- Meet NCAA eligibility requirements
- Meet the 2.0 minimum GPA requirement
- Maintain at least 2.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA for scholarship renewal purposes
- Active participation and contribution to the team, including compliance with requirements set by the head coach and Director of Athletics
- Meet the requirements of athletic ability and character by the head coach and Director of Athletics
Full ride scholarships following NCAA guidelines are offered to the best student-athletes in the team. There are also athletics endowments without specific criteria other than being a student-athlete.
The most notable is the Susie Knause Endowment, which is specifically geared toward a woman basketball player as a lone recipient. Applicants must be in the last year of their eligibility but want to continue their studies in the following semester or academic year. The money can be used to pay tuition and fees or used in purchasing special supplies or equipment for the women’s basketball team.
For more information on recruitment and grant-in-aid, you may contact the Athletics Department or the head coach:
Email: [email protected]
The Tigers have won a total of nine SEC regular season and four tournament champions and appeared in the NCAA Tournament 21 times. Their alumni include eight WNBA players and eight All-Americans, and we can surmise that many, if not most, of their alumni and current players were on full-ride scholarships.
The Auburn University Athletics Department prides itself on its autonomous status, meaning it doesn’t receive state and federal funds for its athletic scholarships. The funds come from private donations as well as ticket sales, media partnerships, and corporate sponsorships. The student-athletes are also provided with ample support, including resources to ensure their athletic and academic success.
The head coach and athletic director are responsible for identifying the student-athletes who will receive full-ride scholarships. Your coach may contact the head coach for more information about recruitment and scholarship processes here:
Women’s Basketball Head Coach
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (334) 844-9200
Auburn University also offers a wide range of merit-based and need-based scholarships like:
- SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship (one female; $15,000)
- Brad Davis SEC Community Service Postgraduate Scholarship (one female; $10,000)
- NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship for Careers in Athletics (13 females; $7,500)
- NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships (Three awards per year)
- NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship (one female; $24,000 and renewable annually)
You may use the Auburn University Scholarship Opportunity Manager to find other scholarship opportunities.
The Boilermakers hold the record for Big Ten tournament championships alongside its 1999 NCAA national championship. Plus, its fan base is among the most enthusiastic while its rivalry with the Indiana Hoosiers is epic – Purdue leads with a 52-27 series lead.
Purdue female basketball players are offered athletic scholarships in accordance with NCAA rules. As a Division I school, the university offers full-ride scholarships and varying amounts of financial aid to its student-athletes.
As a rule, the head coach identifies the scholarship recipients while the Director of Athletics approves. Interested high school coaches can get in touch with the head coach at:
Women’s Basketball Head Coach
Purdue also offers several scholarships that student-athletes may be qualified to apply for. Be sure to ask the concerned scholarship officials about the stacking policy if you already have an athletic scholarship Examples include:
- Purdue Black Alumni Organization Roger Blalock Scholarship
- Amelia Earhart Scholarship
- Class of 1937 Scholarship
- Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship
- Jim McKay Scholarship Program
Contact the Office of Admissions at (765) 494-1776 for more information.
The Buckeyes have a record 12 Big Ten championship titles, the most titles in the conference, and 24 NCAA Tournament appearances. Jessica Davenport and Katie Smith, both All-Americans, are notable alumni.
Ohio State University offers grant-in-aid that may cover the full cost of attendance, and the athletic aid is awarded through the Big Ten Tender of Financial Aid. The tender can be used to pay the full or specific portion of the full cost of attendance, such as tuition, fees, books, room and board, and allowed miscellaneous expenses. But it doesn’t cover student health insurance, taxes on room and board, single room charge, and other fees like room damages, parking fines, and transportation.
Students who receive grant-in-aid above the attendance cost aren’t eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics. If you think that you will belong to this category, you must contact the Athletic Compliance Office for guidance, especially if you’re applying for non-athletic scholarships.
Summer grant-in-aid and fifth-year scholarships may be requested from the Athletics Department, but approval isn’t guaranteed. Every application will be evaluated on a case-to-case basis.
You can contact this office for more information about athletic aid:
Athletic Aid Administration
Email: [email protected], Phone: 614-688-3910
You may also ask your high school coach to communicate with Kevin McGuff, the head coach, at 292-9270 for recruitment purposes.
The Sooners women’s basketball team has seven conference regular season and tournament championship titles, aside from numerous NCAA Tournament appearances. The University of Oklahoma’s basketball program attracts high school players partly because of its winning streak and robust scholarship program.
The Athletics Departments identify the scholarship recipients based on their academic and athletic abilities. Indeed, Sooners student-athletes excel in academics, with more than 300 named to the Spring 2019 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, among other accolades.
Interested in becoming part of the Sooners? Contact Sherri Coale, the head coach. Be sure to follow the recruitment procedures not to jeopardize your NCAA eligibility – ask your high school coach to act on your behalf.
If you want to know more about athletic scholarships, you may also contact the Athletics Compliance Department at 325-5210. The Athletics Compliance Department works with the Scholarship/Financial Aid Office, the Bursar’s Office, and the University’s Student Financial Center to disburse scholarship funds to student-athletes.
The athletic scholarship covers tuition, fees related to course enrollment, books, room and board, and other allowed cost of attendance expenses. But it will not cover long distance calls, parking tickets, permits, late charges, and missed tutoring charges.
Our final tip: Before you contact the coaches of your preferred college or university’s women’s basketball program, you may want to check the NCAA initial eligibility guidelines and requirements. While the colleges and universities are independent bodies, they have agreements with the NCAA regarding recruitment, scholarships, and eligibility.