Question: Fully-Funded Programs?
Can you tell people how many D-I schools (particularly in the northeast) are fully funded and what that means.

Answer: Fully-Funded Programs

I can tell you what fully funded means, but I can't say with authority how many schools are fully funded. For Div. I, fully funded means the coach has a TOTAL of 12 scholarships. How many or what percentages are available in a given year will depend on who graduates, what amount of money they're getting, etc. Fully funded at a Div. II school means the coach has a total of just over 7 scholarships. Again, how much is available in a given year will depend on who's graduating.

It's important to understand what these numbers mean because even a fully-funded program (for example, Michigan and Alabama are fully-funded), can't give every player a full ride. If the coach carries 20 players, you can do the math. If all 20 athletes got the same amount, everyone would be getting 60-70 percent. But in all likelihood, there are a few major impact players---pitchers, perhaps catchers and shortstops, maybe the big home run hitter or the base-stealing outfielder---who are getting close to full rides. That means on the other end of the spectrum are kids who aren't getting anything, or who are only getting a few thousand dollars. It's also a pretty safe bet that many smaller Div. I programs are NOT fully funded.

At the Div. II level, even a fully-funded program would only have 7 or so scholarships. With 18-20 kids on the team, you won't see many full rides there. And you'll find many of the players getting just small amounts. Keep in mind, there are many Div. I and II programs where the coach only has 2 or 4 or 6 scholarships to share among all the players. So parents expecting to get off scot-free are generally in for a rude awakening unless their athlete is among the top players in the region and has great travel ball visibility.

On the flip side, academic money is more plentiful, so many coaches--particularly at private schools--will try to package offers for players. Where a lot of parents get confused and make recruiting mistakes is when they hear some guy telling another guy that his daughter got a full ride to School X. What the dad doesn't say---or clarify---most of the time is that the player got $8000 in need-based money, $10000 in academic money (because she's a 4.0/1980 student), she got some work-study, some loan money, and $7500 in softball money.

Inexperienced parents hear this and think, "Well, my player is better than his player, so my player is sure to get a full ride offer from them too." Then, they have a hissy fit when the coach says, "We can offer you $9500 in softball money and whatever else you might qualify for." The parent knows he won't get more than a few thousand in need-based money, and his daughter is a 3.0 student with 990 SAT's, so she's not getting a lot of academic money. So, he's fried because he thinks the coach is trying to put one over on him, when in reality, the coach actually offered his daughter more athletic money. It's just that she doesn't qualify for the other types of money, thus less money is available to her.