You know Matt – our Director of prospect Management here at IAM360 went to two different institutions, two different schools in the US (originally from Texas) and doesn’t remember one person, or meeting anyone that was on a full scholarship. Yes, sure there were guys and girls that were on a large or really large partial scholarships but not a full scholarship, there was no one he met on the soccer team or track team etc. and he was someone who went on to play at a pretty high level for a couple years and also was a head coach.

Where does that idea come from? You’ll hear a lot of people here in Australia say that they know so and so who’s over there on a full scholarship or if I go to the US, there’s so many full scholarships available. Does the full scholarship exist or, does everyone get a full scholarship?

“The idea that everyone in America is on full scholarships”

Matt was on a very big partial scholarship, but didn’t cover 100 percent of his costs – and that is just the reality of it and I’ll get into this in a little more detail but firstly let’s get into the different kind of sports. There is one called “head count sports” the other are “equivalency sports”

The idea that everyone in America is on full scholarships or “yeah I’m going to America because I want to get a full scholarship”, I think it comes from just the Australian culture and what scholarship means here.

If you’re on scholarship in Australia, typically it means that your costs are covered but typically a scholarship covers your tuition costs. So, in the grand scheme of things, your accommodation, your meals to stay alive, that’s covered by your parents. So yeah, you may be on a full tuition scholarship but it’s not a fully encompassing scholarship.

In the US, people have a better understanding of the fact that a Sports Scholarship or a Performing Arts Scholarship, or Financial Aid, or Instate Tuition waiver are all the different financial pieces that can make up a very large partial scholarship.

“it’s not difficult to find a full tuition scholarship”

It’s about piecing together as many different forms of financial aid as possible to get the best package that you can. So again, probably the other reason why people think that there’s full scholarships all over the place is because they know somebody’s brother whose cousins’, sisters’ aunt went to the states and she was on full scholarship and Johnny from the club down the road he’s in the states and he told me he’s on full scholarship. People tend to fabricate things so don’t believe everything you hear.

People tend to fabricate a lot of things and look, it might be a full tuition scholarship, it’s not difficult to find a full tuition scholarship. But to find a “Full Scholarship”, that’s a little bit different. Where everything’s covered.

Full scholarships do exist. Alright. We tricked you with the title. Full scholarships do exist but they exist like big foot exists. He’s out there somewhere, we all know it. He makes a noise every now and again in the woods, but it’s very, very rare to even get a glimpse of him. And when you do, you question whether or not it was actually him or if it was like a bear. Very similar to full scholarships.

They’re out there, but they’re rare. The biggest thing about a full scholarship is that it is earned, and you don’t just get handed a full scholarship like oh great, here you go. We’ll pay for everything. Right? It doesn’t happen that way here. It’s not going to happen that way over there. There’s a lot that goes into it.

“You’ve got two different kinds of sports that determines how Scholarship is awarded.”

Headcount sports and equivalency sports; let me explain how that works, which will help you understand why there aren’t as many full scholarships as people would think.

As I mentioned previously, you’ve got two different kinds of sports that determines how scholarship is awarded. You’ve got headcount sports, and you’ve got equivalency sports. Headcount sports means that if you’ve been chosen for a scholarship, then you get the full amount of that scholarship. And if and if that school has decided to make it a full, then you get a full scholarship if you’re a scholarship athlete.

An equivalency sport means that a team has so many scholarships, which they can split up, they can divvy up however many they want. So you may have a team of 30 soccer players, but they only get 16 scholarships. Which means that that coach can give 16 players full scholarships, or he can give 30 players partial scholarships. Because soccer is an “Equivalency Sport”.

“Headcount sports”, let’s talk about those. NCAA division one football so grid iron, that is a headcount sport. You’ve got NCAA division one basketball, men’s and women’s. You’ve got NCAA division one tennis, but that’s for women only. You’ve got gymnastics, NCAA division one for women only and you’ve got volleyball, NCAA division one women only that are headcount sports.

“You’re talking close to 200 athletes in one team, but only 85 are on scholarship”

Which basically means, that they’re restricted in the number of athletes that they can provide scholarships to. For example, NCAA division one grid iron team. They’re only allowed 85 scholarships per year. Which means that they’re only allowed to have 85 players on scholarship.

So they can’t divvy that scholarship up and choose how they spend it. So a NCAA division one gridiron team. You look at Alabama, Texas, like those big names. You’re talking close to 200 athletes in one team, but only 85 are on scholarship.

And that could be a full scholarship if that’s what the school has chosen to provide all of those 85 athletes, or it could be a 50 percent scholarship.

So look, the NCAA determines the total amount, the total number of scholarships that can be given for a particular sport. If it’s a headcount sport, then the school under the NCAA’s ruling. The school then decides we get 85 scholarships in this particular sport, we’re going to make all 85 full scholarships, or we’re going to make all 85 partial scholarships. that could be anywhere from a dollar to a 99 percent scholarship.

But the school will decide how large that scholarship is. So even if you’re in a headcount sport, if you’re selected for a scholarship, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be full. But if that school has decided that their headcount scholarships are full scholarships, then it would be full.

“The ones that you do see are the guys that played AFL there, now punters that are 6’6″ and they can smash a ball any which way that may pick up a full scholarship right away.”

I guess you could say movies and media have a big part to play and what you see on TV as to the reasons why people would think that full scholarships exist. Because these particular sports, the headcount sports, the D1 basketballs, D1 footballs, that’s what you see on the movies and what most people hear about. That all sports are the same.

But they’re not. There’s only those set sports that are listed are considered headcount sports and if you think back, only two of those sports are for men’s participation. NCAA division one gridiron, and NCAA division one men’s basketball.

I can’t imagine there’s too many Aussies that are going straight over in their first year receiving one of those chosen scholarships in those particular divisions. The ones that you do see are the guys that played AFL there, now punters that are 6’6″ and they can smash a ball any which way that may pick up a full scholarship right away.

In regards to Basketball, unless you’re playing for Australia, getting a full scholarship to play men’s basketball at an NCAA division one school, really any school playing basketball in the US. You want to be playing at a pretty high level here before you go.


“there will be equal opportunity for female athletes in education, in sport, in everything.”

But in terms of a full scholarshiped athlete for men’s basketball at the NCAA division one level, in order for you to even have a chance, you need to play for Australia. Like no word of a lie. On the women’s side, it’s different. The women’s side is completely different. You’ve got this thing called Title IX in the United States.

Title IX says that there will be equal opportunity for female athletes in education, in sport, in everything. So what that means is, that between men’s and women’s sports, it’s just like here in Australia. There’s always more men’s participation. So let’s say that a school has 1,000 men competing across eight different sports. Then what that means by law in the United States is that, that school also needs to offer 1,000 opportunities to women and all the money that they spend on all those guys, they need to spend equal money on the women.

The awesome thing about that is- There’s not always enough women to fill all the spots. So they may offer a thousand opportunities to the girls, but only have 700 girls filling those thousand spots, meaning that the average scholarship to a female athlete is higher than the average scholarship for a male athlete.

There’s no women’s gridiron, there’s no women’s American football so those 85 scholarships that we spoke about, NCAA division one football, all those 85 have to be made up somewhere within the women’s games.

“to be given that full scholarship as a male athlete is a lot harder”

So tennis, gymnastics, volleyball, women’s basketball, there are full scholarships out there. We have athletes right now in the United States on full scholarships, but they’re women. That’s the reality. We have some very, very elite good academic male athletes in the United States right now that are on very, very big partial scholarships, which make their costs really, really affordable, especially in comparison to what they would be doing here in Australia.

But to be given that full scholarship as a male athlete is a lot harder the competition for opportunities in male sport is a lot higher especially the headcount sports. Especially gridiron, it’s not a sport that we tend to play here in Australia or New Zealand.

We are finding more and more kids that are over there in college now that are linemen. Like the big guys down in the trenches. You get a big beefy Australian dude, teach them how to play offensive line or defensive line and tell him to go and tackle somebody or block somebody.

“Equivalency scholarships means that there is no restriction on how many athletes can be on scholarship”

That’s a lot easier for somebody to grasp that hasn’t played the sport their whole life. Same thing with a punter. Catch it and kick it. Do different things, that’s easy for an international that’s never played the game to grasp that concept. But for a skilled position player like a running back, a receiver, like defensive back.

Are there any Australian quarterbacks you’ve seen at any college, any division. Has there been one? I’m not going to say that there hasn’t, but I’m not going to say that there has. Surely there will be at some point in time.

Let’s get into equivalency sports. Equivalency scholarships means that there is no restriction on how many athletes can be on scholarship. There’s just a limit on the number of scholarships that a team has. So men’s soccer, great example. Really all the other sports aside from the ones that I listed previously are equivalency sports. In division two, junior college, like I said majority of all scholarships out there are looked at as equivalency scholarship.

For example a roster of 46 players, which means that a coach could have given 18 players full scholarships. But instead the coach would give his returners (second year athletes) most of the money and some of the first year athletes would not receive any or divvy it up between 18 scholarships between 40-50 kids.

“I could give more to one player and not another. I could do whatever I wanted to do with the money that I had. That’s the way the majority of programs work”

So let’s say that the cost of our college for tuition, fees, room board, and insurance. Let’s say it was $10,000, which isn’t far off. It was 13 and a half. But for the sake of math, I’m going to say it was 10,000. I get 18 scholarships. So my budget for scholarship was $180,000. I can take that $180,000 and I could split that evenly through all 46 players on my team if I wanted to. Or I could give more to one player and not another. I could do whatever I wanted to do with the money that I had. That’s the way the majority of programs work. And when a coach is recruiting an athlete, you’re trying to recruit the best team possible.

If you take all your scholarships and put them into just a small number of athletes, then you don’t have any depth in your roster. You’re not going to attract everyone to come and pay full fees. So when a coach looks to recruit, they may have a few key players that there giving more money to.

But they want to use that budget intelligently to attract the best talent that they can, to have as deep of a roster as possible so that they’re stronger and can go further into the postseason. The further they go into the postseason and win championships, the more money that they get for the program.

You’ve got coaches that are balancing out these budgets, and each year, athletes will graduate or athletes will leave. If they were on money that goes back into the budget, the coach can then use that however he wants for any more incoming recruits. So other than the division one basketball, men’s and women’s, division one football, women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, and women’s gymnastics- Only at the NCAA division one level. Everything else is considered an equivalency sport.

“to be given that full scholarship as a first year incoming students from overseas into the United States, with zero experience in college, you need to be-Something special”

Which is why the full scholarship, is hard to come by.

Same as Bigfoot. It’s possible that we might one day catch him. And it’s very possible that one day, you could be on a full scholarship. But to be given that full scholarship as a first year incoming students from overseas into the United States, with zero experience in college, you need to be-Something special.

You need to be one of the best things coming out of this country in your particular sport, and more than likely have the grades to back that up as well. You need to be a student that wants to do well in class.

There are some big schools that have lower entry in standards that will look at different kinds of players. But again, money’s tight. Especially in men’s sports, money is always really, really tight. And I’ll say it again, girls. I wish I worked with 500 girls a year. I wish we had more girls on the program.

Attention all girls!!

You have a much better chance of getting a full scholarship or closer to a full scholarship than any male athlete out there. And I say that honestly.

What other country is it law, legislation in place that says girls by law will have equal opportunity? And with that equal opportunity, like I said the participation numbers are always lower, which means that everyone that participates is getting more money to do so.

Well really there’s nothing like that in sport in the world. Even in the US at the professional level, it sort of changes from college, but college system, the US collegiate system is the only system in the world that women are completely equal to men in terms of the money they receive and the funds they receive for scholarships.

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