Women players better placed than men for securing US college soccer scholarships

For those young football players inspired by the achievements of the lionesses at Women’s Euro 2022, a route taken by five of the winning England squad was to play college soccer in the USA before turning pro. Rachel Daly, Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo, Demi Stokes and Lotte Wubben-Moy all took advantage of scholarships from top US women’s colleges to train and compete like a professional player while studying at the same time.

In fact, if you play at a high level in the UK, have good academic grades and are considering US university as a possible next step, then the chances of securing a scholarship on a US university soccer team are much higher for women than for men.There are some key reasons for this; soccer is the most important women’s sport at US colleges, with more teams and funding available than for any other women’s sport. In total there are more than 1,400 colleges that run a women’s soccer team compared to 1,200 for men.

Number of College soccer teams
Division                     Women           Men
NCAA D1                              333            205
NCAA D2                              265            214
NCAA D3                              452            415
NAIA                                      202            188
Junior/ 2year colleges  181             217

Secondly, women’s soccer teams are allowed to allocate more scholarships per squad than for men’s teams and the squad size for women’s teams is smaller too. For example, if you are looking to get a scholarship to an NCAA D1 women’s team the coach has 14.0 scholarships available for a typical squad of 28 players. The coach of the equivalent men’s team has 9.9 scholarships to allocate across 29 players. Working through the maths in this example, a female player has a 50% chance of a full scholarship compared to 34% for a male player.

Max number of scholarships per team
Division                        Women         Avg. Squad size
NCAA D1                                 14                            28
NCAA D2.                               9.9                            27
NCAA D3                               N/A                            25
NAIA                                          12                            25
Junior/ 2year colleges      18                            19

In addition to there being more women’s teams offering a better chance of a scholarship compared to men’s soccer, the fact that women’s squads are smaller than men’s means the potential for more match time too!To see if SSP can help secure you a women’s college scholarship in the US simply complete the Free Assessment.