Are you in need of a scholarship? There's not a ton of money for softball scholarships (as compared to say football). They can range from a few thousand $$ to tens of thousand of $$$ depending on the school, division, player, position, and several other factors. Your level of need could effect what type of school you choose.
Let's take a look at the number of schools that offer softball programs and the number of scholarships each division offers.
Not Bad? At first glance these numbers don't look too bad when we are talking about scholarships. I mean, if there are 10 scholarships per school in NAIA and the roster size is at 21 girls, then almost half of the roster has a scholarship.... right?
However, let's look at it from a different perspective. There's 3,245 NAIA softball players and (remember) there are over 350,000 high school softball players in this country. So for every roster spot, you have to beat out over 100 other girls to get that spot. And when you get that spot, only half of them will get money (theoretically).
Also remember, the scholarships can be broken down in a lot of different ways and it's really up to the softball department on how they do that. So one scholarship for a player on that team could be worth a lot, while another could worth very little. Seems unfair I know... But keep reading.
What's up with DIII? So why do DIII schools not give out scholarships? For more info on that...
SO HOW DO THEY DETERMINE WHO GETS HOW MUCH?
For starters, you want to dominate in the classroom and at the plate!! Some of these doors won't even be available for you to walk through without really good grades, so take care of business in the classroom first and foremost. Second, if you are a powerful or versatile hitter that is very successful at the plate, you will have a head start no matter what position you play.
With that being said, there is an order which positions receive more scholarships and scholarship dollars. In order it looks like this:
Pitchers For obvious reasons. A great pitcher can have the single greatest impact on the game.
Catchers A catcher can have a large impact on the outcome of the game as well. From calling pitches, holding runners to the base, getting those questionable strikes, and keeping everything in front of them. Again, super important.
Middle Infielder Speedy middle infielders with great gloves and a rocket arm who are strong at the plate... those aren't easy to come by.
Third Base When I was a kid we called this the "hot corner". From playing the bunt to balls being pulled down the line, a girl at third who can stop anything, throw like a major league player and hit like a hammer, ya... valuable!
First Base Let's face it, they see the ball on most defensive plays there's a lot riding on a dependable player at first. However, those you find the most scholarship offers and dollars are usually the ones who are power house hitters at this position.
Outfield Speed dominates in the outfield, as does on-base percentage. Slappers, lefties, successful bunters are also given a slight edge in this category.
Money money money There's several different ways to pay for college. A softball scholarship can help, but as you can see, there's not going to be a lot of true "free rides" out there. So the rest has be made up and can be made up by (1) The First National Bank of Mom and Dad, (2) traditional student loans, (3) grants, (4) academic scholarships, (5) part time job...although this may be very difficult when balancing a full academic and athletic load, (6) internships, and (7) win the lottery!!
At this point in your journey, and when you see how much certain colleges cost in the "Pick One" section, don't eliminate a school based on cost... not yet anyway. Keep it on your list and pursue it. You never know the twist and turns this recruitment journey is going to take, but we can guarantee there will be a lot of them!