NCAA Division I
How many schools: There are 84 schools sponsoring women’s lacrosse at the Division I level, including
powerhouse teams like Northwestern and Virginia. On the men’s side, 56 schools sponsor lacrosse, including perennial powers Syracuse and Duke.
Scholarship count: Women’s programs can work with 12 scholarships. Men’s programs have 12.6 scholarships to distribute.
Scholarship breakdown: Scholarship money can be passed out among some or all of the team, meaning partial scholarships are common in college lacrosse.
NCAA Division II
How many schools: There are 42 schools in Division II that play women’s lacrosse, including powerhouse West Chester, and 34 schools playing men’s lacrosse, including three-time national champion Le Moyne.
Scholarship count: Division II schools are allowed 9.9 scholarships for women’s lacrosse and 10.8 scholarships for men’s lacrosse.
Scholarship breakdown: As in Division I, scholarships can be cut up and dished across an entire roster. Partial scholarships are common.
NCAA Division III
How many schools: There are 154 women’s lacrosse teams in Division III and 148 men’s lacrosse teams.
Scholarship count: Division III institutions do not offer athletic scholarships.
Scholarship breakdown: While athletic scholarships do not exist in Division III, student-athletes can receive academic scholarships and need-based grants to help with school while playing lacrosse.
How many schools: The NJCAA has 16 schools participating in women’s lacrosse and 27 schools participating in men’s lacrosse.
Scholarship count: Both men’s and women’s programs at the junior college level can offer 20 scholarships per team.
Scholarship breakdown: Scholarships are commonly, but not exclusively, given out as full rides at the junior college level. Signing day typically is in April.
National Letter of Intent
At most Division I and II colleges that offer athletically related aid, players sign a national letter of intent. Administered by the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA), the NLI is a voluntary program designed to help and protect both student-athletes and institutions:
By signing a National Letter of Intent, a prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the designated college or university for one academic year. Pursuant to the terms of the National Letter of Intent program, participating institutions agree to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete, provided he/she is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. An important provision of the National Letter of Intent program is a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs a Letter of Intent. This prohibition requires participating institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once a National Letter of Intent is signed with another institution.
For more information on the NLI, visit the link above. Also note that the signing dates for student-athletes enrolling in college for the 2009-2010 academic year (i.e., current high school seniors for the most part) are November 12-19 for the early period and April 8-August 1, 2009 for the regular period.