Cross Country Scholarships
Cross country is one of the oldest college sports and therefore has a very long tradition dating back all the way to 1938. It was then when the University of Indiana was crowned the first ever NCAA cross country champion. The sport therefore has a high level of importance at many universities. Furthermore, substantial resources are invested into the teams by many of Americas best known academic institutions. This obviously is great news for any prospective collegiate cross country runners. It means that scholarships are available both on the men and on the women’s side. In addition, the total number of college cross country and track and field teams (the teams are always combined) is one of the highest among all collegiate sports. In total there are 1,555 universities with varsity cross country and track and field teams, with 350 of them competing in division 1 of the NCAA.
Am I eligible?
Having a high enough GPA or SAT/ACT score is the most overlooked concept by student athletes looking to be recruited. Even if you are one of the best cross country runners in your region, state, or country, if you do not have the right grades, you simply will not be NCAA eligible or you will not get into the university of your dreams. Furthermore, if you do not have high enough grades to compete within the NCAA you will be what is called a “non qualifier”. This will mean you will then either need to improves your grades or attend a NJCAA college for two years. Once you have done this, you can then transfer to an NCAA school with more experience and ready to complete your bachelors degree. The College Sports America team has a lot of experience and will help you determine which university is the best fit for you based on your athletic and academic level.
Are cross country scholarships available?
Cross country scholarships are available to strong runners with above average times who have competed at the highest regional or national level in their respective countries. Obviously your times will always be the main factor that college coaches will base their decision on. However, as we mentioned above, your grades will also always play an important role. NCAA cross country and track and field teams are allowed to use 12.6 scholarships on the men`s side and 18 scholarships on the women`s side to fill out their roster. Considering that there are 650 teams competing in division 1 and division 2, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available for high quqlity runners. On top of that, the NJCAA allows 20 scholarships per team. This can also be a great option for runners who want to use this league as a stepping stone to get started in the US.
Here are some important facts about college Cross Country & Cross Country scholarships:
- Number of NCAA Div 1 Cross Country teams: Men 316, Woman 348
- Number of NCAA Div 2 Cross Country teams: Men 273, Woman 300
- Total number of Cross Country teams (all divisions): Men 1445, Woman, 1540
- Scholarship limit per team: D1 Men: 12.6, D2 Men: 12.6, D1 Women: 18, D2 Women:18, NAIA M&W: 12. NJCAA M&W: 20
- Universities with the most cross country national championships: Stanford, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Iowa State