Richie breaks down the ins and outs of college football scholarships, sharing personal experiences and crucial tips to help aspiring athletes and parents navigate the college football recruiting process and achieve their dreams.


Football scholarships are a significant aspect of pursuing a college education while playing the sport you love. However, many aspiring student-athletes have questions about how these scholarships work, their duration, and the different opportunities available in various college football leagues. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about earning a college football scholarship and living your dream on the field.

I. Understanding Football Scholarships:

  • Football scholarships are provided to high school, JUCO (Junior College), or transfer portal athletes in exchange for their participation in the football program.
  • These scholarships can cover tuition, room and board, books, and other miscellaneous expenses during your time at the university.
  • Scholarships can be full or partial, depending on the offer from the school.
  • Full scholarships cover everything, including tuition, books, and offer a monthly stipend for living costs and food expenses.
  • Partial scholarships can be either percentage-based or a fixed amount, and the school will clearly communicate the details of the offer.

II. Different Leagues and Scholarship Opportunities:

a) NCAA:

  • NCAA has three divisions: Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3.
  • Division 1 further divides into FBS (Division 1) and FCS (Division 1 AA).
  • FBS offers 85 full scholarships, while FCS offers 63.
  • FCS schools can provide full or partial scholarships based on their individual policies.
  • Division 2 offers 36 scholarships, and Division 3 focuses on needs-based financial aid without athletic scholarships.
  • Non-scholarship programs in Division 1 AA and Division 3 operate similarly.

b) JUCO (Junior College) or NGCAA:

  • JUCO also has three divisions, similar to the NCAA.
  • Division 1 and Division 2 both offer full scholarships, with Division 1 additionally covering room and board.
  • Division 2 athletes must cover their room and board expenses.
  • Division 3 in JUCO, similar to Division 3 in NCAA, does not offer athletic scholarships.

c) NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics):

  • NAIA schools provide 24 full scholarships, which can also be divided into partial scholarships.
  • NAIA schools may be a good option for academically-focused athletes or those looking for a scholarship opportunity beyond Division 3.

III. The Scholarship Process:

  1. Create a strategy and playbook to guide your college football journey.
  2. Market yourself effectively to attract the attention of college coaches.
  3. Engage in proactive outreach to coaches, showcasing your skills and achievements.
  4. Sell yourself during visits to the schools of interest.
  5. Seal the deal by successfully securing scholarship offers.


Earning a football scholarship requires dedication, perseverance, and a clear understanding of the process. Whether you aim to play in the NCAA, JUCO, or NAIA, following the five-step process outlined in this guide can help you on your path to success. Remember, scholarships are not guaranteed for multiple years, as they are renewed annually based on academic and athletic performance. It is crucial to maintain a high level of commitment both on and off the field to retain your scholarship.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into the system and gaining valuable insights from someone who has successfully navigated the scholarship process, consider checking out Richie Contartesi’s book, “In Spite of the Odds.” In this book, Richie shares his personal journey and offers step-by-step guidance for earning a Division I athletic scholarship.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable information on how football scholarships work and the different opportunities available. If you have any further questions or would like to explore additional resources, feel free to reach out. Live your dream and pursue your college football scholarship with determination!

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