12 Best Colleges For Basketball Scholarships

College basketball is so popular and offers amazing opportunities to student-athletes such as scholarships and as a platform to sign professional deals. I have curated a list of the best colleges for basketball scholarships for high school athletes who play basketball to consider applying for admissions into these colleges and win a full-ride or partial basketball scholarship.

As a high school athlete there are many amazing opportunities that awaits you in college, that is, if you want to continue as a varsity athlete. Being a student-athlete allows you play your favorite sports at your preferred college whilst studying for a world class degree then when you graduate you may decide to fully go into that sports or get a job with your degree. Whichever option you wish to go for, your future is bright.

College basketball is one of the most popular varsity sports, especially in the US and Canada which also has the highest number of basketball scholarships, and has a great community of college students, alumni, residents, coaches, etc. behind it who altogether contribute to the progress of everyone’s interest. That is why you will see scholarships, supplies, and other forms of support available all-year round for college basketball athletes.

Among all the great opportunities that collegiate basketball provides, the focus of this blog post is on the best colleges for basketball scholarships available for talented student-athletes from all over the world.

The attractive options from college basketball naturally makes it very competitive, therefore, to increase your chances of securing a college basketball scholarship you should have good grades, excellent athletic performance, and begin the application process early. Some begin the process from as early as the ninth grade so that recruiters or coaches can keep tabs in their stats and watch their athletic development throughout high school.

You may also consider doing this if you are currently in high school and also remember to always check in with your coaches and college coaches as well. This is because all college athletic scholarships are disbursed through coaches who then awards it to the deserving players, so you should get comfortable speaking with coaches.

“The major elements that can impact your success in securing a basketball scholarship in college are your academic qualifications, entrance exam scores, obtaining several references, stay on top of deadlines, playing history, and highlights of your basketball match.”

The best colleges for basketball scholarships curated here will help high school athletes who want to continue playing varsity basketball make a decision on where to apply. If you are one, you do not need to keep searching for suitable schools but just read through and begin applying to one that suits you best.

What does College Basketball Scholarships Cover?

College basketball scholarships may either be full or partial ride, the former covers the entire cost of your tuition and other fees for a full academic year and can be renewable for another three years while the latter – partial ride – covers a part of your tuition for that academic year.

In essence, basketball scholarships may cover from 5% to 100% of your college tuition. Aside from the financial incentive, college basketball scholarships give you access to influential people and world-wide recognition.

How to Get a Basketball Scholarship

  • Begin the process early preferably while you are still in high school
  • Talk with your current coach and college coaches of your preferred institution
  • Get good grades
  • Visit as many schools as you can and do further research on the schools you want to attend
  • Create a portfolio of your basketball highlight
  • Provide multiple references
  • Be ahead deadline
best colleges for basketball scholarships

Best Colleges for Basketball Scholarships

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world and played at collegiate levels. Most of the best colleges for basketball scholarships are in the US and they divided into various divisions which are the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA. There are colleges with different conferences under each of these divisions and learning about them will influence your choice of school.

The NCAA division is subdivided into three divisions known as NCAA Division 1, NCAA Division 2, and NCAA Division 3. The first two divisions offer athletic scholarships which also cover basketball but division three does not offer sports scholarships, they only offer different forms of financial aid. Colleges under divisions 1 and 2 are highly competitive to get into and are some of the top colleges in the US.

NAIA and NJCAA colleges offer athletic scholarships including basketball scholarships. NAIA colleges are fairly competitive to get into. NJCAA colleges feature junior colleges, community colleges, and vocational colleges. NJCAA colleges offer only partial scholarships.

NCAA divisions one and two and there NAIA are where you can find full-ride basketball scholarships but they are very competitive. They also offer partial scholarships and these are not so competitive. Aside from colleges, there are also other basketball scholarship sources that comes from athletic organizations, sports associations, basketball associations, private corporations, and local organizations.

However, we will simply concentrate on the best colleges for basketball scholarships to help high school athletes find their dream school and play their favorite sports while studying for a worldclass degree. Let’s get started…

Listed in no particular order, the following are the best colleges for basketball scholarships are:

  • The University of Michigan
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • The University of Virginia
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Duke University
  • The University of Washington
  • The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The University of Florida
  • Stanford University
  • The University of Maryland
  • The University of Illinois
  • The University of California – San Diego

1.     The University of Michigan

The University of Michigan basketball team is one of the best in the US for winning an NCAA championship, two NIT titles, 14 Big Ten Conference, and two Big 10 Tournament. It is a Division 1 school and offers only 13 full-ride scholarships. You already know that this college would be a competitive one to get into and to win one of the full-ride sports scholarships.

The basketball scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, athletic performance and potential, and talents. The application requirements for the basketball scholarship at U-M include high school GPA, ACT or SAT scores, and registration in the NCAA Eligibility Center. You must be applying to the University of Michigan and have an intent to join the basketball team to apply for the basketball scholarship.

2.     Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech, as it is commonly referred to, is one of the best colleges in the US and has a global recognition for its achievement and innovation in technology and sciences. The institution has a men’s basketball team called The Yellow Jacket, that has made several appearances in NCAA tournament, Conference Tournaments, and Conference regular-season championships.

Under the NCAA rules, Georgia Tech offers full-ride basketball scholarships to student-athletes with exceptional high school academic and athletic performances, personality, fit with the team, and other tough requirements. New students who receive this scholarship will have the entire tuition of their 4-year undergraduate degree program paid for.

3.     The University of Virginia

The Virginia Cavaliers basketball team is the varsity basketball team of the University of Virginia and has a reputation for wining one NCAA championship, three ACC Tournament titles, and two NIT titles. The Virginia Cavaliers basketball team is the dream of high school athletes who want to play varsity basketball.

The University of Virginia offer basketball scholarships under the NCAA riles and also offers named endowments to basketball players who meet their specific requirements. There are about 12 endowments and each endowment is awarded to one student.

4.     The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill basketball team, Tar Heels, is the dream school of high school athletes in the US. The varsity team is reputable in the world of collegiate basketball as they have won 6 NCAA Tournament Championships and multiple ACC conference tournament and regular-season championships. Its alumni include Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Vince Carter, Bob McAdoo and some of ESPN’s top players of all time.

The most deserving basketball players at UNC Chapel Hill gets a full-ride scholarship which covers tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses. If you receive this scholarship, you no longer have to worry about the cost of financing your education. You will be completely taken care of while you play basketball and study for a world-class bachelor’s degree.

5.     Duke University

Duke University has one of the best varsity basketball programs in the US. Its basketball team, the Blue Devils, have won 5 NCAA Championships, has 71 players in the NBA Draft, and 11 players named as the National Player of the Year. Such is its excellence that many high school athletes in basketball programs across the nation work twice as hard to be able to make it into the university and be part of the Blue Devils.

Basketball scholarships are available for members of the Blue Devils but the selection process is highly competitive. There is no application for this scholarship, recipients are selected when the Head Coach informs the Office of Admissions about their proposed candidate for the scholarship then the candidate will be notified about their admission into the scholarship program.

6.     The University of Washington

The University of Washington is a prestigious higher institution in the US with a reputable men and women’s basketball team. You can join any of the team and be certain of a basketball scholarship to offset the cost of your degree whilst playing your favorite sports. The school competes at the NCAA Division 1, which means there are competitive full-ride basketball scholarships.

7.     The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA is the dream school of both athletic and non-athletic students, this is so because UCLA is a college that prepares and guide you towards achieving your dream. Talking about basketball, UCLA Bruins, the basketball team has won 11 NCAA titles and a 4-year undefeated streak. It is simply one of the best in the country and many high school athletes in basketball programs dream to join the Bruins.

Aside from the reputation that comes with being a student of UCLA and playing with the Bruins, there are also 13 full-ride basketball scholarships offered to new and returning student-athletes. This scholarship can be renewed if you meet the criteria for a renewal and you won’t have to worry about tuition for the entire duration of your studies.

8.     The University of Florida

The University of Florida basketball team, The Gators, are one of the best basketball programs under Division 1. There are 13 full-ride scholarships for its varsity basketball players and they can be renewed if athletes meet the criteria for renewal. The full-ride basketball scholarships are open to new and returning students. New students will have to provide a portfolio of their accomplishment and transcript to the head coach.

9.     Stanford University

I don’t think the list of best colleges for basketball scholarships will be complete without Stanford University, a reputable research university in the US. Just as the university has a reputation in academics it also has a reputation in varsity sports. This makes Stanford the best place to combine athletics with world-class academics.

Its basketball team, The Cardinal, have won 13 conference championships and one NCAA championship. Since Stanford is a Division 1 school, it offers 13 full-ride basketball scholarships and 350 other athletic-based scholarships that also covers basketball. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, room and board, and study materials.

10.  The University of Maryland

The women’s basketball team – The Terrapins – at the University of Maryland is a reputable team in the NCAA having won several ACC and Big Ten Championships as well as one NCAA Tournament championship. Since the Terrapins is under the NCAA Division 1, that means UMD offers 13 compulsory full-ride athletic scholarships to student-athletes including basketball players.

Aside from the full-ride scholarship there are also other athletic scholarship programs that basketball players can also apply for. UMD is a competitive school with a rigorous selection process so you have to put in the extra work to stay above the competition.

11.  The University of Illinois

The University of Illinois men and women’s basketball team have achieved so much in the past years. The men’s basketball team has two Big Ten Tournament championships and 17 Big Ten championships while the women’s basketball team have appeared in 8 NCAA Tournaments. When it comes to athletic scholarships, the University of Illinois offers it to almost every student-athletes.

Full-ride and partial scholarships are offered to student-athletes including those in the basketball program. Although only few students get full-ride but nearly all student-athletes receive partial scholarship. The university is under Division 1.

12.  The University of California – San Diego

Last but not least on our list of best colleges for basketball scholarships is UC San Diego, a school that is widely reputable in academics and in sports. Just like the other colleges on this list, this university has a successful and reputable basketball program for men and women with scholarships available to support the dream of student-athletes.

The team is tough to get into due to the rigorous selection process which includes excellent academic record and careful evaluation of game performance. It is also competitive because the scholarships are limited, after all it is a full-ride. There are also other merit and need-based scholarships that student-athletes can apply for to offset the cost of tuition while they participate in basketball competitions.


Many of the best colleges for basketball scholarships are in the US and it is because that is where most of the opportunities for student-athletes are. In fact, college sports competitions in the US are bigger than some countries national sports competitions and there are many opportunities that abound in it such as the full-ride athletic scholarships.

If you are a high school student looking to play varsity basketball these colleges here should be on your top list because they will provide you with the necessities to help you achieve your dream.