Cross Country

NCAA D1 universities
Cross country scholarships secured
Average scholarship we secure

How to get a Cross Country scholarship

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.

Who are the top cross country universities in each division?

Mens: NCAA DI: Stanford, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Iona, Arkansas, Syracuse, Florida State, Alabama, Indiana, Northern Arizona, BYU, California, Princeton, Duke, Portland

NCAA DII: Adams State, Western State, Colorado Mines, Cal State Chico, Grand Valley State, Shippensburg, Queens (NC), Alaska Anchorage, Lock Haven, Western Washington, Augustana, Harding

NCAA DIII: North Central Illinois, Haverford, Geneseo Street, Calvin, St. Lawrence, Wisconsin Platteville, Wisconsin Stevens Point, Dickinson, Washington-St. Louis, New York University, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Wisconsin Oshkosh

NAIA: Southern Oregon University, Wayland Baptist University, Shawnee State University, Malone University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Bryan College, California State University-San Marcos, Concordia University, Oklahoma Christian University, Eastern Oregon University

Womens: NCAA DI: Villanova, Florida State, Georgetown, Washington, New Mexico, Oregon, Stanford, Colorado, Arizona, Texas Tech, Syracuse, Iowa State, Virginia, Stony Brook, Providence, Michigan, Michigan State

NCAA DII: Grand Valley State, Western State, Adams State, Shippensburg, Alaska Anchorage, Cal State Chico, Western Washington, Ferris State, Pittsburg State, Augustana, Mary, Edinboro, Minnesota Duluth, Bellarmine, Tampa

NCAA DIII: Middlebury, St. Lawrence, Williams, Johns Hopkins, Wisconsin Eau Claire, Calvin, Geneseo State, Washington – St. Louise, Luther, Amherst, Wisconsin Stevens Point, MIT

NAIA: California State – San Marcos, Biola University, Azusa Pacific University, Simon Fraser University, Malone University, Point Loma Nazarene University, Concordia University, Black Hills State University, University of British Columbia, Southern Oregon University, College of Idaho, Cedarville University, Indiana Wesleyan University

How many cross country scholarships are available?

All scholarship numbers are based on a fully funded program. Not all programs use the maximum number of scholarships. Also, many schools have requirements on the number of scholarship they can use on out-of-state and international athletes.


NCAA DI: 305
*NCAA DII: 369
NAIA: 203
NJCAA: 176
Total: 1,284


NCAA DI: 333
NAIA: 212
NJCAA: 187
Total: 1,386

*NCAA Division 3 schools do not offer athletic scholarships, but they do offer other forms of financial aid.

Number of sport scholarships offered per cross country team per year by each division

Cross country is an equivalency sport which means all scholarships are not full scholarships, and coaches may divide the total number of scholarships allotted to them between as many athletes as they wish.

Track and cross-country share scholarship money which means that they have to divide up the scholarship amounts in both sports between them.


NCAA DI: 12.6
NCAA DII: 12.6


NCAA DII: 12.6

Cross country FAQs

How do I improve my chances of getting a cross country scholarship?

The easiest way to improve your chances of getting a cross-country scholarship is to improve your 5K time. This is a very easy qualification for coaches to measure and the numbers won’t lie. You should also make sure you maintain a GPA of 2.5 or better to be a qualifier for the NCAA.  

How do I get coaches to notice me?

Coaches don’t recruit you based on in-person evaluations in cross-country very much. They might make it to the championship meets or big invites, but usually not. If you want to run in front of coaches when it matters most, wait for the track-and-field season. Many coaches actually come to ASM Scholarships athlete search portal to find their next cross country recruits. You can build your free profile to get started today, click here.

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.

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 ASM Scholarships 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.

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