Jesse is a former collegiate lacrosse athlete at the NCAA DI level, where he was a three-time conference champion and made one Elite Eight appear during the NCAA DI tournament. Jesse is just one of many former college and professional athletes and coaches who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. NCSA’s history of digital innovation and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community has made it the largest and most successful collegiate athletic recruiting network in the country.
As a high school lacrosse player, you are part of the fastest growing girls’ sports in the United States. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recently released the results of its annual High School Athletics Participation Survey, which reported a 53.6% growth in girls high school lacrosse participation from 2009 to 2019.
The NCAA and NAIA have taken note of this growth and announced the addition of 32 NCAA women’s lacrosse programs and 11 NAIA programs between 2020 and 2022. While women’s opportunities to play college lacrosse are increasing, so will competition for roster spots and athletic scholarships. If you aspire to play collegiate women’s lacrosse, this is your complete guide to women’s college lacrosse recruiting.
NCAA Lacrosse Recruiting Rules and Calendar
Did you know that the lacrosse recruiting process starts later than most NCAA sports? College lacrosse coaches must wait to contact student-athletes until after September 1 of the athlete’s junior year.
In 2017, US Lacrosse and the IWLCA/IMLCA advocated for stricter recruiting rules after a NCAA study revealed that lacrosse had the highest rate of early recruiting when compared to the other ten NCAA sanctioned women’s sports.
For a full list of recruiting rules across each division level, visit our guide to the NCAA women’s lacrosse recruiting rules and calendar.
Lacrosse Recruiting Guidelines
It takes a certain level of talent to play at each NCAA division level. Luckily, NCSA’s lacrosse recruiting experts know what college coaches are looking for in recruits. Check out our recruiting guide for women’s lacrosse recruits to see what position-specific skills you’ll need to play at each NCAA division level.
Here’s a quick overview:
- NCAA Division I: College coaches want athletes who maintain success both on the field and in the classroom and can use their influence over admission to secure top talent on their roster.
- NCAA Division II: Division II women’s lacrosse programs offer a smaller school atmosphere, but the competition matches that at the Division I level.
- NCAA Division III: Division III college coaches are known to recruit the same level of talent as Division I and II programs; the main difference is they don’t offer athletic scholarships.
The Recruiting Process
There’s a lot of work to be done before college coaches can begin contacting you. If you’re a high school athlete, it’s time to start preparing for the recruiting process by following the steps below:
- Research lacrosse programs: Start the recruiting process by creating your list of prospective schools from the nearly 550 NCAA and NAIA women’s college lacrosse programs. Don’t forget to check out the 20 women’s lacrosse programs sponsored by the NJCAA.
- Build a recruiting profile: College coaches use recruiting databases to create their list of prospective recruits. Build a strong recruiting profile with important stats and a recruiting video. Create your free NCSA recruiting profile here,
- Create a highlight video: College coaches rely on recruiting video to evaluate athletes when they are unable to watch them compete in person. Create a highlight video that showcases your versatility, lacrosse IQ and athleticism. Here are a few tips to help you create and share your video.
- Attend lacrosse camps: Lacrosse recruiting camps give you an opportunity to sharpening your skills while increasing your visibility and access to college coaches. If you live outside the Northeast region, with limited exposure to NCAA women’s lacrosse programs, attending camps can be particularly beneficial. Find a lacrosse camp near you.
- Contact college coaches: College coaches can’t contact you until after September 1 of your junior year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to introduce yourself and express interest in their lacrosse program. Learn how to write an introductory email.
Despite the addition of new women’s college lacrosse programs each year, funding for these programs hasn’t increased at the same rate. While fully funded NCAA Division I and II offer 12 and 9.9 full-ride equivalent scholarships, respectively, most programs are not fully funded. Our Complete Guide to Women’s Lacrosse College Scholarships breaks down the different types of college lacrosse scholarship and roster spot offers.
Top Ranked Women’s Lacrosse Colleges
Finding the right college fit means finding a school that meets your academic, athletic, social and financial needs. To help you identify the right college fit for you, NCSA’s annual Power Rankings report ranks the top colleges and universities that offer women’s lacrosse based on important factors, such as cost, size, location and academics. You can also find a complete list of colleges offering women’s lacrosse.