What is Title IX? The Legislative Amendment Combatting Gender Inequality in College Sports

3 min read

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is something you may have heard fairly frequently in the context of college sports, and scholarships in particular. But what does it actually mean?

Quite simply put, Title IX is a piece of legislation in America that aims at addressing the provision of the same opportunities for females as their male counterparts and reducing gender inequality across the board, especially in sports.

The actual decree states that "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." 

Since being signed into law by former President Richard Nixon, Title IX has forced an inordinate amount of change in the intercollege landscape. For context, in 1972 there were around 300,000 women and girls playing college and high school sports across the US and only around 2% of the total athletic budget was being allocated to females.

40 years on, by 2012 the number of female participants in high school and college sports had surpassed 3 million, and by 2016 two in every five females in the country were participating in some kind of funded sporting activity, which according to the Women’s Sports Foundation had risen drastically from one in 27 before the introduction of the legislation.

With respect to sports scholarships, there are a few key elements to remaining compliant that each school must adhere to:


Firstly, and the most basic requirement is centered around providing individual participation slots for both male and female athletes that are in direct proportion to the composition of the wider student body. For example, if 45% of all students at the college or university are female, then 45% of the individual athlete participation slots must be made available to females.

Title IX also requires that female and male student-athletes receive athletic scholarship dollars proportional to their participation as well as equivalent treatment of female and male student-athletes in the provisions of:

  • Athletic equipment and supplies
  • Locker rooms
  • Facilities for training and competition
  • Medical services and facilities
  • Coaching and tutoring
  • Support services
  • Travel allowances
  • Scheduling of practices and games

There’s no questioning the magnitude of the impact Title IX has had on empowering women and expanding their access to higher education opportunities across the US.

As sport at all levels continues on an upward trajectory of inclusion and equality, it’s important to note the transformational shifts across history upon which this progress has been built, and very few instances of change within college athletes can be attributed as directly as it can to the introduction of Title IX.

For more information on the life-changing opportunities for young men and women that a sports scholarship in the USA can provide, why not schedule a call with one of our specialist consultants today.

FirstPoint USA is an international scouting service, providing recruitment services to hundreds of NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA member institutions seeking to identify the very best in overseas talent, both male and female.

The company was founded in 2001 by former University of Cincinnati All-American and Hall of Fame inductee, Andrew Kean, and evaluates over 100,000 prospective student-athletes, competing in over 20 different sports, across 187 countries each year.

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