We lived in Florida, so our D1 choice in state (public) was UF. That’s a top ranked program so she was never going to get on that team. There were other D1 programs she could have played for like Stetson and Jacksonville and used her Florida benefits of Bright Futures and resident grant but she didn’t like the programs or the schools.
I think the 25% might vary. Florida Southern coach doesn’t give money to freshmen (at least that’s what she tells people) and always has a huge team (35 players) so it’s not possible for her to give 25% to every player (only has 9.9 scholarships to divide among all players, and I’m sure some of the starters are getting 50% as juniors and seniors). St. Leo’s is not as expensive to attend as Rollins (the Rollins coach is fantastic). My daughter went to Florida Tech and the awards really varied. The top recruits got $20k (at the time COA was $55k), but that was the first year and the coach regretted that so I don’t think that amount was given in future years; I think after that first year most were getting about $7-10k, so your 25% would work for some, but not all. Everyone got something, but sometimes only $2k. Florida Tech gave fairly big merit awards so the coach counted on players earning those and stacking them. My daughter was promised the coach would pay anything not covered her senior year, but my daughter actually got LESS money that year because everything was covered by other awards (she didn’t live on campus so her COA was less that year too).
A lot of the Div 2 schools are rather small and may not have the diversity you are looking for. The schools in the south are often rural or suburban (Limestone, Belmont Abbey, Rollins, Lynn) and not terribly diverse. The state schools in PA are bigger and more like a D1 university, just smaller. There are a few D2 near NYC, but most are not near cities. Although my daughter did have friends in her sorority and from her major, she mostly hung out with the lax team, and that’s not a diverse group at ANY school. My daughter was the only minority player on the team. She didn’t play teams with a lot of minority students. Lacrosse is getting there, but it is not an integrated sport yet.
It sounded like in your OP your son had received a merit award and a need based aid award that stacked to get to your EFC. That won’t happen with an athletic scholarship. She’ll get the merit award and then any athletic scholarship, and probably nothing else from the school. The coach won’t be trying to meet the EFC but just awarding an amount that fits her athletic budget. She could qualify for federal aid (unlikely if your EFC is $40k), private scholarships as long as they aren’t for sports (those would count against the coach’s budget) and aid from your state. Stacking is allowed, but not with need based aid from the school. Look for schools with big merit aid and then athletic aid.
It’s a balancing act. It really is.