COLLEGE ATHLETIC ELIGIBILITY
AS AN ATHLETE YOU MUST KNOW THE RULES
There is a good chance that most of the colleges that you wish to attend are affiliated with one of the major intercollegiate athletic associations. There are three main associations: the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). All of these athletic associations impose certain eligibility rules and standards.
The NCAA is the largest association, and is in charge of all areas of athletics for four-year colleges including recruiting, eligibility, and financial aid. Colleges affiliated with the NCAA are ranked as either Division I, II, or III schools, with Division I being the most competitive, made up of larger colleges and universities, and offering athletic scholarships. Division II is less competitive and generally made up of smaller schools, but still offers athletic scholarships. Division III does not offer athletic scholarships.
The NCAA regulates the maximum number of scholarships that colleges can award in each sport. The number varies by Division. The number also varies by college, because they are not required to give out the maximum number of scholarships. You’ll need to contact individual colleges to find out how many scholarships they intend to award.
The NCAA also imposes strict high school academic rules for student-athletes who wish to continue playing their sport in college. There are core course requirements that must be fulfilled before you are allowed to play at Division I or II schools in your freshman year. There is also a minimum combination of GPA and standardized test scores that you must achieve.