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NCAA Freshman-Eligibility Standards, Quick Reference Sheet
Division I & II Initial Eligibility Requirements
Information for the College Bound Student Athlete
Many college sports are regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) an organization founded in 1906 that has established rules on eligibility, recruiting, and financial aid. The NCAA has three membership divisions: Division I, Division II, and Division III. Institutions are members of one or another division according to the size and scope of their athletic programs and whether they provide athletic scholarships.
All high school students who wish to compete for a Division I or II institution in their first year of college must register and be certified academically and as an amateur by the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. There are now two components to the clearinghouse: the academic certification process and the amateurism certification process. The academic certification will be based on ACT/SAT scores, grade point average and the core courses that you took while in high school. The amateurism certification will be based on the completion of a questionairre relative to your athletics participation and any agreements you may have with an agent or professional team.
All athletes interested in competing for a Division I or II institution should contact the Athletics Director for a detailed handout on the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. More information pertaining to NCAA eligibility may be found at www.ncaa.org. Click on this link to print out a copy of the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.
For the large number of student/athletes at the high school level athletic scholarships will not be offered; therefore, the following recommendations are for your use in pursuing financial aid and/or acceptance to the college or university which best matches your abilities and interests.
- Discuss with your guidance counselor the range of colleges for which you are academically qualified.
- Talk with your coach about the level of competition he/she feels you might be best suited to participate in (i.e. Division I, II, III, or Junior College).
- Narrow your college selection list to a reasonable size, taking into consideration the quality of academic and athletic programs, determining whether they are right for you. Be realistic about your choice.
- Find the name of the coach in your sport's) at each college on your list. (Use the National Directory of College Athletics in the guidance office).
- Request your high school coach to write a personal letter to the college coach highlighting your transcript, academic achievements, and interests as well as a thorough and detailed discussion of your athletic accomplishments (statistics, clippings, letters earned, records set, honors). A videotape should be made during the season for availability to college coaches.
- Decide where you wish to apply. Few college coaches will take an interest in you unless you formally apply. Initiate, don't react.
- Remain in touch with the coaches after applying. Inquire about the status of your application and financial aid. If possible, visit the college and the coach - sell yourself as a person and a student athlete.
- A letter from a college coach is an overture, NOT an offer.
- Be familiar with NCAA visitation rules (check with your coach).
- Financial Aid is based on need. Applications for financial aid as well as other scholarships are available in your guidance office.
- You may choose to continue your sports career even though you are not involved in intercollegiate competition. Most colleges and universities have extensive, competitive intramural programs for men and women.