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College Athletic Program Requirements

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College Athletic Program Requirements

Introduction

Students who are planning to enroll in college as a freshman and wish to participate in sports are usually seeking information on the entire college eligibility and recruitment process.  This web page is an attempt to help direct our students and parents to places where they might get some of these answers.

It is very important to know that no one course of action is correct for everyone.  Each college and coach may handle the process differently for their prospective student-athletes, but there are many things you need to know about the process from the beginning.  When looking at schools try to find a campus you love; where you can see yourself attending school for four or five years.  Look for a school that has your major areas of concentration academically speaking.  Try to find a school that has an athletic program where you’ll play and enjoy yourself.  Be honest with yourself about where you might fit in academically and athletically and be honest with yourself and the coach you are communicating with.

Schools and coaches are looking for good athletes, as well as good students.  One of the most important things to remember is to work hard and keep your grades up.  A student-athlete is a student first and an athlete second.

It is important to remember that different schools have different umbrella organizations that enforce their policies on academic eligibility, scholarship availability, rules and programs.  There are differences between those umbrella organizations rules.  For example, the NCAA Division I and Division II, NCAA Division III, and NAIA have different rules for what coaches may do during the recruitment process.  So do your homework and remember to ask questions.

It is our hope that the information provided on this web page will help you to answer some of those questions and point you to the right sources for additional information.  There are some guidelines that will help you as you prepare for this exciting, yet sometimes intimidating process.

Various Associations

Educate yourself about the various associations at all levels of collegiate athletics.  Here is a listing of many of the associations:

NCAA:

The NCAA includes more than 1,000 colleges and universities, oversees 23 sports and more than 430,000 student-athletes.  Students that plan to compete in NCAA athletics must meet certain eligibility requirements set forth by the NCAA.  Students who have not met the NCAA eligibility requirements will not be allowed to participate in college athletics at an NCAA school.  The NCAA is divided into three divisions and each division has separate eligibility requirements.

Division I or Division II athletics must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.  Students can visit www.eligibilitycenter.org and enter the site as an NCAA College-Bound Student Athlete.  Register at the beginning of your junior year.

Here is the link for the 2016-17 NCAA Guide for the College Bound Athlete: http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/CBSA17.pdf

NAIA

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a community of nearly 300 member colleges and universities, 60,000 student-athletes who participate in 13 sports and compete for 23 national championships. Students can visit www.PlayNAIA.org for more specific information on the policies of the NAIA or click on the link below for a six page brochure.

NAIA College-Bound Student-Athlete Guide

NJCAA

The National Junior college Athletic Association (NJCAA) is the governing body of intercollegiate athletics for two-year colleges.  As such, its programs are designed to meet the unique needs of a diverse group of student-athletes who come from both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds and whose purpose in selecting a junior college may be as varied as their experiences before attending college.  For information on schools and eligibility requirements gowww.njcaa.org.  The following link is the NJCAA brochure outlining eligibility, financial aid and an extensive FAQ list.

NJCAA Eligibility Brochure

NCCAA

The National Christian College Athletic Association was incorporated to provide a Christian-based organization that functions uniquely as a national and international agency for the promotion of outreach and ministry, and for the maintenance, enhancement, and promotion of intercollegiate athletic competition with a Christian perspective.  For information on schools and eligibility requirements go to www.thenccaa.org.

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