Athletic Association websites:

NCAA - National College Athletic Association

  • Division I and II schools may offer athletic scholarships.
  • Division III cannot offer athletic scholarships.
  • Students must register with NCAA, preferably by end of junior year, if they are planning to play Division I or II sports.

NAIA - National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

  • Smaller schools in general
  • Fewer restrictions as compared to NCAA.
  • Students intending to play NAIA sports must have their eligibility determined by the NAIA Eligibility Center, and all NAIA member schools are bound by the center's decisions.

NCCAA - National Christian College Athletic Association
Member schools promote a Christian perspective within intercollegiate athletics


your responsibilities as a prospective student-athlete:

  • Know the eligibility rules for the specific schools you are interested in.  These vary by athletic association, by playing-level division, and by sport.
  • Know and follow the recruiting rules when contacting coaches.  Again, these can vary by athletic association, division and sport. 
  • It is your job to let coaches know that you are interested in playing for their programs. 
  • Register through the "Prospective Athlete" web pages at each college athletic department as an initial means of getting on coaches' radars and for details on the coaches' preferred methods of communication.
  • For NCAA, download and read the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.
  • For NAIA, download and read the NAIA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.


Academic eligibility criteria of student-athletes:

  • Academic criteria vary for the different NCAA divisions and for the NCAA vs. the NAIA.
  • Understand that GPA, admission test scores, and course requirements vary by athletic association and by playing level division.
  • For NCAA, read the NCAA Freshmen Eligibility Standards - Quick Reference Sheet
  • For NAIA, read NAIA Academic Elibility.
  • Early testing for SAT/ACT is best.  Most athletes complete an initial SAT/ACT test in December or January of Junior year.  The first question a coach will ask is "Are you eligible?", and this determination requires test scores.  Test early.