High school athletics can be a huge advantage both in gaining admissions to colleges that might otherwise be out of reach and in obtaining funding for college. However, there are minimum requirements for consideration for an athletic scholarship, and they can change over time. It is becoming harder to qualify, not easier. For an updated list of athletic requirements, visit the NCAA website at www.ncaa.org. Click on the Academics menu, then the Division you are interested in, then Eligibility for that division or go straight to
There are 16 core classes required now, and a GPA+SAT or ACT score combination that determines a student’s eligibility. (For example, a 2.5 GPA plus some SAT Reasoning or ACT score). As of this printing, the NCAA is keeping their eligibility scale the same by simply not using the ACT Writing Test or the new SAT Writing section – they will only use the Math and Critical Reading sections. However, this could change at any time so visit their website for the most current information.
Although the NCAA sets minimum requirements, many colleges will have their own, more stringent, standards for admitting athletes. The 2014-15 NCAA Guide may be downloaded using the link below and is also available in Spanish.
Visit www.ncaapublications.com for other NCAA publications.
The Eligibility Center is found at: http://web1.ncaa.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/NCAA.jsp
In order to participate in athletics and receive athletically based financial aid, you must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and meet academic and amateurism eligibility standards. In order to register with the eligibility center, you must have a valid U.S. Social Security Number and a MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover (debit or credit) card for the fee. It should be completed after your junior year (and fall of senior year at the latest). The Eligibility Center must also get copies of your SAT (use school code 9999) or ACT scores. The NCAA has adopted new legislation that will require prospects who intend to enroll at NCAA Division I and Division II institutions to supply ACT or SAT scores to the Eligibility Center directly from the testing agencies. Test scores on an official high school transcript will no longer be usable for NCAA purposes. All prospective student-athletes must complete the NCAA Amateurism Certification questionnaire. You can reach the Eligibility Center Monday – Friday at 1-877-262-1492.
There are many websites for potential college athletes, but be wary of spending money for services. You would need to check these resources very carefully and obtain references and, above all, listen to the advice of your coach(es) before using these sites:
Considering making a game video? Listen to your coaches’ advice, as sometimes less is more. We’ve heard some quotes from college coaches along the lines of “the worse the football player, the more lavish the video!”
Remember that you’re going to college to get an education, first and foremost. So select a school that you’d still want to attend if you were injured on your first day and never played. Remember that at Division III schools, recruited athletes don’t have to compete in order to retain their aid status.
Finally, if you’re an athlete, the best advice we can give you is to keep up your grades. Gone are the days when athletic ability alone will get you accepted.