Category: Advice for Players
Eligibility for college sports has become increasingly strict. It is important that you continue your pursuit of academic and athletic excellence through high school. The most important thing to remember is for you to be proactive throughout the process.
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
If you’re planning on playing soccer in college, you will be considered a student-athlete. Note that “student” comes first. If you’re interested in playing at NCAA Division I and Division II colleges, you now need to supply your GPA, SAT and ACT scores, as well as the courses you have taken to the NCAA Eligibility Center. The Eligibility Center maintains inquiries regarding an individual’s initial-eligibility status. It also maintains and processes all of the initial-eligibility certifications. You may be interested in checking out the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete, which is provided by the Eligibility Center.
With the rules of eligibility becoming stricter every year, high school students should start preparing when they first enter high school. Grade 9 and 10 students should meet with their guidance counselor to be sure they are signed up for the proper classes. Junior Year, students should register with the eligibility center and should also begin filling out the amateurism questionnaire. After Junior Year, a transcript that includes six semesters of grades and any SAT or ACT test scores should be sent to the Eligibility Center from the high school.
Senior Year, any further SAT or ACT test scores should be sent. The Eligibility Center will use the best scores from each section of the SAT or ACT to determine your best cumulative score. Complete the amateurism questionnaire and the final authorization signature online on or after April 1 if you are expecting to enroll in college in the fall semester. (If you are expecting to enroll for spring semester, sign the final authorization signature on or after October 1 of the year prior to enrollment.) Have your high school guidance counselor send a final transcript with proof of graduation to the Eligibility Center.
More information can be found on the NCAA website.
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
Just like the NCAA, the NAIA has its own rules and regulations for student-athletes. Student-athletes must be a graduate of an accredited high school or be accepted as a regular student in good standing as defined by the enrolling institution. The student-athlete must meet two of the three entry level requirements:
• A minimum score of 18 on the Enhanced ACT and a score of 860 or higher on the Critical Reading and Math sections of the SAT
• An overall high school grade point average of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. There are no core requirements.
• Graduate in the upper half of the student’s high school graduating class based on the student’s high school transcript which includes all course work taken through the term immediately prior to graduation.
Please visit the NAIA’s website for specific eligibility requirements.
National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
Just like the NCAA and NAIA, the NJCAA has its own rules and regulations for student-athletes. Please visit the NJCAA’s website for their eligibility forms.