NCAA and NAIA Athletic Requirements
NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association)
Student-athletes must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to be eligible to play NCAA Division I or II sports in college. Athletes playing in Division III do not have to register.
The NCAA Eligibility Center certifies whether prospective college athletes are eligible to play sports at NCAA Division I or II institutions. It does this by reviewing the student-athlete’s academic record, SAT or ACT scores, and amateur status to ensure conformity with NCAA rules.
The NCAA recommends that student-athletes register at the beginning of their junior year in high school, but many students register after their junior year. There is no registration deadline, but students must be cleared by the Eligibility Center before they receive athletic scholarships or compete at a Division I or II institution.
How to Register with the NCAA to begin eligibility process:
To register with the eligibility center, you must complete the Student Release Form and amateurism questionnaire at the beginning of your junior year online and send the eligibility center the registration fee. This Student Release Form does two things:
1) It authorizes each high school you have attended to send the eligibility center your transcript, test scores, proof of graduation and other necessary academic information.
2) It authorizes the eligibility center to send your academic information to all colleges that request your eligibility status.
The only method is to register online. Go online to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Select Prospective Student-Athletes and then register as a U.S. or international student. Complete the Student Release Form online and include your credit or debit card information to pay the fee. Then follow instructions to complete the transaction. Print a copy of your completed registration form and both Copy 1 and Copy 2 of the Transcript Release Form. Sign the Transcript Release Forms and give both to your high school guidance office.
NAIA (National Association of Inter-Collegiate Athletics)
PlayNAIA.org is the official clearinghouse for NAIA eligibility. Every student-athlete must register with the NAIA eligibility center to play sports at an NAIA college. The eligibility center is also a powerful tool to help athletes connect with coaches and NAIA schools – and find money for college through thousands of NAIA athletic scholarships. The NAIA Eligibility Center will determine your eligibility based on your academic record and additional information you provide. Here’s how it works:
High School Students
If you will graduate from high school this spring and enroll in college this coming fall, the requirements are simple. High school graduation, plus two out of three of these requirement:
• Achieve a minimum of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT
• Achieve a minimum overall high school GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
• Graduate in the top half of your high school class
Early Decisions for High School Seniors
Students who have completed their junior year of high school with an overall 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale, plus the minimum test scores required (18 ACT or 860 SAT), may receive an eligibility decision early in the senior year. To receive an early decision, register with the NAIA Eligibility Center, have your high school send official transcripts to the Eligibility Center and contact ACT or SAT to have their test scores sent directly (the NAIA code is 9876 with ACT and SAT).