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College-Bound Student-Athlete

Are you an athlete who is considering playing college athletics?  Important Information regarding High School requirements and College Eligibility is below and the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete can be found by clicking the link - COLLEGE BOUND STUDENT-ATHLETE HANDBOOK

Cover of NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete

Division I and II schools require you to meet academic and amateurism standards. While Division III schools set their own admissions and academic requirements, international student-athletes (first-year enrollees and transfers) who are enrolling at a Division III school after Aug. 1, 2023, and must be certified as an amateur by the Eligibility Center.

  • If you are a freshman, and if you haven’t yet, register for a free Profile Page account on the NCAA Eligibility Center website for information on NCAA initial-eligibility requirements.
    • Use NCAA Research’s interactive map to help locate NCAA schools you’re interested in attending.
    • Find your high school’s list of NCAA-approved core courses at to ensure you’re taking the right courses, and earn the best grades possible!
  • As a sophomore, and If you’re being actively recruited by an NCAA school and have a Profile Page account, transition it to the required certification account.
    • Monitor the task list in your NCAA Eligibility Center account for next steps.
    • At the end of the school year, ask your high school counselor from each school you attend to upload an official transcript to your Eligibility Center account.
    • If you fall behind academically, ask your high school counselor for help finding approved courses you can take.
  • As a junior, ensure your sports participation information is correct in your Eligibility Center account.
    • Check with your high school counselor to make sure you’re on track to complete the required number of NCAA-approved core courses and graduate on time with your class.
    • Share your NCAA ID with NCAA schools recruiting you so each school can place you on its institutional request list.
    • At the end of the school year, ask your high school counselor from each school you attend to upload an official transcript to your Eligibility Center account.
  • Then, as a senior, request your final amateurism certification beginning April 1 (fall enrollees) or Oct. 1 (winter/spring enrollees) in your Eligibility Center account.
    • Apply and be accepted to the NCAA school you plan to attend.
    • Complete your final NCAA-approved core courses as you prepare for graduation.
    • After you graduate, ask your high school counselor to upload your final official transcript with proof of graduation to your Eligibility Center account.
Infographic with information about planning courses through high school

Want to Play College Sports?

The advantages of competing in college sports are both immediate and lifelong. Participating in college sports provides opportunities to learn, compete and succeed. Student-athletes receive top-notch academic support, quality medical care and regular access to outstanding coaching, facilities and equipment.

And student-athletes as a group graduate at higher rates than their peers in the general student body and feel better prepared for life after college.

Want to play NCAA college sports?  Check out this Recruiting Fact Sheet(Fall of 2022) that highlights the three NCAA divisions to answer some initial questions.

College-bound student-athletes preparing to enroll in a Division I or Division II school need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to ensure they have met amateurism standards and are academically prepared for college coursework.     

Playing sports for an NCAA school is not your only option. Check out the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) or the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for other opportunities.