Many colleges offer the students the opportunity to play sports – either at the varsity level, or in clubs and intramurals. Do you have what it takes to play sports in college? Student athletes often report more stress than non-athletes. They have more responsibilities and may not get enough sleep. However, athletes are more likely to be happy socially. Each athletic division has their own academic eligibility requirements. As you evaluate schools that offer your favorite sport, make sure to keep your education and future career in mind.
More competitive divisions may want to see videos of your events. It’s a good idea to keep a record of all your stats, awards and accomplishments. Fill out the athletic questionnaire on each college website & call or email the athletic director/coach. Game on!
1. NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association
The NCAA includes schools in Div I, Div II, and Div III. They follow academic eligibility and recruiting rules.
Div I and Div II schools can provide athletic scholarships, but full ride scholarships are rare and most athletic scholarships will not even cover the cost of tuition.
Div III schools do not provide any athletic scholarships. Don’t rule them out because their college offered merit scholarships may make up for the lack of athletic scholarship money.
Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, if interested in a Div I or Div II school.
2. NAIA – National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
Made up of smaller 4 year colleges across the US and Canada. The competitive level is described as being equivalent to the NCAA Div II. The NAIA offers athletic scholarships.
Register with the NAIA Eligibility Center
3. NJCAA – National Junior College Athletic Association
The NJCAA’s mission is to promote and foster two-year college athletics in an affordable and competitive environment. Many scholarship opportunities are available,
Club and Intramurals Sports
Students who can’t make the varsity team or who don’t want the intensity of varsity-level sports can join clubs and intramural leagues. Students take part in these teams to compete, have fun and stay fit.
Evaluate the difference between the different athletic divisions. Use GuidedPath to determine if a college you like offers your potential major. Visit the following sites: