Jack Elway works together with students who hope to be considered for a football scholarship from the NCAA. Time and again, however, he sees students who do not understand the eligibility requirements for either Division I or Division II athletics. This significantly hampers their attempts of being awarded a scholarship.

Jack Elway on What Is Needed to Become Scholarship-Eligible

According to the official eligibility rules, any prospective student-athlete must meet not just athletic requirements but also academic requirements. These are set specifically for the divisions that are available. As a minimum, those requirements are:

  • To have completed the necessary core courses as per the regulations of the relevant division.
  • To meet a GPA on a sliding scale that compares to SAT and ACT test scores for the relevant division.
  • To complete and obtain the Amateurism certificate.

The NCAA’s Core Course Requirements

Perhaps the most important part of the application process is that the prospective student athlete has completed and passed all the relevant core courses. These exist for both Division 1 and division 2 colleges. Additionally, the core courses must be completed with a maintained 2.0 GPA as a minimum.

Focusing on Eligibility

According to Jack Elway, a lot of prospective student athletes think about their athletic future far too late. Indeed, they should start to consider this when they enter 9th Grade. That is because this is the point at which they can start to meet academic counsellors, who will tell them whether they are chosen college prep courses are appropriate. For both divisions, students must pass all the required core courses with the aforementioned 2.0 GPA minimum. Students must also register with the NCAA Eligibility Centre but they should not do this until they know where they would like to go to college.

The NCAA Eligibility Center

In the past, the Eligibility Center was known as the Eligibility Clearinghouse. It is where students must register and through which they will be cleared in order to take part in College sports. No athletic scholarships at Division I or II can be offered to anyone who is not registered with the centre.

There are three different nCAA divisions and each have their own eligibility rules. Hence, students must first determine which of the three levels is most appropriate to their skills. If they are serious about wanting to be recruited to college football, they will need to do more than simply register. It is important that they make it possible for college coaches to get to know them as this will enable them to decide whether or not to grant them a scholarship. Students must be proactive in this rather than waiting in the hopes of being found.

A final reason why it is important to really consider all the options is that scholarships tend to come with a 1-year contract at least. Should a student at a later stage decide they want to be in a different college or different division, they will need to apply to be released from their contract, which is not always a given. Chances of being awarded a new scholarship at that point are slim to none.