The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) governs the athletic programs of approximately 1,200 schools. There are three divisions - Division I, Division II, and Division III - and oversight of 23 sports. Division I and II offer partial and/or full athletic scholarships. Division III offers only academic or non-athletic scholarships.
To play Division I or Division II college athletics, high school students must first meet eligibility requirements. The NCAA Eligibility Center is the organization that determines if a student meets the eligibility criteria. Students who wish to participate in Division I or Division II athletics should prepare to meet eligibility requirements as they begin high school, and should register online at the NCAA Eligibility Center during their sophomore or junior year.
Students must apply for admission to a NCAA member college or university in order to be recruited for athletics. Athletic eligibility with the NCAA and admission to a college or university are two separate processes, and both need to be completed.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is the governing body of approximately 300 schools and 13 sports. The NAIA is a smaller association than the NCAA, and includes two divisions - Division I and Division II. Over 90% of schools in the NAIA offer scholarships. Visit the NAIA Eligibility Center for more information.