Student-athletes need to prepare early to meet all the academic eligibility requirements of collegiate sports programs. The College Board, a non-profit organization that promotes college-readiness, recommends that student-athletes begin the process in ninth grade. Students should consult with their guidance counselors regarding the process. An important tool is the NCAA worksheets (see pages 15 & 16 of the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete). Student-athletes can use these worksheets to keep track of their course and grade information.
As you may know, intercollegiate teams are organized into associations - the three largest being NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA. Be aware that each association sets the rules regarding academic eligibility requirements, recruiting and athletic scholarships. For example, prospective Division I and II athletes need to take NCAA-specified core courses beginning in ninth grade. In contrast, NCAA Division III colleges have no academic eligibility requirements. Although it may not take much to adjust your course schedule to meet these requirements, you need to start early!