NCAA Athletics


Information for Student-Athletes

About the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

The NCAA's three divisions were created in 1973 in order to align like minded schools for intercollegiate athletic competition:

Division I-  There are currently 351 schools competing in Division I athletics. Athletic scholarships are allowed, including full tuition scholarships. 59% of Division I athletes receive athletic scholarships. These are typically (but not always) larger schools, both public and private. Some examples of Division I schools include University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Northwestern, Tulane, and DePaul.

  • Schools in the Ivy League (Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, and Dartmouth) are Division I but do not offer athletic scholarships. Although scholarships are not given, these schools can help qualified student-athletes gain admittance if they meet both academic and athletic requirements. These school also offer generous financial aid packages to families with financial need.

Division II- There are currently 308 schools competing in Division II athletics. Partial athletic scholarships are allowed, with 62% of Division II athletes receiving athletic aid. Some examples of Division II schools include the University of Illinois at Springfield, University of Minnesota Duluth, and Pace University. 

Division III- There are currently 443 schools competing in Division III athletics. No athletic scholarships are allowed, but 80% of Division III athletes receive non-athletic aid. Division III schools are typically smaller public and private schools with less competitive athletic programs, but many are academically elite. Although scholarships are not given, these schools can help qualified student athletes gain admittance if they meet both academic and athletic requirements. Examples of Division III schools include Emory, Tufts, University of Chicago, and New York University.

Hoping to play your sport at the college level in either Division I, II, or III? Review the information below to learn more about the NCAA recruiting process:

To begin the process, students must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center (link found below)

  • Division I and II

    • Students being recruited to play sports at the Division I or II level must register with the ​NCAA Eligibility Center for a Certification Account and to receive a NCAA ID. This account is required for making official visits and signing a letter of intent with a school. The cost of registering is $90.

      • Students must meet core academic course requirements as well as maintain a minimum GPA and earn minimum scores on SAT/ACT exams. Specific academic requirements can be found in the links below.

  • Division III

    • Students interested in playing sports at the Division III level can register for​ a Profile Account. There is no cost to register for a Profile Account. Students seeking to play a sport at this level do not need to be academically certified by the NCAA but will still receive a NCAA ID for recruitment purposes.

 Key recruitment terms:

  • Contact

    • Anytime a coach interacts with a prospective player other than just saying hello​

  • Evaluation

    • Anytime a coach watches a student-athlete practice or compete

  • Campus visits​​​

    • official

      • A visit that is paid for by the university​ (transportation, lodging, meals, etc.)

    • unofficial 

      • A visit that is paid for by the family​

  • Recruitment calendar

    • Calendars established by Division I and II schools ​that dictate when coaches can contact, evaluate, and invite student-athletes to visit their schools. Each sport has its own specific recruitment calendar.​

      • Contact Period​: the most wide open time for coach/player contact. Coaches may have face to face visits with prospective players regardless of location and may speak to them up to one time per week.

      • Evaluation Period: off campus face to face visits are not allowed, though coaches may travel to the prospective players' school to watch them compete.

      • Quiet Period: no off campus visits or viewing. Prospective athletes may still travel to colleges during this time and meet with coaches face to face.

      • Dead Period: no in-person contact is allowed, even if the prospective athlete visits campus. 

  • ​​Verbal commitment

    • A student can verbally commit (non-binding) to a school prior to signing a National Letter of Intent.​
  • Official commitment 

    • National Letter of Intent (Division I and II)

      • Once a player signs a binding National Letter of Intent the recruitment process ends​ as the student has committed to attend the school they have signed with for at least one year

    • Celebratory Signing Form (Division III- non binding)​​​

Timeline and tips for getting recruited for KSB student-athletes:

  •  Keep your grades high all four years of high school and take a challenging course load. 

    • Although the NCAA has minimum requirements for eligibility for Division I and II, student-athletes ​with grades significantly higher than the minimum will be more attractive to coaches at schools in any of the three divisions.

  • Research and make a list of schools that are a good fit in terms of academics and athletics

  • Begin contacting coaches to express interest as early as freshman or sophomore year. Keep them updated on your athletic accomplishments. If colleges don't know who you are and what you can offer to their team they can't recruit you. 

    • Fill out recruitment interest questionnaires on college athletic department websites.​

    • Consider creating a video to send to coaches showcasing your skills.

    • Consider creating a resume to send to coaches highlighting your athletic accomplishments.

      • Recruiting materials including athletic resumes and highlight​ videos should be completed no later than  the middle of junior year.  

  • KSB College Consulting has worked with student-athletes across many different sports who have

  • matriculated to a diverse range of schools. Contact us if you are interested in getting in touch with a former client who has successfully navigated the process in the same sport as you.


Jonah Salita


Minnetonka High School, class of 2015

Hobart College, class of 2019


Number of schools seriously considered: 8

Advice to current high school athletes: 

            "Reach out to as many coaches as you can and let your results

                     do the talking. Don’t forget to pick a team that you enjoy because

                     you spend almost 40 hours a week with them in competitive





Ryan Ressemann


The Blake School, class of 2021

​Haverford College, class of 2025

Number of schools seriously considered: 5

Advice to current high school athletes: 

“Be proactive with both recruitment and applications. It’s a big deal to

be proactive with coaches on your own, and it’s important to think

about what school is going to set you up for success at graduation

when you likely won’t be playing the sport anymore.











NCAA Divisions

NCAA Eligibility Center registration

2018-19 NCAA presentation for prospective student-athletes 


NCAA recruitment information

NCAA recruiting facts

Division I academic requirements

Division II academic requirements

National Letter of Intent

Alumni spotlight

Ressemann headshot.jpg