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Athlete Personal Development

Navigating the USA Collegiate System

Information to assist potential student-athletes make informed decisions about their athletic & academic future

Each year thousands of Australian student-athletes attend USA colleges to study and participate in collegiate sports. In the NCAA Division I & II this number has grown year upon year.

There are over 3,700 accredited colleges in the USA. Institutions can either be public or private and there is no distinction in quality between the two.

There are three different bodies involved in the organisation of college sport and each has its own set of rules and regulations. The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) governs four-year college and university member programs.

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) governs junior or community colleges offering two year courses. And the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) provide competition for four-year schools.

The information on this page is to assist potential student-athletes, their parents, coaches and other significant stakeholders to understand the NCAA collegiate system in order to make an informed decision about their athletic and academic future.

Areas of information


Below are the essential requirements.

  • Core Course—16 core courses completed over 4 years from Year 9-12.
  • GPA —Minimum 2.3 GPA for Division I or 2.2 for Division II.
  • Amateur Status—No financial payments or support by an organisation that is greater than necessary expenses.
  • Tests—SAT or ACT scores are combined with GPAs on a sliding scale to determine eligibility.

Key Dates

Each sport and Division maintain their own recruiting calendars with key dates around contact, quiet, evaluation and dead periods.


Please visit the NCAA website for more academic information.

For more sport-specific information, please contact your National Sporting Organisation, State Sporting Organisation or your State or Territory Institute.

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