NCAA & NAIA Information for Prospective College Athletes

  • Click here for the NCAA Eligibilty Center Guide

    If you are planning to play athletics in college, start preparing new.  There is more to being a college athlete than just having talent.  When college recruiters visit Rockwall High School, Rockwall-Heath High School or Rockwall Quest Academy,  one of their first questions is “Where is a copy of the transcript?”  Because colleges are evaluated by the number of athletes who graduate, recruiters want to make sure not only can an athlete perform athletically but academically as well.  Here are some tips to follow to make sure that you are preparing yourself for success:


    • Successfully complete the Foundation plus Endorsements Graduation Plan
    • Choose courses which will give you the academic foundation to be successful in college.
    • Stay up with homework and assignments
    • All assignments are important.
    • Just as athletic practices prepare you for a game, doing homework and class-work prepare you for tests.
    • If you are having trouble in a class, go to tutorials.
    • Do not wait until it is too late.
    • If you are having a hard time finding time to go to tutorials because of practices, talk to your coaches.
    • No Excuses!!


    If you plan to enroll in any division I or division II college or university, you must register with the NCAA Eligbility Center by the end of your junior year or at the beginning of your senior year.  (This does not apply to division III schools.  Please contact those schools individually for eligibility requirements.)


    If you do not register during your junior year, play a fall sport & plan on continuing to play this sport at the intercollegiate level, you may not be reviewed by the college coach in time for the recruiting season for that sport.

     Division I (2008 and after) 16 Core Course Rule:


    • 4 years of English
    • 3 years of mathematics (Algebra I and higher) (4 years required for RISD graduation)
    • 2 years of science including a Lab science (4 years required for RISD graduation)
    • 1 year of additional English, mathematics or science
    • 2 years of social science (4 years required for RISD graduation)
    • 4 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or non-doctrinal religion/philosophy)

    Division II (2005 and after) Core Course Rule:


    • 3 years of English (4 years required for RISD graduation)
    • 2 years of mathematics (Algebra I and higher) (4 years required for RISD graduation)
    • 2 years of science including a Lab science (4 years required for RISD graduation)
    • 2 years of additional English, mathematics or science
    • 2 years of social science (4 required for RISD graduation)
    • 3 years of additional courses from any area above, foreign language or non-doctrinal religion/philosophy)


    (*Computer science courses may only be used for initial eligibility purposes if the course received a graduation credit in mathematics or science and is listed as such on the high school’s list of NCAA-approved core courses.)

    Miscellaneous Helpful Information:


    • NCAA Reference Sheet
    • NCAA Probability Chart
    • NCAA Flyer
    • Courses taken in 8th grade will satisfy core course requirements as long as the courses are on the official high school transcript.  (If an athlete took foreign language or math in middle school, he or she must have additional courses in that language in grade 9-12.  See your counselor for details.)
    • Dual enrollment classes may count in the core-course requirements
    • Credit-by-Exams do not count in the core
    • Correspondence courses will be highly scrutinized and may be in question.
    • If you have attended another high school outside of Rockwall ISD, you must have that high school send an official transcript to the Eligibility Center even those grades are on the transcript.
    • Prospective student athletes must take either the SAT or the ACT.
    • When you register for the test, you must enter the Eligibility Center (9999) as one of the institutions to receive your scores or have them sent by the testing corporation at a later date.
    • We will send all test scores, if requested, but the NCAA wants official notification from the testing corporation.


    In order to be eligible, students must achieve a certain score depending on their core GPA for the core courses listed above.  The Eligibility Center developed a test score sliding scale.  For instance, if you have a 2.4 GPA in your 16 Core Courses, you need at least an 860 on the SAT or a 71 total on your ACT. The test score varies depending on your GPA.  You can access this information on the NCAA Eligibility Center website


    A student information brochure is available online, as well as other helpful college and recruiting information  The College-Bound Student Athlete handbook [pages 4-5] has more specifics about test scores and GPA requirements.

    How to register for the NCAA Eligibility Center:


    Prior to registering for the Eligibility Center, talk to your coach.  Tell your coach of your intentions. In addition, your academic counselor can also assist you with the process. After you have discussed your future plans with your coach, register at There is a registration fee.  Waivers are available.  Debit cards are not accepted.  Please see your counselor for more information.


    Talk with the registrar, Mrs. Allgood, to have an official transcript sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center at the end of your junior year [six-semester transcript].  The school sends a second official copy of your final transcript upon graduation [eight-semester transcript].


    The NCAA requires other information regarding athlete amateurism.  To compete at the Division I or II level, you  must receive Amateurism Certification.  See the College-Bound Student Athlete Handbook – page 9.



    • Meeting the NCAA Academic Rules does not guarantee your admission to a college.
    • Meeting NCAA Amateurism requirements does not guarantee your admission to a college.
    • You must still apply for admission to the college.
    • You must meet that college’s admissions requirements.


    Stay on top of the NCAA Clearing House process and your college admissions process.  Only you can take the final steps in the process.  Your coach and your high school counselor are here to help you through the process. But, you – the student athlete – are ultimately responsible for completing the process.  Visit the NCAA Eligibility Center for more information.

    How to register with the NAIA:


    The NAIA Eligibility Center accepts registrations from students interested in playing college sports. is the official clearinghouse for NAIA eligibility.  Every student seeking to compete in NAIA sports for the firsttime in 2012 or after must be registered with the NAIA Eligibility Center.


    Prospective students build a customized profile based on their sport and designate the type of schools, academic programs and activities of interest.  Once a custom profile is complete, a student can forward the profile and make a personal connection with college coaches and admissions officers.


    NAIA colleges and universities award $450 million in financial aid and offer students an opportunity to continue their athletic career and play for a shot at one of 23 national championships in college football, men’s basketball, softball and more.


    Prospective student athletes must visit to obtain clearance to participate in NAIA Collegiate Sports.