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What is the NCAA?
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a voluntary organization through which American colleges and universities govern their athletics programs. It comprises more than 1,250 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals.
What do I need to do to compete in the NCAA?
In order to compete in the NCAA you must graduate from high school, write the SAT or ACT, register with the NCAA Clearinghouse, meet NCAA academic standards, remain academically and athletically eligible to compete and be admitted to an NCAA institution.
How many universities offer hockey programs?
There are approximately 58 Division I, 4 Division II, and 74 Division III hockey programs.
B. Division I, II and III
What is Division I?
Division I is the highest level of athletic competition in the NCAA. Athletic programs at Division I universities can offer financial aid or scholarships based solely on athletic ability.
What is Division II?
Division II universities compete in athletics at the Division III level but, unlike Division III institutions, they are permitted to offer financial aid or scholarships based solely on athletic ability.
What is Division III?
Division III universities focus much more on the academic experience than on the athletic experience of the student-athlete. As such Division III universities prohibit financial aid or scholarships based on athletic ability only. Furthermore, rules and regulations governing competition in Division III athletics are less stringent then those that govern competition in Division I.
C. NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse
What is the NCAA Clearinghouse?
The NCAA Clearinghouse is an agency which performs amateurism certification and determines the NCAA academic eligibility of all student-athletes wishing to compete in NCAA Division I or II athletics (Note: Division III institutions individually determine the eligibility of their incoming student-athletes.) The clearinghouse evaluates student courses, grades and test scores to determine whether students meet prescribed minimum academic requirements and will provide the student's initial-eligibility certification results to all universities that request this information. Any prospective student-athlete who will enroll in college and compete in NCAA Division I or Division II athletics must register with the Clearinghouse. Initial-eligibility certification from the clearinghouse does not guarantee your admission to any Division I or II college. You must apply for college admission separately. The clearinghouse only determines whether you meet NCAA requirements as a freshman student-athlete in a Division I or II college to be able to compete, practice and receive an athletics scholarship.
What is Amateurism Certification?
Amateurism certification is a process to determine the amateur status of freshman and transfer student athletes initially enrolling at NCAA Divisions I and II member institutions. Prospects will complete an amateurism section when they register with the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse.
Amateurism certification will consider a student-athlete’s:
* Contracts with a professional team (Division I).
* Salary for participating in athletics (Division I).
* Prize money above actual and necessary expenses (Division I).
* Play with professionals (Division I).
* Tryouts, practice or competition with a professional team (Division I).
* Benefits from an agent or prospective agent (Divisions I and II).
* Agreement to be represented by an agent (Divisions I and II).
* Organized-competition rule (Divisions I and II)
When should I register for the Clearinghouse?
If you wish to compete in the NCAA in the future you should register with the NCAA Clearinghouse after completion of grade 11, or as soon as possible thereafter, even if you have not received an offer to attend an NCAA university.
How do I register for the Clearinghouse?
1. Go to www.ncaaclearinghouse.net
How do I contact the NCAA Clearinghouse?
Go to www.ncaaclearinghouse.net for contact information.
D. Athletic Scholarships
What are athletic scholarships?
Athletic scholarships are 1-year contracts officially called “National Letters of Intent.” These contracts are between the university and the student-athlete and are awarded based on some degree on athletic ability.
Does every student-athlete receive a 100% “full-scholarship”?
Typically, university hockey teams carry 22-26 players and have 18 “full-scholarships” to distribute at they see fit. Usually, of these 18 athletic scholarships some are divided into partial athletic scholarships and some remain full athletic scholarships. Most teams have some student-athletes who receive only a portion of their expenses in scholarship and some athletes who receive all their expenses in scholarship.
What universities offer athletic scholarships?
Athletes can receive athletic scholarships to Division I and II universities only. However, there are a number of universities within Division I that offer financial aid rather than athletic scholarships.
E. Financial Aid
What is financial aid?
Financial aid is a grant from the university that is not based on athletic ability or participation on a college or university team.
What is covered by financial aid?
Financial aid can be granted for tuition and fees, room and board, books and transportation.
How do universities determine “financial need” when that is the main criteria for receiving financial aid?
Although determining “financial need” varies between universities, it is typically calculated based on the student’s savings and expected earnings over the summer, as well as the parents’ overall wealth (earnings, savings, equity, investments etc). The university makes a judgment on the amount that the student and parents are able to contribute towards a university education. Any shortfall between expected contribution and university expenses (tuition, room and board, books, and transportation) is covered by financial aid.
What universities offer financial aid?
Financial aid is offered at a variety of universities. Most Division III universities offer financial aid, as do many universities in Division I such as those in the Ivy League.
A. Academic Eligibility
How many years of academic eligibility do I have to compete in NCAA athletics?
In general, student-athletes have 10 semesters (5 years) to complete the academic requirements of a university degree while playing NCAA athletics. If at any point you enroll full-time at a post-secondary institution in Canada or the US your “academic clock” (i.e. 5 years) begins to count down and can never be stopped. Therefore, once you enroll full-time you have 5 years of academic eligibility in which to complete 4 years of athletic eligibility.
What is needed to determine academic eligibility?
In order to compete in the NCAA student-athletes must graduate from high school and write a standardized test such as the SAT or ACT. For Division I and II students must then register with the NCAA Clearinghouse and be “cleared”, both academically and athletically to compete in university athletics.
B. High School
What courses are required by Canadians to be academically eligible for the NCAA?
For students graduating from Alberta high schools the following requirements apply:
For students entering the NCAA in 2008 and later
(16 Core Courses)
4 years of English.
3 years of mathematics
2 years of natural/physical science
1 year of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science.
2 years of social science.
4 years of additional courses from any area above, foreign language or nondoctrinal religion/philosophy).
C. SAT I: Reasoning Test
What is the SAT?
The SAT is a three-hour test that measures mathematical, critical reading and writing skills. Many colleges and universities use the SAT as one indicator of a student's readiness to perform college-level work. SAT scores are compared with the scores of other applicants and the accepted scores at an institution. For more online sample questions and preparation materials, visit www.collegboard.com.
Note: It is important to note that once you enroll “full-time” in college or university you can no longer write the SAT.
What subjects does the SAT cover?
There are three sections on the current version of the SAT.
* Writing Section: Multiple choice questions and a written essay
* Critical Reading: Both short and long reading passages
* Math: Expanded to include 3rd year high school material
How is the SAT scored?
The SAT is score out of a total of 2400. Each section of the SAT (math, critical reading and writing) is scored on a scale of 200-800. If the SAT is written more than once, the highest math score, the highest verbal score and the highest writing score will be combined to create the highest overall score.
How do I register for the SAT?
Go to www.collegeboard.com
How many times can I write the SAT?
There is no limit to the number of times that a student can write the SAT, however only 6 scores willappear on the SAT score report.
How do I study for the SAT?
The most effective way to prepare for the SAT is to register and take the online SAT Prep course available to BC student athletes.
What's the difference between the SAT and SAT II Subject Tests?
The SAT tests general aptitude in Math and English where as the SAT II’s test knowledge in specific subject areas. The SAT is required to compete in the NCAA while the SAT II’s are required at the discretion of individual universities.
What is amateurism?
In order to compete in the NCAA student-athletes must be classified as “amateurs” by the NCAA. To remain an “amateur” you cannot compete or sign a contract with a professional team, accept money or gifts for athletic ability retain the services of an agent, or receive money for educational expenses based on athletic ability.
How many years of athletic eligibility do I have to compete in NCAA athletics?
You have four (4) years of athletic eligibility in the NCAA.
2. Major Junior (WHL, OHL, QMJHL)
Can I play games in major junior and still be eligible to compete in the NCAA?
The NCAA considers major junior hockey to be professional hockey. Therefore student-athletes who compete in Major Junior jeopardize some or all of their NCAA athletic eligibility because they fail to remain “amateurs” as per NCAA regulations. Student-athletes will lose all athletic eligibility to compete in NCAA Division I hockey if they:
* compete in any major junior game after their expected date of high school graduation, or
* sign a contract (“WHL Player Agreement”) with a major junior team
* attend a major junior training camp for more than 48 hours while having their expenses covered by the major junior team
Can I tryout for teams in major junior and still be eligible to compete in the NCAA?
Before enrollment in a NCAA university an athlete can:
* Tryout for any length of time with a professional or major junior hockey team at your own expense.
* Receive one expense paid tryout with a professional or major junior team as long as it does not exceed48 hours. (Note: You can only receive 1 expenses paid tryout from each team.)
Note that during a tryout, an individual loses NCAA athletic eligibility if he takes part in any outside competition as a representative of that major junior team (games, scrimmages, 3-on-3 tournaments, etc.).
Does the major junior rule apply to Division II and III?
Although the rule varies slightly between divisions, competition at the major junior level may jeopardize eligibility to compete in all NCAA divisions. For more specific information concerning how the rule is applied to Division II and III visit www.ncaa.org.
3. 21-Year Old Rule
What happens if I turn 21 years old during the junior hockey season?
If you play a junior hockey game after your 21st birthday you will lose 1 year of NCAA athletic eligibility leaving you with 3 years remaining.
Does this rule apply to Division II and III?
No. This rule applies only to Division I.
How can I turn 21 years old, continue playing junior hockey and still retain NCAA eligibility?
Using the NCAA “transfer rules” you can continue playing junior hockey after your 21st birthday and retain 4 years of athletic eligibility if, prior to your 21st birthday, you enroll full-time at a college institution that does not sponsor a hockey program. Although you will lose some of your 5-year academic eligibility as your 5 yr clock will start ticking you will not lose any of your 4-year athletic eligibility.
Does the rule apply to Division II and III?
No. The 21-year old rule applies only to student-athletes wishing to compete in Division I. It does not apply to those student-athletes wishing to compete in Division II and III. information such as SAT, high school average and hockey statistics.
When can universities start contacting and recruiting?
University hockey coaches can contact you or your parent’s once during the month of July after grade 10 and once in grade 11. After July 1 of the summer between grade 11 and grade 12 college coaches may contact you once a week throughout the year.
What is an “official visit” or “fly-down”?
An “official visit” or “fly-down” is a visit to a university campus paid for by the university or hockey program. Fly-downs are used by athletics programs to introduce you to the university and members of the team, give you a flavor for the campus and induce you to attend their university.
How many official visits can I make?
You can receive a maximum of 5 official visits but may only visit each campus once.
What are the rules concerning official visits?
In order to make an official visit you must have started classes in grade 12. Also, before a university can bring you to campus on a visit you must provide high school transcripts and a completed SAT or ACT score and be registered with the clearing house. Each official visit may last no longer than 48 hours and can cover food, entertainment, lodging and transportation