College Sports Eligibility

Students area advised to set up a meeting with the high school counselor to help plan out a course of study to assure college athletics eligibility.  The following information is also helpful to understand.

National College Athletic Association (NCAA)- There are three divisions of the NCAA.

  • Division I is the largest division and includes schools like MSU, UofM, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and Eastern Michigan.
  • Division II is the second largest division and includes schools like Ferris State, Wayne State, Saginaw Valley, Grand Valley, Northern Michigan, and Michigan Tech.
  • Both Division I and Division II schools require students to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.  The NCAA Eligibility Center will verify that students have a high enough GPA and ACT or SAT score.  They will also make sure the student has taken enough core classes.
  • Division III is the smallest division of NCAA schools.  Division III includes private schools like Hope, Adrian, Alma, and Olivet Colleges.  Division III schools do not require NCAA  Eligibility Center clearance. However, they are generally harder to get in academically.  Also, Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships.

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)- The NAIA has only one division.

  • NAIA includes schools like Aquinas, Concordia, Madonna and Spring Arbor Colleges.  The NIA has an Eligibility Center that students must register with. However, they do not require specific courses like the NCAA.