23 Information for Athletes Athletesshouldmeetwiththeircounselorduringtheirfreshmanyear to discuss NCAA requirements, and to make sure they’re taking the right courses. Athletes should take the ACT and/or SAT in the spring of their junior year. If you’re thinking about playing a sport in college,besuretotalktoyourcounselorand to your coach about your plans. Colleges are affiliated with athletic associations who have their own rules, regulations, and eligibility requirements. Basic eligibility guidelines for the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA are outlined below. NCAA (over 1,000 member colleges) – Division I and Division II colleges can offer athletic scholarships; Division III colleges (mostly smaller, private colleges) cannot. Division III athletes do not need to meet NCAA academic requirements. Athletes going to Division I and II colleges must have a minimum GPA in a specified number of core courses. They must also have the required ACT or SAT score. To initiate the eligibility process, athletes need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. This should be done at the beginning of an athlete’s junior year. www.eligibilitycenter.org. NAIA (over 300 member colleges) – NAIA colleges can award full or partial scholarships. To play a sport or receive an athletic scholarship, athletes must meet two of the following three NAIA requirements: 1) have the required minimum ACT or SAT score; 2) have an overall GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale; 3) graduate in the top half of their class. For more information, go to www. playnaia.org. NJCAA (over 500 member colleges) – Division I and II junior and commu- nity colleges can offer scholarships; Division III colleges cannot. There are noacademic eligibilityrequirementsforathletesenteringtwo-yearcolleges. For information, go to www.njcaa.org.