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Collegiate Athletic Recruiting Guide

Be proactive in the recruiting process

8 Steps to Get Recruited

  1. Take the Right Classes - check with your counselor
  2. Make Your List(s) - dream schools, academic programs, DI, II, III, junior college. Also, what are your strengths, what makes you a great college recruit (leader, mental tough, etc.)
  3. Register With the NCAA. All DI & DII student-athlete recruits will need to have completed this by the end of their senior HS year. Start looking at it the beginning of Sophomore year.
  4. Research the Schools - do you want urban or rural? large or small? close to home or warm? what is your academic interest? and level?
  5. Create a Video - not all sports/coaches want or watch video. Check with your high school coach about their thoughts.
  6. Contact - email & call. Email your info & interest. Calling can make the difference. It shows your confidence & desire.
  7. Increase Your Game and Your Exposure at a University Camp
  8. The Final Choice


College Recruiting Process: How Do Colleges Recruit Athletes?

Steps to College: A Quick Overview of the Recruiting Timeline

Augustana softball coach Gretta Melsted talks recruiting 

Recruiting Column: Wish I would’ve known then, what I know now 

How to Know If a College Coach is Interested in You 

College coaches looking for more than just talent

12 Things All College Coaches Want in a Recruit

Should parents talk to college coaches? 


the collegiate athletic process

College Pathways for Student-athletes May 12 Webinar


The Panelists (moderated by Jay Wilson)

  • Dawn Crow: UW Stevens Point Women's Soccer Head Coach/DIII  - Stevens Point, WI
  • Casey Green:   Bryant & Stratton College Men's & Women's Head XC & Track Coach/NJCAA  Wauwatosa, WI
  • Brandi Alonzo: Viterbo University V-Hawks Women's Softball Head Coach/NAIA - Lacrosse, WI
  • Tim Koenig: Fairmont State University Men's Basketball Head Coach/DII - Fairmont, WV
  • Steve Anschutz:  Concordia University Wisconsin Men's & Women's Tennis Head Coach/DIII  - Mequon, WI
  • Shalla Moy -  UW Madison Women's Club Soccer, W-MASC League
  • Alicia Pelton - Madison West HS Athletic Director

NCAA Division I, II, & III

4/17/2020: NCAA announced it would be providing a one-time automatic eligibility waiver for incoming freshman due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this waiver, SAT and ACT test scores will be waived and students will only need to “meet the core-course progression requirement” and maintain a 2.3 GPA. In fact, proof of graduation isn’t even required.  Read More


Division I schools, on average, enroll the most students, manage the largest athletics budgets, offer a wide array of academic programs and provide the most athletics scholarships. Division II schools provide growth opportunities through academic achievement, high-level competition and a focus on community engagement. Division III schools provide an integrated environment focusing on academic success while offering a competitive athletics environment.

NCAA Eligibility Center

You need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center to compete at an NCAA Division I or II school. Create a Certification Account and NCAA will guide you through the process.

National Letter of Intent (NLI)

Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships or have NLIs

NAIA College Athletics


The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. Each year more than 65,000 NAIA student-athletes have the opportunity to play college sports, earn over $600 million in scholarships, and compete for a chance to participate in 26 national championships.

NAIA Eligibility Center

Every student-athlete must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center to play sports at an NAIA college or university.

NAIA Showcase

The NAIA is the only college athletics association that offers official events for prospective student-athletes to showcase their skills on the field in front of NAIA coaches.

NAIA Scholarships

NAIA colleges and universities determine how much financial aid is awarded to an individual student-athlete. Under no conditions may anyone else provide direct financial assistance to any student-athlete. Scholarships, grants-in-aid or student loans are controlled by each institution through the same process that handles all student loans and scholarships. Each sport has an overall limit on the amount of financial aid it can award to students who will compete in varsity contests in that sport.

NJCAA Colleges


The National Junior College Athletic Association, founded in 1938, is the governing association of community college, state college and junior college athletics throughout the United States. Currently the NJCAA holds 24 separate regions across 24 states and is divided into 3 divisions.

NJCAA Scholarships DI, DII, & DIII

Division I Colleges may grant full athletic scholarships (tuition, books, fees, room & board), up to $250 in course required supplies and transportation costs one time per academic year to and from the college by direct route. Each sport has limits on the number of scholarships that can be granted. Division II Colleges may grant athletic scholarships, but scholarships are limited to tuition, books, fees and up to $250 in course required supplies. Each sport has limits on the number of scholarships that can be granted. Division III Colleges are not permitted to offer any athletic scholarships