Play Division I Sports (2024)

If you want to compete in Division I NCAA sports, you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center ateligibilitycenter.orgto make sure you stay on track to meet initial-eligibility standards.

If you have questions about your eligibility or the registration process, call us toll free at 877-262-1492, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time. International students (including Quebec) use our International Contact Form, found atncaa.org/contactinternational.

Get Ready. Get Set. Go!

Grade 9

  • Start planning now!Register for a free Profile Page account ateligibilitycenter.orgfor information on NCAA initial-eligibility requirements.
  • Find your high school’s list of NCAA-approved core courses ateligibilitycenter.org/courselistto ensure you are taking the right courses, and earn the best grades possible.

Grade 10

  • If you are being actively recruited by an NCAA school and have a Profile Page account,transitionit to the rightCertification account.
  • Monitor thetask listin your NCAA Eligibility Center account for next steps.
  • At the end of the school year, ask your high school counselor from each school you have attended to upload an official transcript to your Eligibility Center account.
  • If you fall behind academically, ask your high school counselor for help findingapproved coursesyou can take.

Grade 11

  • Ensure yoursports participationinformation is correct in your Eligibility Center account.
  • Check with your high school counselor to make sure you are on track to complete the required number of NCAA-approvedcore coursesand graduate on time with your class.
  • At the end of the school year, ask your high school counselor from each school you have attended to upload an official transcript to your Eligibility Center account.

Grade 12

  • Request your final amateurism certificationbeginning April 1 (fall enrollees) or Oct. 1 (winter/spring enrollees) in your Eligibility Center account ateligibilitycenter.org.
  • Complete your final NCAA-approvedcore coursesas you prepare for graduation.
  • After you graduate, ask your high school counselor to upload your finalofficial transcriptwith proof of graduation to your Eligibility Center account.

Division I Academic Eligibility

To be eligible to compete in NCAA sports during your first year at a Division I school, you must meetALLthe following requirements:

  • Earn 16 NCAA-approvedcore-course credits:
    • Four years of English.
    • Three years of math (Algebra 1 or higher).
    • Two years of science (including one year of lab, if offered).
    • One additional year of English, math or science.
    • Two years of social science.
    • Four additional years of English, math, science, social science, world language or nondoctrinal religion/philosophy.
  • Complete 10 of your 16 NCAA-approved core-course credits, including seven in English, math or science, before the start of the seventh semester.
  • Complete your 16 NCAA-approved core-course credits in eight academic semesters or four consecutive academic years from the start of ninth grade.
  • Earn a minimum 2.3 core-course GPA.
  • Submit your final transcript with proof of graduation to the Eligibility Center.

More information regarding the impact of COVID-19 can be found aton.ncaa.com/COVID19_Spring2023.

What if I don’t meet the requirements?

If you have not met all of the Division I academic standards, you may not compete in your first year at a Division I school. However, if you qualify as an academic redshirt, you may practice during your first term in college and receive an athletics scholarship for the entire year.

To qualify as an academic redshirt, you must:

  • Earn 16 NCAA-approved core-course credits.
    • Four years of English.
    • Three years of math (Algebra 1 or higher).
    • Two years of science (including one year of lab, if offered).
    • One additional year of English, math or science.
    • Two years of social science.
    • Four additional years of English, math, science, social science, world language or nondoctrinal religion/philosophy.
  • Earn a minimum 2.0 core-course GPA.
  • Submit your final transcript with proof of graduation to the Eligibility Center.

If you are concerned you may not meet the Division I academic requirements, consider taking the following actions:

  • Ask for advice and accountability from your high school counselor. Check in with the admissions or compliance office at the college you hope to attend.
  • Get tutoring or other study help.
  • Graduate on time. Division I schools allow college-bound student-athletes who graduate on-time to take one core course during the year after they graduate high school.
  • Avoid quick fixes through credit recovery programs. These courses may not be accepted by the NCAA.
  • Keep your coursework. If the Eligibility Center needs to review your record due to irregularities, you may be asked to provide your coursework.
  • Follow your high school's policies. The best thing to do is work within the rules.

Amateurism

The NCAA promotes amateurism to create a level playing field for all student-athletes. The student-athletes who compete in college sports are students first, athletes second.If you want to compete in NCAA sports at a Division I school, you must have a completed amateurism certification in your Eligibility Center account.

More information regarding the impact of COVID-19 can be found aton.ncaa.com/COVID19_Spring2023.

For questions about name, image and likeness,click here.

Learn more about amateurism.

Eligibility Standards

  • Play Division I Sports
  • Play Division II Sports

Student-Athlete Pages

  • Choosing a College
  • Educational Resources
  • Grade-Point Average
  • Test Scores

Eligibility Toolkit

  • Division II Academic Requirements
  • Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete
  • 2.3 or Take a Knee

NCAA Resources

  • Sexual Violence Prevention Tool Kit

Division I Facts

Participation

  • 173,500 student- athletes.
  • 346 schools.

Athletic scholarships

  • Fifty-one percent of DI student-athletes receive some level of athletics aid.

Academics

  • 2012 Graduation Success Rate: 81 percent

Other stats

  • Average enrollment: 12,900
  • Average number of sports: 18 Average percentage of sudent body participating in NCAA sports: 6 percent
  • Division I national championships: 26 (1 out of every 8.5 student-athletes participates)
Play Division I Sports (2024)

FAQs

What are the chances of playing Division 1 sports? ›

Varsity Odds

Overall a little over 7% of high school athletes (about 1 in 13) go on to play a varsity sport in college and less than 2% of high school athletes (1 in 57) go on to play at NCAA Division I schools. For additional information, see our page on the Odds of going Pro.

How hard is it to play Division 1 sports? ›

It is the toughest division to get into and compete in. If you are on the roster of a Division 1 team, you are a Division 1 athlete. It's considered the most challenging division because you spend most of your time training at the gym or practicing.

What do you need to play Division 1 sports? ›

To play sports at an NCAA Division I or II institution, the student must:
  • Complete a certain number of high school core courses.
  • Earn a certain minimum grade point average in these core courses.
  • Earn a certain minimum score on the SAT or ACT.
  • Graduate from high school.

What does Division 1 mean for sports? ›

Division 1 Schools are known to have the best college athletes, especially in popular sports like football and basketball. There are 350 D1 schools with about 6,000 teams, covering a wide array of sports from football to volleyball to golf. Division 1 schools have large budgets and elaborate sports facilities.

What is the hardest sport to go Division 1 in? ›

#1) Men's & Women's Basketball

Mens basketball players have a 2-percent chance of playing D1 and women follow closely behind with 1.3-percent chance of moving from high school to the D1 level.

What is the easiest sport to get a D1 scholarship? ›

For men's sports, lacrosse, ice hockey, and baseball have the highest percentages of high school athletes receiving collegiate scholarships, and the same goes for ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer in women's programs.

Is D1 sports worth it? ›

D1 is more competitive than D3, and typically comes with more tuition benefits. D1 athletes also have a better chance of going pro after their college career. That being said, D3 athletes have more flexibility and time to engage with their studies and pursue other extracurriculars.

Can D1 athletes get paid? ›

What happened. The NCAA and five power conferences agreed Thursday to a $2.77 billion settlement that paves the way for schools to directly pay college athletes starting as soon as fall 2025. The agreement effectively kills the NCAA's century-old "bedrock amateurism model," The Associated Press said.

How do I become a D1 athlete? ›

Complete your 16 NCAA-approved core-course credits in eight academic semesters or four consecutive academic years from the start of ninth grade. Earn a minimum 2.3 core-course GPA. Submit your final transcript with proof of graduation to the Eligibility Center.

What is the average athletic scholarship amount for Division 1? ›

NCAA Athletic Scholarship Rules

Their amateur status must also be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. The average athletic scholarship for all sports in Division I is approximately $14,270 a year for men and $15,162 for women. In Division II sports, the numbers drop to $5,548 for men and $6,814 for women.

What is a D1 mentality? ›

D1 Mentality trains student-athletes to be accountable. to their own future, academically and athletically.

Are D3 sports worth it? ›

Nobody is depending on the sports to pay for college, and nothing is forcing you to be there. Although there can be pressure with any athletics team, Division III allows individuals to showcase their talent without it being a full-time job, which is something the other divisions don't offer.

How hard is it to get to Division 1? ›

The chances of receiving a division one football scholarships are very remote. There are only about 125 division one programs, and each has 85 scholarships. That means there are roughly 10,000 scholarship division one football players out there. With roughly 1.5 million high school players, the odds are less than 1%.

What are the odds of getting a college sports scholarship? ›

Most student-athletes do not receive a full-ride scholarship—in fact, only 1 percent do. Still, full-ride scholarships as the goal for many athletes, as they typically cover tuition and fees, books, room and board, supplies, and sometimes even living expenses.

What is the hardest sport to go pro in? ›

What Sport Is Hardest To Go Pro In?
  • Golf – The skill level required is extremely high, and the competitive field is vast. ...
  • Baseball – The pathway to professional baseball, particularly in Major League Baseball (MLB), is highly competitive.
Nov 16, 2023

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