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Student-athletes need to check eligibility requirements

Financial Aid Tip of the Month, October 2022

High school students who plan to play college sports must make sure they’re eligible. Requirements differ for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics or the National Junior College Athletic Association, according to KHEAA.

Athletes at an NCAA Division I or Division II school must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at to find out if they’re eligible. At that site they’ll see their high school’s core courses. Only the core courses on the NCAA list can be used to figure their core-course GPA.

In addition to their core-course GPA, they must have certain scores on the ACT or SAT. To make sure the NCAA gets their test scores, they should enter the NCAA code, 9999, when they register for each test.

Home-schooled students must register at the Eligibility Center and meet the same requirements as other student-athletes. Students and parents can also find information under the FAQs at

NCAA Division III schools don’t give athletic scholarships. Students who want to play sports at a Division III school should contact the school to find out what its policies are.

Students who want to play sports at an NAIA college or university must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center at

A student’s eligibility is based on their high school grades. ACT or SAT scores, class rank and dual credit may also be considered. Rules may be different for home-schooled students or GED earners.

To play sports at an NJCAA school, students must have a high school diploma or a GED. Home-schooled students must meet different requirements. To learn more, find the link to the NJCAA Handbook under the Membership tab on, then click on the link to the bylaws.

KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents.

In addition, KHEAA disburses private Advantage Education Loans on behalf of its sister agency, KHESLC. For more information, visit

KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the FAFSA. For more information about those services, visit

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