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College Sports Recruiting

How Do I Find The Right College Fit As A Student-Athlete?

Are you a student-athlete struggling to find the perfect school that aligns with your academic and athletic aspirations? This blog post will explore how to identify schools that align with your academic and athletic aspirations.

Written by

Lars Blenckers

Identifying your academic needs

The first step in finding the right fit for college sports recruitment is identifying your academic needs. This means researching and evaluating the study programs offered by different schools and seeing what you qualify for with your academic background.

Do you qualify for NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA?


It is important to understand the academic requirements for NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA as each organization and division has different eligibility criteria.

NCAA requirements

  • Graduating from high school or completing a GED
  • Attaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Meeting the NCAA Core Coursework


NAIA requirements

  • Graduating from high school or completing a GED
  • Attaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Meeting the NAIA's test score requirements (e.g., SAT or ACT)

NJCAA requirements

  • Graduating from high school or completing a GED
  • Maintaining Amateur Status
  • International students need English-translated transcripts from year nine onwards as graduation proof.

By understanding which organization and division you qualify for, you can narrow down your list of suitable colleges

Learn more about NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA

identify academic needs as a student-athlete

Check the academic requirements per university

After you’ve found out in which division you can play based on your academics, it’s important to research the academic requirements of the schools on your shortlist. Schools often ask for minimum scores like:

  • GPA
  • SAT/ACT
  • TOEFL/IELTS or DuoLingo (for international students)

Find your desired study program

Consider your study program and future career goals when evaluating programs.

Finding a school with a strong program in your desired field of study is important.

Check out a list of example study programs at UNC.

After researching the above, you should have a good overview of schools that fit you academically. We understand this can still be overwhelming, and are here to help you with this search process. 

Assessing your athletic fit

With a clear understanding of your academic qualifications and the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA requirements, it's time to narrow down your list of potential schools to those that also align with your athletic abilities.

This process can be challenging, especially for sports that require specific skills that can only be showcased on video.

Our blog posts about specific scholarship opportunities for soccer and field hockey, can help you determine the best division for you based on your level of play. It will give you a clearer idea of the schools that align with your athletic qualifications, making your search process more efficient.

Knowing the recruiting standards, you also want to know your athletic goals. Whether you want to play professionally after your college career or just want a challenge, there is a place for you. 

what school is a good fit athletically?

Get evaluated

Still unsure of your level of play and where you fit in the college sports recruitment process? 

We can provide you with a free evaluation. We will assess your skills and provide an accurate understanding of your academic and athletic qualifications, helping you identify the right division and schools for you.

Get Evaluated

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