International students can participate in NCAA athletics if they meet certain eligibile requirements.
Q: What are the funding realities for an international student and scholarships for athletics?
A: The number of athletic scholarships available for Division I or II eligible athletes is limited. The percentage out of the entire athletic recruitment budget varies by sport and may depend on the ranking assigned by the coach to prospective athlete.
Q: What is the registration timeline for potential college athletes with the NCAA?
A: All candidates should follow the respective rules as designated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), or the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Q: Are there special processes or requirements that international students must complete prior, during or following application and acceptance to be a student athlete?
A: If the international student athlete has a high school record which includes attendance of a non-US high school, the documentation may require formal translation of the record by an approved credential evaluation agency. This is to determine if the academic eligibility requirements are being met.
Q: What are the differences, if any, that international students and their families should know about athletic recruitment or being a student athlete?
A: Athletic coaches may or may not know about the additional information that international students need in order to meet and keep their student visa eligibility. There may be additional requirements if the college participates in international competition such as travel to Canada. Summer training weeks may need prior approval by the DSO.
Q: May a student use an educational consultant who specializes in athletic
recruitment? Are they considered an agent?
A: If the individual is a consultant and is not being paid a commission by a college or university, then, generally, it is permissible. A consultant may charge a fee for his advice. Individuals or businesses who are paid a commission to direct clients to colleges and universities for admission on per head basis are agents. If an Agent does not disclose his association with educational institutions and in addition, charges a fee to client families for services AND if the knowledge later becomes public, students run the risk of being denied acceptance to colleges, the loss of their student visa, and the loss of scholarships. Under NCAA rules, the definition of an agent is clearly defined and the use of their services is not permitted. There are specific services that may not be used or received under the NCAA rules.
- The NCAA has produced an extensive guide on international athletic and academic standards titled,International Standards: Guide to International Academic Standards for Athletics Eligibility. For questions regarding a student’s eligibility and country-specific requirements, see the guide.
- College-bound international student athletes should register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
- Although not international student-specific, NACAC's publication Get In The Game: Tips for Student-Athletes and Their Families helps students plan ahead for collegiate athletics.
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