Midwest Elite Basketball » College Recruiting: Levels, Scholarships, Academics

College Recruiting: Levels, Scholarships, Academics

Recruiting Levels

NCAA

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) is the main level of hoops most student athletes, parents and coaches are familiar with. There are three levels to the NCAA with each having it’s own set of rules.

  • NCAA Division I
    • Full Scholarships: Men-13/Women-15.  This is the maximum amount of scholarships available at the DI level. Players are either on a “Full” or they are “Walk-Ons” (receive zero athletic aid).
    • Player Commitment: The highest level of basketball requires the highest level of commitment.
      • Off-Season Workouts: Pre-season will start as soon as classes begin in the fall. Spring and summer workouts are also mandatory at a majority of DI programs.
      • In-Season: 1st practice will take place 40 Days before 1st competition date. With a short break for Christmas, there isn’t much off-time for players at this level.
      • The season truly is year round
    • Academic Requirements: Play Division I Sports is the go-to reference for all the academic requirements to be eligible at the NCAA DI level.
  • NCAA Division II
    • Scholarships: Men-Max 10/Women- Max 10:   The one big difference between DI is that coaches can divide their scholarships up however they want. This means one player could be on a full, one player could be on a “partial” (say, 50% of his out of pocket expense covered) or a player could be a “Walk-On”.
      • NOTE: Just because 10 scholarships is the max, does not mean every single program operates on a level playing field. Some schools have only 5-6 scholarships, while some other programs are, “Fully Funded”, have the max amount scholarships.
    • Player Commitment: A lot of D2 programs are considered “8 Month Programs” than the year round Division I lifestyle.
      • Off-Season Workouts: Similar to DI’s, there is a 4-5 week pre-season program and  a 5-6 week spring program athletes will be required to take part in. The big difference between DI and DII is there are no summer workouts at the D2 level.
    • Academic Requirements: Play Division II Sports is the go-to reference for all the academic requirements to be eligible at the NCAA DII level.
  • NCAA Division III
    • ZERO Scholarships: At the NCAA DIII level there is absolutely no money awarded for athletic aid. A majority of the financial aid given out is for academics. Over 75 percent of student athletes receive some form of merit or needs-based financial aid.
    • Player Commitment: D3 programs do not have an organized fall or spring workout requirement. The season will officially start on October 15th with the first practice and will be over after the last game.
    • Academic Requirements: Unlike NCAA DI or DII, you do not have to register with the NCAA Clearinghouse to be accepted to an NCAA DIII school. Each university/college sets their own academic requirements.

NCAA Clearinghouse Website: Any athlete looking to go NCAA DI or DII will need to register with the NCAA Clearinghouse.

NAIA

The NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) is an athletic association that organizes college and university-level athletic programs, primarily across the United States but also outside the US. There are two levels to the NAIA with just a few differences:

  • NAIA Division I
    • Scholarships: For both men and women the maximum amount of scholarships available is 11. Each program/institution has varying amounts of scholarships available. Some programs are very limited in their resources, say 3-4 scholarships to breakup, while other “Fully Funded” programs have the maximum allotted.
    • Player Commitment: At the NAIA level each program differs in what their out of season workout program entails.
  • NAIA Division II
    • Scholarships: For both men and women the maximum amount of scholarships is 6. At this level a lot of time universities/colleges will piece together athletic aid, academic aid, travel scholarships (out of state students) and various other forms of aid to complete the scholarship package. Each school is different depending on how their funding is set up.
    • Player Commitment:At the NAIA level each program differs in what their out of season workout program entails.
  • NAIA Academic Requirements

NAIA Clearinghouse Website: Any athlete looking to play NAIA sports will need to register with the NAIA Clearinghouse.

JUNIOR COLLEGE

NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) is the main governing body for what are considered “National Junior Colleges”. It is broken up into 3 levels just like the NCAA. Scholarship’s awarded at each level are also similar to the NCAA, while the academic requirements and off-season commitment are not as stringent.

  • NJCAA Division I
    • Full Scholarships: Men-Max 15/Women-Max 15: Unlike NCAA DI where a majority of programs have the maximum allotted scholarships, at the NJCAA DI level each program varies on how many scholarships they can award.
      • Tuition, room, board, books, fees and a small stipend towards class related fees can all be covered.
  • NJCAA Division II
    • Scholarships: The only difference between NJCAA DI and NJCAA DII, is that at the DII level, housing and meals cannot be covered by the schools. Only tuition, fees, books and a small stipend towards class related fees can be covered.
  • NJCAA Division III
    • ZERO Scholarships: Athletes receive no athletic aid. Institutional financial aid, government financial aid or outside scholarships can all be applied towards the cost of tuition, books, housing, etc.
  • NJCAA Academic Requirements: FAQ’s regarding eligibility at the NJCAA level

CCCAA (California Community College Athletic Association) is the official junior college basketball league for the state of California. Around 75% of the players who play in the CCCAA are from the state of California. Over 90 teams participate throughout the state ultimately crowning a “State Champion”. Players from this league move on to every level from NCAA DI-NAIA DII.

  • ZERO Scholarships: Athletes receive no athletic aid. Institutional financial aid, government financial aid or outside scholarships can all be applied towards the cost of tuition, books, housing, etc.

NWAC (Northwest Athletic Conference) is the official junior college basketball league for the Pacific Northwest. It includes 35 teams from Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Just like the other junior college leagues, the NWAC host their own championship tournament at the end of the season. Players from this league move on to every level from NCAA DI-NAIA DII.

  • Scholarship Breakdown
    • Washington/Idaho: Max scholarship is 65% of tuition. They can also offer 25%, 40% or 0%. It all depends on the level of player.
    • Oregon: Max scholarship is 100% of tuition.
  • Geographic Caveat: Players from 10 western states (WA, OR, CA, ID, MT, AK, NV, UT, WY, HI) and British Columbia are the only players who can receive athletic aid.

 

 

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