We cannot begin to understand the difficult and uncertain time these past weeks have been for you and your family. The disruption in your sporting and academic schedules have been immense. We want to Salute every student who has started to implement constructive and creative ways to remain positive and took action to face these challenges to continue to keep mentally and physically strong during this period.
In today’s blog, we focus on a very important aspect that has implications for student-athletes who are looking to start at NCAA DI and DII Institution this coming Fall. If you are a South African student, the following will be applicable to you only if you graduated Matric in 2019.
We would like to encourage all our students who are currently building relationships with coaches to verify if their respective university or college will incorporate these decisions. If you have any questions or uncertainties you are most welcome to contact us and we will be happy to guide you through.
The reason why you are here today, embarking on a future student-athlete career internationally just goes to show that you have the character and will to succeed no matter what the world throws at you. We believe in you and we will be every step of the way, helping and giving advice during this time.
Have you heard of the NAIA or the NJCAA? In this week's blog, we are going to break these two associations down and list why these can be another alternative to the NCAA, as the NCAA may not be the best option for everyone.
The National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is the USA's oldest collegiate sports governing body, which is comprised of smaller universities and colleges. There are about 300 NAIA member schools that help over 60,000 student-athletes achieve academic success, while they compete in the sports they love.
NAIA institutions tend to be smaller private universities and colleges; offering a personalised experience that focuses on academic excellence and competitive athletics. There are a large number of Protestant and Catholic institutions in the NAIA; however, this is not a religious, athletic association; and there are many nondenominational schools included.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics only has one division, with the exception of basketball, which has D1 and D2. The level of competition in the NAIA is often compared to the NCAA's Division 2 level. However, there are some teams who will be able to compete at the NCAA Division 1 level, if their colleges had to make the switch.
Should students wish to compete in the NAIA, they will have to meet two out of the three requirements listed below, before being able to compete:
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NJCAA) consists only of Junior & Community Colleges, where students graduate with a two-year associates degree. These Two-year colleges often have partnerships with surrounding universities that are in favour of accepting transfer students into their 3rd year of studies. Thus, students will receive academic credits when they transfer into NCAA or NAIA colleges.
Coaches in the NJCAA, form close relationships with NCAA and NAIA coaches. Many see it as their duty to get their student-athletes placed at top-class Universities where they can further their academic and athletic careers. Many athletes spend one year in the NJCAA; before being scouted and moving across to the NCAA.
The NJCAA has three divisions, over 500 member institutions, and 60,000 student-athletes. The level of competition in Division 1 is comparable to the NCAA Division 1 AA (The second tier of NCAA D1) or top teams in the NCAA Division 2.
Students who wish to compete in the NJCAA will have to meet basic academic requirements. A student simply needs to have a 45% matriculation average or a 1.6 GPA to be able to play. However, should they wish to transfer from the NCJAA into an NAIA or NCAA institution, they will need to take the SAT, before doing so.
There you have it, folks, we have broken down the two major alternative athletic associations to the NCAA. Students, naturally want to compete in the NCAA, but sometime this may not be the right choice for them, based on a number of factors. The NAIA and the NJCAA are both fantastic routes that our students have taken, to reach their academic and athletic goals. Should you have any other questions, please comment below, reach out to us on our social media channels or contact us on our Contacts Page.
University Transfer Process and Transfer Rules:
Deciding to transfer to another school is a cardinal and often hard choice to make when it comes to your college career. It is important to do your homework and to make sure you understand how transferring will affect you, your education and your chances to continue playing college sports.
How do I know if I am a transfer student-athlete?
Ask yourself if you have met any of the conditions — called “transfer triggers” — of a typical transfer situation:
1. Have you been a full-time student at a two or four-year college during a regular academic term?
2. Have you practiced with a college team?
3. Have you practiced or competed while enrolled as a part-time student?
4. Have you received athletically related financial aid from a college while attending summer school?
5. If you attended a Division I school, have you received any type of financial aid from a college while attending summer school?
Answered “yes” to any of those questions? You are likely a transfer student-athlete.
Answered "no" to all those questions? You may not be considered a transfer student-athlete and the transfer rules may not apply to you.
Steps to take before you transfer:
Transferring from a two-year College:
In order to transfer from a two-year community or junior college, you will need to graduate with an associate degree and have enough credits to transfer to a four-year institute.
Transferring from a two-year College Checklist:
Transferring from a four-year College:
Many schools require transfer students to have completed a minimum number of credits before they are eligible to transfer. In general, expect to complete at least two semesters of studies at your current four-year school before looking to transfer.
Transferring from a four-year College Checklist:
When can I chat with new coaches?
When transferring from one NCAA school to another NCAA school, there are extremely important rules to take note of. When wanting to start the transfer process. you will need to send a request to your current coach and sporting director for your name and contact information to be added to the transfer portal before engaging in ANY athletics communication, directly or indirectly with your prospective new schools.
Any NAIA student-athlete wishing to transfer to an NCAA Division I school must first obtain permission from their current NAIA school.
For any NAIA student-athlete wishing to contact an NCAA Division II school, permission to contact is not required to begin speaking with the NCAA Division II school. However, if the NCAA Division II school chooses to begin recruiting you, it is obligated by NCAA recruiting rules to notify your NAIA school of any recruiting activity.
When can you start competing at your new school?
Depending on your college history, you might be able to compete as soon as you start at your new school, or you might have to sit out and be enrolled full-time for one academic year once transferred. This 'one year' is called "Academic residence" and is designed to allow you to adapt to your new environment.
However, there are a number of transfer exceptions that could allow you to practice, compete or receive an athletic scholarship during your first year at your new school. Remember, other schools or conference rules also impact your immediate eligibility.
Working with your new school's compliance officer is the best way to determine when you will be eligible to compete.
Will my scholarship money and financial aid transfer?
Financial Aid doesn't transfer between institutions because different colleges have their own ways of awarding aid. Your scholarship size will most likely also change when wanting to transfer - not all schools have the same budgets for student-athletes, so be prepared for changes in your college expenses.
Transferring schools is not a decision that you should take lightly, you need to be sure of your decision as well as know why you want to make the move. You could be looking for a stronger athletic team, a different academic challenge or a change of scenery. No matter the reason for the transfer, please be 100% certain this is what you want.
If any student-athletes are needing assistance with transferring, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.