Choosing the correct subjects can make all the difference for aspiring athletes.
Choosing subjects in grade 9 can be daunting. Not all students know at 14 or 15 years old what they want to do when they get to university, so making sure that you set yourself up as best as possible is very important. When looking at what subjects to take leading up to matric, there are a few things you should know. Choosing your high school subjects wisely can play a major role in your USA athletic chances. There are three sporting associations; the NCAA, NAIA, and the NJCAA. The subject requirements set out by the NCAA, if followed, will ensure that you qualify for all three sporting associations, giving yourself the best opportunity to win a scholarship.
USA Universities and Athletic Associations take your Grade 9 to Grade 12 marks into consideration. The NCAA requires South Africans to take; Mathematics, English and a second language for four years. They also require 2 Social Sciences and 2 Natural Sciences over the course of grade 9 to grade 12. Maths Literacy is not accepted by the NCAA but is accepted by the NAIA and NJCAA.
The following subjects will give you credit when selecting a Social Science: History, Geography, Religion, Archaeology, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Business Studies. South African Business Economics does not qualify.
Here are three ways to ensure social science compliance:
1. When selecting subjects, you should choose from History and Geography. These subjects are the most commonly chosen subjects by students when trying to qualify for NCAA eligibility.
2. If your high school combines History and Geography into Social Science in grade 9, you will get one credit. If they are listed separately on your report card, It does not matter that both subjects were taken in the same year, you will get two credits.
3. If it is too late to take these required subjects in school, an online course can be taken. These courses are eight to twelve weeks long and are completed online. Contact us for more information regarding this.
Three ways to ensure social science compliance:
1. In Grade 9 you took Biology and Physical Science (Not combined into Natural Science)
2. When choosing subjects in grade 9, select either Biology or Physical Science. (This is the best way to qualify for NCAA eligibility.)
3. If it is too late to take these required subjects in school, an online course can be taken. These courses are eight to twelve weeks long and are marked online. Contact us for more information regarding this.
Common problems that students experience:
1) South African schools often combined Geography and History into Social Science. At the same time, they also combined Physical Science and Life Science into Natural Sciences. This results in the NCAA only recognising one subject, meaning you will need to take more subjects in grade 10.
The NCAA does not recognise maths Literacy. No matter how talented an athlete you are, you will not be eligible. The problem is that coaches, do not offer scholarships to ineligible athletes when they can recruit someone who can play immediately. It is better to get 55% for Pure Mathematics than 85% for Literacy. If you are failing Pure maths, then you can take Maths Literacy as it is accepted by the two smaller associations.
Can I still go to a NCAA University if I do not meet their requirements?
Yes. The NAIA has 300 and the NJCAA has over 700 colleges and universities. If you do not meet the NCAA requirements, you can enrol at one of these colleges for one season and then transfer to the NCAA. This is a common practice, many of our top athletes follow this rout.
By following the guidelines that we have set above, you should have no issues with admission into and American college. Make sure you look closely at the above criteria when making those subject choices and if you haves doubts, be sure to contact us to get clarification.
All blogs are written by former student-athletes. If you would like to learn more, please leave a comment below and the author will respond to your questions.