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Sports in College: NJCAA Eligibility Requirements

By Peterson's Staff updated on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

If you wish to compete in intercollegiate athletics for a sports college that is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), you must meet certain amateur and academic eligibility requirements. You'll want to keep these requirements in mind during your college search so that when you find a college, you'll be qualified to play sports.

Amateur eligibility
Engaging in any of the following activities prior to full-time enrollment is a violation of amateurism rules:

  • Competing professionally or contracting to compete professionally
  • Receiving compensation that exceeds actual expenses for any athletic participation
  • Giving lessons on a fee-for-lesson basis
  • Entering into an agreement with an agent
  • Receiving benefits from an agent


The following activities are generally acceptable as long as certain conditions are met:

  • Officiating sport contests
  • Coaching or supervising physical education or sports programs
  • Having your name or picture appear in publications or films due to athletic skill or sports instruction


To learn more about the conditions that accompany these activities and to understand the specifics of the amateurism rules, read about the NJCAA amateur eligibility requirements at

If you wish to qualify for athletic scholarships, it is often important to maintain your amateur status.

Academic eligibility
In order to meet NJCAA academic eligibility requirements you must graduate from high school or receive a GED that has been authorized by a state-recognized education agency or a regional association or approved by the NJCAA National Office.

If you're a non-high school graduate, you can establish eligibility by completing a single term of college work. You'll have to pass 12 credits with a 1.75 or higher overall grade point average.

Being academically ineligible greatly reduces the possibility that you will qualify for any sports scholarships.

Determining eligibility at your sports college

The institution in which you enroll is responsible for certifying your eligibility. Remember that meeting NJCAA eligibility requirements does not guarantee college admission. Eligibility requirements are just one aspect of the college information you will need about schools you're interested in. Each school has its own admission policies, and you must still apply for admission.

About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

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