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College Athletics
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Many Kolbe students may be seeking to participate in athletics at the college level. Playing college sports lets you compete at a high level while working towards your degree. It's important to understand the academics requirements and explore what to expect as a student athlete. Your initial eligibility is a key element of college athletics because it affects whether you can get an athletic scholarship and participate in practices and games during your first year as a full-time college student. The NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) are both organizations that govern collegiate athletics in the United States. The choice between NAIA and NCAA depends on a student-athlete's goals, the level of competition they seek, and their academic and athletic abilities.


The NCAA (National College Athletic Association) is the governing body for most college athletics programs in the United States with over 1,100 member institutions across three divisions (Divisions I, II, and III). These divisions vary in terms of scholarship opportunities, funding, and the level of competition. NCAA Division I and II schools offer athletic scholarships to student-athletes, which can cover part or all of their tuition, depending on the sport and the school. Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships but may provide other forms of financial aid. Division I schools tend to have the highest level of competition and the most extensive athletic programs. The NCAA has strict academic eligibility requirements for student-athletes. These requirements include maintaining a minimum GPA and completing a specified number of credit hours each semester.


Kolbe Academy’s online program has approved NCAA core courses, while the Self-Paced and Homeschool programs are accepted under the NCAA’s umbrella program. For the courses that weren't online, you will need to fill out a Core Course Worksheet for each course. You do this for already completed (not in progress) courses. These are the forms you'll need to reference and use:


Note: Please see the Administrator and Accordance Statement on p. 13


The NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) has around 250 member institutions, making it smaller than the NCAA. NAIA schools are typically smaller colleges and universities. NAIA schools also offer athletic scholarships, but the rules and regulations regarding scholarships may differ from those of the NCAA. NAIA schools often have more flexibility in awarding scholarships. The NAIA has a single division, so there are fewer distinctions between schools in terms of athletic competitiveness. NAIA schools tend to focus more on the overall student-athlete experience. The NAIA also has academic eligibility requirements, but they may be somewhat more lenient than those of the NCAA. However, NAIA schools still emphasize the importance of academic success for student-athletes.


Every student-athlete must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center to play sports at an NAIA college or university. helps future student-athletes discover and connect with NAIA schools, coaches and athletic scholarships. PlayNAIA is also the official clearinghouse for NAIA eligibility. Every student-athlete must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center to play sports at an NAIA college or university.

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