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College Tennis Scholarship Primer

March 25, 2013 02:19 PM
COLLEGE TENNIS SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW
by Marlynn Jones
 
The National Collegiate Athletic Association [NCAA] had 2,818 participation opportunities for male student-athletes, and 4,994 participation opportunities for female student-athletes this year. Therefore, if you plan to pursue the possibility of competing in tennis on the collegiate level, you must develop a plan and start the process early.
 
Scholarship Opportunities
Since 264 NCAA Division I schools sponsor men’s tennis, there are approximately 1,188 scholarship opportunities available. The 176 NCAA Division II schools offer roughly 792 scholarships.
 
The 102 NAIA schools that sponsor men’s tennis offer another 510 potential scholarships.
 
The scholarship numbers are approximated because the NCAA and NAIA provide the maximum number of scholarships that colleges and universities may offer, but because of budget limitations, not all schools are able to offer the maximum number of scholarships.
 
Women’s tennis is a head-count sport. That means that regardless of the amount of scholarship money offered, the university must count the scholarship as full scholarship. Therefore, most women’s tennis scholarships are full scholarships.
 
There are 323 NCAA Division I schools that provide 2,584 scholarships opportunities, with another 239 NCAA Division II schools that provide 1,434 scholarships. The NAIA has 123 schools that offer nearly 615 scholarships.
 
Three hundred twenty-eight schools sponsor men’s tennis at the Division III level, with another 361 schools that sponsor women’s tennis opportunities. Division III schools are not allowed to offer scholarships based solely on athletic ability, but students may receive academic scholarships, or money offered for special talents that are distributed through the individual university financial aid offices.
 
Delayed Competition
 
For example, if you graduate in June 2013, continue to play tennis, but don’t enroll in college until Fall 2014, you will only have three years to compete in tennis at an NCAA university instead of four years. The NCAA will charge you with a season of college tennis eligibility for the year you competed in tennis prior to enrolling in college. Additionally, you will be required to sit a year in residence and will not be allowed to compete in tennis for your college during the 2014-2015 academic year. Therefore, you will not be able to compete in college until the 2015-2016 school year.
 
Exceptions to sitting a year in residency may be granted to tennis student-athletes who competed in official Olympic Games, Pan American Games, World Championships, World Cup, and World University Games Championships competition. Participation in official competition involving a national team sponsored by the appropriate national governing body of the U.S. Olympic Committee, or the equivalent organization in the student-athletes home country, will also qualify for an exception. 
 
However, as of August 2011, this exception does not apply to junior level national/international, i.e. Youth Olympic Games, U20 World Cup, or Junior National Teams.
 
20th Birthday
 
Once you enroll in college, you must sit a year in residence before being able to represent the college in tennis competition, unless you transfer with a minimum of 24 semester hours of transferable degree credits.
 
Just like the delayed competition regulations, an exception to the year in residency may be granted if you competed in official Olympic Games, Pan American Games, World Championships, World Cup, and World University Games Championships competition.
 
New Academic Standards for NCAA Scholarships
NCAA statistics show that 15 percent of college freshman student-athletes in 2009-2010 would not have received college athletic scholarships if held to the new academic standards.
 
Core Courses
 
Recently, some prospects with almost perfect GPAs were not certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center and had to personally finance their first year of college, because they completed 16 core courses, but not right combination of courses.
 
What are the correct 16 courses?
That depends on if the prospect is trying to qualify for a Division I, or a Division II scholarship.
 
Division I
English
4 years
Mathematics
At level of Algebra I or higher
3 years
Natural or Physical Science
Including at least one lab course
2 years
Additional course in English, math or natural science
1 year
Social Science
2 years
Additional academic courses
In any of the above areas or foreign language, philosophy or non-doctrinal religion courses
4 years
 
Division II
 
English
3 years
Mathematics
At level of Algebra I or higher
2 years
Natural or Physical Science
Including at least one lab course
2 years
Additional course in English, math or natural science
2 years
Social Science
2 years
Additional academic courses
In any of the above areas or foreign language, philosophy or non-doctrinal religion courses
3 years
 
 
Once the GPA for these 10 core courses has been earned, students may not replace or substitute other grades achieved in the senior year. The only way to raise the GPA in the senior year is through the six remaining core courses. Therefore, a student can be disqualified from receiving a college athletic scholarship BEFORE starting classes for the senior year.
 
Sliding Scale
 
New NCAA rules include two sliding scales. The current sliding scale will be used to identify students who may be awarded athletic scholarships and practice during the freshman year of college. The second sliding scale will be used to identify students who may compete during their first year. Students who test scores and GPA’s fall outside of both sliding scales will be non-qualifiers.
 
Earning a Fourth Season of Competition
 
Non-qualifiers may only compete in their sport for three years. However, if these students complete 80 percent of their chosen major area of study prior to beginning their fifth year of college, they may earn back their fourth year of competitive eligibility.
 
Standardized Test Scores
 
For the SAT, the NCAA only uses the scores from the critical reading and math sections. It does not use the writing score at all. The new sliding scale will require students to score 180 points higher on every step of the scale.
 
While the ACT reports scores that range from 0 to 36, the NCAA uses a sum score of the ACT sections for its certification process. Therefore, ACT scores range from 37 to 93 for NCAA eligibility purposes.
 
For example, if you scored a 18 on English, 19 on math, 18 on reading and a 15 on science, your ACT composite score would be an 18. However, the NCAA will add 19 + 18 + 15 + 15 to get 70. On the current sliding, a 70 ACT score requires a 2.435 to 2.45 GPA. On the new sliding scale, a 70 ACT score will require a 2.875 to 2.9 GPA.
 
Highlights of the New Initial Eligibility Certification Rules
·         Ten of 16 core courses must be completed before beginning senior year;
·         7 of the 10 core courses must be in English, Math and Natural Science;
·         Students with GPA’s between 2.0 and 2.3 cannot receive an athletic scholarship in their first year of college;
·         Test scores on the sliding scale have drastically increased. For example:
 
Current Sliding Scale                                                  New Sliding Scale
GPA                 SAT                  ACT                         ​     GPA                 SAT                ACT
3.5.                   420                   39                                 3.5                   600                   50
3.25                  530                   46                                 3.25                  700                  57
3.0                    620                   52                                 3.0                    800                  66
2.75                  720                   59                                 2.75                  900                  75
2.5                    820                   68                                 2.5                   1000                 85
2.3                    900                   75                                 2.3                   1080                 93
2.2                    940                   79   
2.0                    1020                 86
 
 
 
  
 

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