Over the past decade homeschoolers have finally come into the recognition that they deserve. Individuals, colleges, universities, and even employers have begun to realize that homeschoolers are typically more mature, more confident, and score an average of 20 points above the regular schooler. In this past decade we have also had many homeschoolers demonstrate this within the NCAA divisions. In fact, the NCAA has recently become very homeschool friendly incorporating a homeschool waiver that opens the door to approximately 75-100 students each year.
What is the NCAA?
The NCAA is an acrostic for The National Collegiate Athletic Association. This association was founded in 1906 and consists of 964 different schools in three separate divisions. Division I consists of the larger schools, division II the intermediate schools, and division III the smaller schools which typically don’t offer NCAA scholarships.
The participating schools pay the NCAA to establish standards used in determining students academic eligibility. In turn the NCAA has partnered with ACT to operate a “clearninghouse” to explore and examine students academic achievements and ultimately their eligibility.
Can Homeschoolers Qualify for NCAA scholarships?
Homeschool sports is another area that in recent years has opened up to home educated students at an alarming rate. So, being on the ball isn’t just for the game, homeschoolers need to be vigilant when it comes to academics. Keeping good records, maintaining course descriptions and clear and precise homeschool transcripts is the best place to start.
When to Begin Pursuing an NCAA Scholarship?
It is advisable to begin the process of meeting NCAA eligibility requirements in the Junior year of high school. Once a student determines the colleges that they are interested in, they will need to contact them to get further information on requirements. Colleges differ widely on what they require from a homeschooler to finalize application and eligibility. It is also advisable to contact the financial aid office, get the necessary paperwork, and begin the process as soon as possible. The NCAA homeschool requirements themselves are pretty straight forward and typically require a solid transcript, completion of all state required core courses, and detailed course descriptions.
What Determines NCAA Eligibility for Homeschoolers?
Typically schooled students wishing to apply for the NCAA athletic scholarship must be certified by the initial eligibility clearinghouse (ACT partnership) that they have met all requirements. However, homeschoolers though still being required to meet the eligibility standards must request that the institution of their choice (Division I or II school) submit an initial eligibility waiver to the NCAA scholarship association. Then the homeschooler will begin the standard requirement process.
The NCAA has actually partnered with the HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) to establish clear and friendly guidelines to assist homeschoolers in getting the scholarships that they need to the universities that they desire to attend. This partnership has produced clear and obtainable steps to achieving the homeschool athlete’s dream scholarship. The NCAA homeschool scholarship guidelines are as follows:
1) Standardized Test Score (ACT or SAT submitted directly from the testing agency)
2) A homeschool transcript including course titles, grades, credits, grading scale, and signature of course administrator
3) Evidence that homeschooling was conducted in accordance with state laws.
4) A signed statement of who managed the homeschool program.
5) A list of textbooks used throughout the homeschooling process with ISBN or title and author.
6) A transcript from any other high school or college (mailed directly from institution)
7) Proof of high school graduation – month, day, and year.
The NCAA has a wealth of resources for the homeschool athlete, just search “NCAA College-Bound Student-Athlete” and links to their various guidelines will be available.
If you’ve worked with the NCAA before or had the experience of obtaining an NCAA homeschool athlete scholarship we would love to hear all about it! Please comment below and tell us about your experience or send us an email!
Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been an integral part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional schooling and homeschooling became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, remote project manager, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 11-17) in southern Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience and help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected]