Hi everyone, Tia from “Where Homeschooling Meets Reality” here. I’ve recently received a question from Katherine regarding homeschooling and receiving NCAA scholarships. Here’s the question:
“Hello, i’m a competitive swimmer in high school and i’m currently in 11th grade. Im so unsatisfied with my teachers and how i’m learning. I have negative influences in my school and i need to get out as soon as possible. I read some of the responses to NCAA Eligibility and homeschool requirements and none of them really sound good. I’m absolutely miserable in my high school and ready to be home schooled. Only problem is convincing my dad that it is a good thing for me because of the NCAA if i can’t get approved from NCAA because of homeschool then my dreams will be crushed. So my question is do you think that this will be a good idea for me? I’m not sure and i have so much research to do on my own. I need some HELP!”
First off, I just want to say that I think it’s awesome you are pursuing your dreams and taking into consideration what may or may not impact them. Secondly, I have some good news for you: There’s no need to panic. I’m going to outline the steps that you, as a homeschooler, would need to take to receive an athletic scholarship from the NCAA.
Since you are already in eleventh grade, you need to take a look at the college you are wishing to attend, and make sure that your transcript will align with all the requirements for acceptance. The NCAA does not just look at how well you play your sport; they look at how well you perform in school. In fact, the NCAA works closely with ACT to determine your academic ability. Not only that, but your transcript needs to include course titles, grades, units of credits for courses and the grading scale.
Thankfully, as a homeschooler, you can now apply like any traditional-schooled student, but there are still a few things you must do. It is recommended that as early as eleventh grade, you contact colleges and ask about their course standards and core course requirements for scholarships. You should also find out what the athletic requirements are, and if your particular college is supported by the NCAA or the NAIA (National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics).
During the last few years, the NCAA approved the academic eligibility on average of 75-100 homeschooled students to receive scholarships at Division I and Division II schools. These homeschooled athletes went on to play college basketball, baseball, volleyball, football, wrestling, track, and virtually every sport. So, homeschooling will not hamper your opportunities to swim professionally, but you need to know the steps to take in order to receive that scholarship.
Before high school graduation, homeschoolers must:
–Register with the clearinghouse. Online registration is available at: www.ncaaclearinghouse.net
–Take the ACT or SAT test. When registering for the test, you must select the clearinghouse as one of the recipients of the test score.
Upon graduation, the homeschooler must provide the clearinghouse with several materials:
–Your official high school transcript, including all course titles, units of credits, grading scale, GPA, and the signature of your course advisor/teacher.
–Your high school diploma, listing the graduation month, day, and year, along with the signature of your teacher.
–A list of the textbooks used for your core courses while in homeschool – including the title, author, and publisher.
–Proof that your homeschool experience was conducted in accordance to state laws – usually in the form of a copy of the state form, or a statement from your homeschool teacher.
As a junior in high school, you can even submit your transcript as-is to the NCAA for them to highlight any deficiencies and let you know what else you need by graduation to receive a scholarship.
Now, if your state allows for it, you always have the option of continuing your swimming competitions at your high school, and completing the rest of your studies at home. This fact may help you convince your father to homeschool you. You will still need to submit your transcript, take the ACT or SAT, show the NCAA proof of your graduation (i.e. a diploma), and submit the other required textbook necessities, but still continuing with your school swimming program may help in the “Convincing Department.” Haha
We have two great articles with tips about convincing your parents to homeschool you (here, and here), along with another article regarding homeschoolers and the NCAA. I hope this helped, and I wish you all the best!