General

Can I take a gap year before I start College?

By Stewart Stanbra
The NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA are the major governing bodies of College Sports. Regardless of whether you are a soccer player, golfer, tennis player or any other sport, you must be aware of the many rules that determine whether athletes are eligible to compete and/or get scholarships for university sports teams.

The simple answer…it depends!
(on which university, which division and your academic path so far)

The NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA are the major governing bodies of College Sports. Regardless of whether you are a soccer player, golfer, tennis player or any other sport, you must be aware of the many rules that determine whether athletes are eligible to compete and/or get scholarships for university sports teams.

Each of the divisions has different rules, but here is a very generalized review, as of November 2018 (Rules change regularly)

NCAA Division 1 & 2

NCAA Division 3

NAIA

NJCAA

 

What happens if you have more than one gap year?

If you have taken more than one gap year after graduating from high school, or if you have taken a longer time to graduate from high school than the ‘normal’ track you should seek advice on your situation and eligibility.
*If you graduate one year later than what is considered normal (on-time with your peers) then it may still be possible to be eligible in NCAA Division 1 & 2 and NAIA. It would mean that the extra year of studies counts as your gap year. Therefore, you must enroll at the next opportunity after your late graduation.

If you have taken more than one extra year to graduate or more than one year gap after graduation, and you have competed in organized competition, you are likely eligible in NCAA Division 3 and NJCAA – where there are excellent options.

Better safe than Sorry

This can all be confusing! There are a lot of rules and regulations to consider (and they change every year), so be wary of taking advice from someone who has not had very recent experience to the process.

There are different requirements in each NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA division on things like; Grade Average, SAT/ACT Test Scores, Timeline, Amateur Status (And the rules are entirely different if you are a first-time student in university or transferring from another university)

Be smart and get advice on your status, often small items can make a big difference.

Find out more about your status by taking a free assessment: LINK

Patrick Bunk-Andersen

Soccer
Clemson University, South Carolina

Cecilie Mortensen

Soccer
Louisiana State Alexandria

Darren Appanah

Soccer
Tiffin University, Ohio

Lucy Ashworth

Soccer
Lamar University, Texas

Simon Enström

Soccer
Boston College

Madeleine Dalberg

Track and Field
Eastern Connecticut State University

Robin Stadheim

Golf
Limestone College, South Carolina

Line Aasen

Tennis
Queens College, New York