College sport is governed by Athletic Associations, each of whom dictate the rules and regulations regarding scholarships and the recruitment of golfers. Each College will be affiliated to one of the Athletic Associations listed below:
There are nearly 1000 member institutions and more than 250 provisional members classified within three NCAA divisions. 896 of these members have golf a recognised golf program. The NCAA is recognised as the most competitive environment in the world for golf which is why top players from around the globe apply. Around 10% of golfers in the NCAA are from outside the USA. Top level NCAA DI colleges will only award scholarships to the very best young amateur golfers.
There are 180 recognised golf teams in the NAIA, which is about half of all NAIA affiliated institutions. The level of competition is still very high, and the top NAIA teams will feature players just as good as those in the NCAA.
Affiliated colleges offer 2-year courses giving golfers the platform to transfer into their 3rd year at a 4 year NCAA or NAIA institution. There are 347 golf programs across 3 divisions.
Prospective students who wish to be considered for a golf scholarship must still adhere to university/college admissions requirements and continue to obtain satisfactory grades, otherwise they are deemed ineligible to compete. Each of the Athletic Associations has its own academic standards, including minimum high school requirements and SAT scores.
Five or more different academic subject passes at GCSE/National 5 grades A-E including Maths, English, Science and Social Science (History, Geography etc.) with a C grade overall average. The NCAA applies a sliding scale for the minimum SAT scores that are required for acceptance to NCAA Division I colleges. This will depend on your average academic grade. The higher your average academic grade is, the lower the minimum SAT score required. Typically a score of 1000+ is a good target.
C grade average overall in GCSE/National 5’s. Teachers may have to write a letter attesting to the student being in the top half of his/her class. The student must also have a minimum score of 860.
Golfers who have not achieved the grades required for Colleges affiliated to the NCAA or NAIA can apply for Junior College. The NJCAA does not set any minimum criteria for High School grades or SAT score however individual colleges may have their own.