5 Things To Know About Playing Sports in College

5 Things To Know About Playing Sports in College

  • by
  • Jan 14, 2019
soccer ball on field

Interested in playing sports in college? Here's what you need to know:

There are lots of ways to play.

In addition to varsity level athletics, there are also club teams, intramurals and/or physical education classes at most colleges.

But only a few will get a scholarship.

Not all colleges give athletic scholarships. For example, colleges who are part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are separated into three divisions; only Division I and Division II schools may offer students scholarships for athletic abilities. However, only a small percentage of high school athletes will play at the varsity level at a Division I school.

Show your interest.

All 4-year US colleges and universities with competitive sports teams belong to one of two athletic associations: the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Students interested in playing varsity athletics at a 4-year college should register with one or both associations, as early as sophomore year in high school.

Students interested in playing at a community college in Oregon don't need to register but should know that athletics are governed by the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) and sometimes also the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Interested in playing at a particular college? Fill out an interest survey on each college’s athletics website,

Keep your grades up.

In addition to any requirements for college admission, there are also minimum eligiblity requirements to play varsity athletics. Make sure you are on track with your high school and college classes.

Make a career plan.

Even if you do play varsity athletics at college, only a tiny percentage will continue on to a professional athletics career. Therefore, make sure to use your college experience to study and plan for a future career beyond athletics.

For more information including Oregon college conferences, download our worksheet on College Athletics.