Valwood Valiants are student-athletes - academic work is the priority in part because it may open up opportunities for athletic participation in college. Student-athletes who are interested in a college athletic experience should be prepared and understand their options before recruitment begins.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a member-led organization dedicated to the well-being and lifelong success of college athletes. The NCAA is made up of 1,121 colleges and universities and offers three divisions (levels) of competition. Each division has specific eligibility requirements for student-athletes, so it is important that students know where they stand from an eligibility standpoint when considering their college options. Student-athletes should register with the NCAA Eligibility Center no later than spring of their 11th grade year in order to have their records in that system for Initial Eligibility determination.
Division I - includes primarily major and mid-major public and private universities, such as UGA, Georgia Southern and Mercer
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. The NAIA is comprised of more than 250 colleges and universities in 21 conferences nationwide offering over $500 million in athletic scholarships. Student-athletes may find that small college athletics offers a better fit for them, with the possibiity of combined athletic and academic scholarships, solid competition and significant playing time. Student-athletes are encouraged to register with the Play NAIAeligibility center by spring of the 11th grade year to ensure that they are in a position to consider NAIA athletic program offers.