How do I get eligible to compete for a NJCAA school?
In comparison to NCAA D1, NCAA D2 and NAIA, you don't need to do anything to compete for a junior college (“JUCO”) or community college, with the athletic teams participating in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). As such it is comparable to NCAA D3 competition, with all member schools needing to make sure you comply with established NJCAA rules.
Are there potential roadblocks I can run into?
There are some problems which could arise in relation to playing NJCAA events and receiving a scholarship from a college. Different from NCAA and NAIA though, you don't have to do anything else than talking to the coach(es) recruiting you and the respective coach(es) then making sure they get their checkmarks next to a number of questions together with their compliance department:
- Your amateur status
- Your grade transcripts
- Your graduation timeline
- Any previous college enrollment
The strictest of all rules regarding eligibility are those set by the NCAA.
Rule of thumb: Comply with NCAA eligibility rules and you should also be fine for NJCAA competition.
Why should I start my college career at a junior college?
Cost of attendance is a big topic. Academic entry requirements another one. Some people prefer to attend a cheap school close to home – that's a community college right there, allowing freshmen to live at home, spending money on tuition and books only. Others had a terrible high school experience, not exactly nailing it with a 4.0 GPA and ACT or SAT scores being far from impressive. Community colleges offer those students the opportunity to start their degree at a pace, which they are more comfortable with while offering them a fresh start; also for potential eligibility reasons.
For athletes specifically NJCAA competition could be an excellent opportunity to up one's athletic level before moving on to a 4-year school and make a D1, D2 or NAIA roster.
"If you are on a tight budget and/or have reasons to be concerned about your future eligibility on NCAA or NAIA level, junior colleges may be the perfect fit for you to start your college career."
Which sports are sponsored by the NJCAA?
The NJCAA sponsors a total of 16 sports in 3 different divisions: NJCAA Division 1, NJCAA Division 2 and NJCAA Division 3.
On the women's side, the NJCAA sponsors 13 sports: Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Half Marathon, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, and Volleyball.
On the men's side, the NJCAA sponsors 13 sports: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Half Marathon, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, and Wrestling.
Research the various college divisions, how many & which schools there are in your sport specifically: College Athletics Divisions.
Read up on the various types of scholarships, you may be able to receive in college.