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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a membership-driven organization dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of student athletes and equipping them with the skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom and throughout life. The NCAA organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States, and helps more than 450,000 college student athletes who compete annually in college sports. To participate in college athletics in their freshman year, the NCAA states that students must meet three requirements: graduate from high school, complete the minimum required academic courses, and have qualifying grade-point average (GPA) and SAT or ACT scores.

The advantages of competing in college sports are both immediate and lifelong. Participating in college sports provides opportunities to learn, compete and succeed. Student-athletes receive top-notch academic support, quality medical care and regular access to outstanding coaching, facilities and equipment. Student-athletes as a group graduate at higher rates than their peers in the general student body and feel better prepared for life after college. College-bound student-athletes preparing to enroll in a Division I or Division II school need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to ensure they have met amateurism standards and are academically prepared for college coursework.