The United States tertiary education system is based on a philosophy to develop and enhance the education of all students in a variety of areas. This philosophy provides the student with a wide base of education rather than focusing on one specific subject. This system provides students with the opportunity to pursue their undergraduate degree with the possibility of continuing their education to earn a Masters degree followed by a Doctorate/PhD.
Pre-University: High School
To be admitted to a United States College or University, you must have graduated from an accredited high school in your respective country. The average high school graduate in the United States is 18 years of age. Upon being admitted to a College or University, you must provide evidence of your high school graduation and official grade transcripts. If you graduated from a foreign high school, an English translation must accompany each official high school document.
NCAA Eligibility Centre
The following documents must be provided to the NCAA Eligibility Center to ensure timely registration:
- Standardized testing scores (SAT or ACT)
- Official high school grade transcripts
- High school graduation certificate
Academic Entrance Exams
As a Canadian citizen, you will be required to take the SAT exam. Your score on the SAT will determine your tertiary enrolment and athletic eligibility:
- SAT: Standardized test for high school graduates
- TOEFL: If English is not your native language, this must be taken in addition with an SAT exam.
To find out more information regarding these entrance exams, please refer to the following websites:
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) have different eligibility requirements for international athletes looking to attend a college or university in the United States. Please note: the standards required to be eligible for competition will become stricter in 2016 as there will be a distinction between the combined GPA and test scores required to be eligible for aid and to practice and the combine GPA and test scores required to compete. In simple terms, the standards will be changing in 2016 and will require players to have higher GPA’s and test scores in order to be eligible to compete in NCAA college tennis.
Please click here to learn about the NAIA eligibility rules and requirements.
United States Tertiary Education System
Public vs. Private Institutions
The United States tertiary education system is divided into public and private institutions. A public institution is funded by the state or federal government. Private institutions are funded by the income and revenue they generate from enrolled students. Most private institutions tend to be more expensive and usually specialize in certain educational areas. Public institutions will offer a wide variety of degrees and areas of study.
Each academic institution has a minimum number of academic requirements that have to be met before you are admitted. These requirements will range from an acceptable SAT/ACT and TOEFL (if required) score, completion of acceptable high school subjects and graduation and certification of financial funds. It is recommended that you contact your prospective institution regarding their minimum academic requirements.
The yearly curriculum at an academic institution is divided into either semesters or trimesters. A semester is when the academic year is divided into two periods, a fall and a spring session. A trimester is divided into three academic periods. The academic year is conducted from the middle of August until the start of May with a break for the Christmas period. Most academic institutions offer summer classes to their students.
Academic Eligibility Requirements
The National Collegiate Athletic Association requires each student athlete to complete a minimum number of academic classes each semester/trimester to remain eligible to compete. If your institution is divided into semesters you will be required to pass approximately four classes per semester. If your institution is divided into trimesters you will be required to pass approximately three classes per trimester. Most institutions offer summer classes which can assist student athletes in completing their minimum academic requirements. If a student athlete fails to meet the academic requirements set by the NCAA they can be susceptible to probation, thus losing the opportunity to travel and compete for a semester or trimester. Student athletes are required to maintain a minimum grade-point average to remain eligible to compete (usually a 2.0 or “C” average).
To assist each student athlete with their academic progress, the athletic department will provide an academic adviser. Below are some of the responsibilities held by the academic adviser:
- Ensure all student athletes have completed the necessary academic requirements to stay eligible.
- Assist student athletes in designing their class schedule.
- Assist student athletes in registering for classes.
- Provide student athletes with class tutors.
The majority of institutions require student athletes to attend regular study hall hours. This ensures that student athletes keep up to date with their academic work. Study hall hours are supervised to maintain the good study habits of student athletes.