To be able to receive a scholarship, compete and practice with a team, one must be eligible through the NCAA or the NAIA, depending on which school you will attend. The NCAA and the NAIA are the two major collegiate associations, they monitor and regulate all the rules for their member institutions. Schools, coaches and athletes must all fulfill certain requirements to be a member. This process is key for your college process. If you are not eligible by the NCAA or the NAIA you are not allowed to be part of the team or receive an athletic scholarship.
Mixx College Consulting will help you very carefully with this step in the process. 


NCAA has about 1300 member schools. NCAA has 3 different divisions. A school need to fulfill certain criterion to belong to a division. For an athlete to be eligible by the NCAA, one must fulfill certain academic requirements. Even the coaches have rules to follow. The rules are made to protect the athletes. 


NAIA has about 300 members. These schools are in general private institutions. NAIA have similar rules as the NCAA, but in some cases the NAIA requirements are a bit milder. To become eligible to participate in college sport at a NAIA institution, one must fulfill certain academic requirements. 


JUCO or community college is a two year institution, and is a good alternative for the athletes who does not initially fulfill the NAIA/NCAA requirements. JUCO offers teams and scholarships, just like the 4 year schools.  After two successful years at JUCO you are allowed to transfer to a NCAA/ NAIA school and compete in your sport and complete your degree in 2 years.