Going to College Archive

College Recruitment Timeline - Part 1

What Rising 9th and 10th Graders Should Know...

Throughout a college-bound junior player’s competitive career, understanding the recruiting process and the NCAA Recruiting Rules can aid in positioning a young player properly to be recruited.

This article outlines the major milestones and to-do’s for players in the 9th and 10th grades and in a follow-up article (College Recruitment Timeline - Part II) we’ll review the same material for players in the 11th and 12th grades.

A similar review of this information can be found in the Ping American College Golf Guide and the NCAA's Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.

9th Grade

Key Terms:

  • Prospective Student-Athlete - "A student who has entered the 9th grade through their graduation from high school"
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) - Governing body for most collegiate sports programs
  • Evaluation - "Any off-campus activity designed to asses the academic qualifications or athletic ability of a prospect, including any visit to a prospect's educational institution (during which no contact occurs) or the observation of a prospect participating in any practice or competition at any site."
  • Unofficial Visit - "A visit made to a collegiate campus by a prospective student- athlete at his/her own expense"

Student-Athlete Responsibilities:

Students should meet with their guidance counselors on a regular basis to discuss criteria for college acceptance, and to determine which courses they should take throughout their high school career. Additional information regarding required courses and tests that apply to college-bound student-athletes can be found at The NCAA Eligibility Center.

Students may take an unlimited number of unofficial visits throughout the recruiting process. Unofficial visits are arranged and paid for by the prospect versus the host school. While traveling to tournaments, junior golfers are encouraged to visit schools both en route to and near the tournament site. This practice will save money and broaden the prospect’s knowledge as it relates to college campuses. For more information on the location of certain schools, refer to the online PING American College Golf Guide.

Applicable NCAA Rules:

A student becomes a prospective student- athlete when he/she starts ninth grade. At that time, coaches may evaluate the prospect in competition or practice but cannot make any type of contact (face to face, telephone, email, written, text, etc.). Additional information regarding the specific rules and regulations that apply to college coaches and prospective student-athletes can be found at: NCAA's Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.

10th Grade

Key Terms: PSAT and PLAN

Student-Athlete Responsibilities:

Students are encouraged to take the PSAT and PLAN exams as soon as possible to target academic areas that may require additional focus and attention. SAT and ACT prep courses are important tools that prospects should use as they prepare for the actual SAT and ACT exams. Additional information regarding SAT and ACT practice exams can be found by visiting the Princeton Review.

Applicable NCAA Rules:

The same NCAA rules apply in both 9th and 10th grades.


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