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Prospective Student-Athletes

This page is designed to assist prospective student-athletes, prospective student-athlete's parents and high school personnel with the recruitment and initial-eligibility certification process.

NCAA - Official Web Site
NCAA - Eligibility & Recruiting
NCAA Recruiting Calendars
University of Maryland Eastern Shore Office of Admissions

Initial Eligibility
NCAA Eligibility Center
Guide For College-Bound Student-Athletes
NCAA Amateurism Clearinghouse Process
Freshmen Eligibility Quick Reference Sheet (pdf)
International Student-Athletes Information
SAT web site
ACT web site

Financial Aid
NCAA - Financial Aid

University of Maryland Eastern Shore Office of Financial Aid


University of Maryland Eastern Shore Office of Residence Life


General Definition

Prospective Student-Athlete
Any student who has started classes for the ninth grade.

Official Visit
A visit to a college campus paid in whole or in part by the institution. Official visits can be no longer than 48 hours in duration. A prospective student-athlete is limited to a total of five (5) official visits (one per institution).

Unofficial Visit
A visit made to a college campus at the prospective student-athlete's expense. The institution may provide free tickets to an on-campus athletics event in which the school's team competes. Transportation to view and attend off-campus practices or competitions within a 30-mile radius are also allowable. There is no limit on the number of unofficial visits a prospective student-athlete can make.

Recruiting Contact
Any face-to-face, off-campus prearranged encounter between a prospective student-athlete, prospective student-athlete's parents (or legal guardian) or relative and an institution's staff member or athletics representative for recruiting purposes. (Dialogue must be in excess of a greeting).

Recruiting Evaluation
Any off-campus activity by a college coach that is designed to assess a prospective student-athlete's academic qualifications or athletic ability (e.g., reviewing transcripts on the high school campus or watching practices and games).

Telephone Calls
Recruiting call initiated by the college coach to the prospective student-athlete (or their relatives). General regulations restrict recruits from receiving calls (one per week) prior to July 1st following their junior year of high school (exceptions for some sports apply).

National Letter of Intent
Official documentation administered by the NCAA Eligibility Center and used by institutions to establish a prospective student-athlete's commitment to attend and participate in athletics at a specific college.

NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse)
Entity of the NCAA that determines a student-athlete's eligibility for athletics participation in their first year of collegiate enrollment, based on high school academic records, standardized test scores, and amateurism information.

NCAA Amateurism Clearinghouse
Conducted through the NCAA Eligibility Center's process for determining initial-eligibility, the clearinghouse will certify the amateurism status of all freshman and transfer prospective student-athletes for initial participation at NCAA Division I and II institutions.

Five-Year (Eligibility) Clock
Time period (in calendar years) that a student-athlete has, from when they register full-time at any collegiate institution, to participate in four seasons of competition in any sport. This rule is specific to Division I.

Athletic Grant-In-Aid
Athletically related financial aid (i.e., scholarship) that is awarded by an institution to a student-athlete for athletic participation purposes. Aid can be used toward tuition, fees, room and board and required course related materials.

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