ACADEMIC INTEGRATION COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

 

Prospective Student-Athletes

Prospective Student-Athletes

Thank you for your interest in Harvard Athletics. If you are an individual who has begun classes for the 9th grade, or if you are a student enrolled at a preparatory school or a two-year college, then you are considered a "prospect." The following information will help you answer any questions you may have about playing for the Crimson.

What Do I Need To Do To Be Eligible To Play On A Harvard Intercollegiate Athletic Team?

You will first need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. There, you will need to obtain academic and amateur clearance to practice and compete.

Academic Clearance: To compete at the NCAA Division I level, all incoming freshmen must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. The Eligibility Center is an agency that provides initial-eligibility certification for all first-year student-athletes. To receive certification from the Eligibility Center, you must meet the following requirements:

Students enrolling in college July 2016 or earlier:

  • Graduate from high school
  • A minimum sum score on the ACT or minimum combined score on the SAT
  • A high school grade point average of at least 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in a core curriculum of 16 courses. These include the following core courses:
    • English - 4 years
    • Math - 3 years
    • Natural/Physical Science (incl. 1 lab) - 2 years
    • Social Science - 2 years
    • Additional English, Math or Natural/Physical Science - 1 year
    • Additional Academic Courses (from any category above, or foreign language, social studies, philosophy, computer science) - 4 years

Students enrolling in college August 2016 or later:

  • Graduate from high school
  • A minimum sum score on the ACT or minimum combined score on the SAT
  • A high school grade point average of at least 2.3 (on a 4.0 scale) in a core curriculum of 16 courses. These include the following core courses:
    • English - 4 years
    • Math - 3 years
    • Natural/Physical Science (incl. 1 lab) - 2 years
    • Social Science - 2 years
    • Additional English, Math or Natural/Physical Science - 1 year
    • Additional Academic Courses (from any category above, or foreign language, social studies, philosophy, computer science) - 4 years
  • 10 of the 16 core courses must be completed prior to your seventh semester in high school. Those ten courses are “locked in” and can’t be retaken to improve your grade-point average.
  • 7 of those 10 “locked in” core courses must be a combination of English, math or natural or physical science.
  • If you don’t earn 10 courses before your seventh semester, you are still eligible to practice, but you can’t compete.

To be cleared by academically, all students must register with the Eligibility Center at www.eligibilitycenter.org and complete all release forms provided. In addition, you must contact your current high school, and any additional high schools you have attended, to send an official high school transcript demonstrating proof of attendance and graduation. Finally, you will need to contact the College Board at http://www.collegeboard.com to have your SAT/ACT test scores sent to the Eligibility Center.

 

Amateur Clearance: While registering with the Eligibility Center, all students will answer questions regarding their sports participation history. It is essential to answer these questions truthfully and to the best of your ability. These answers will help determine a better picture of the player’s amateur status and identify any potential issues. Finally, in the spring of the student’s senior year of high school, they will be able to request their final amateur certification through the Eligibility Center.

Transfer Students

I'm thinking about transferring to Harvard from another school, and I would like to compete for the Crimson. What should I do?

You must obtain a written release from your school's Compliance Office and email to Dave Wilson, Harvard's Assistant Director of Compliance, at dwilson01@fas.harvard.edu or fax it to 617-496-9950. We are not allowed to speak with you until we receive this release, which gives us permission to contact you. Once we obtain this form, we will call you to discuss next steps.

General Questions

Does Harvard offer scholarships?

No. As an Ivy League institution, Harvard does not offer athletic or academic scholarships to students. However, Harvard does provide need-based financial aid to those students who demonstrate financial need. To learn more about applying for financial aid at Harvard, visit https://college.harvard.edu/financial-aid.

If a Harvard athletic team is recruiting me, do I have to go through the same admissions process as other applicants?

Yes. All prospective student-athletes must be accepted by the Harvard Admissions Office in order to play for a Harvard athletic team. Since all Ivy League schools do not award athletic scholarships, there are no signing dates for the National Letter of Intent. You will be notified of your acceptance into Harvard at the same time as all other applicants. To learn more about the application process, visit http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/.

After my high school competition last week, a man who identified himself as a Harvard alum approached me and offered to pay for me and my family's expenses to travel to Harvard to visit the campus. We're pretty sure we have to decline, but we just want to make sure accepting the offer is not allowed.

This is considered an "extra benefit" and, therefore, not permitted. Extra benefits are benefits for prospective and enrolled student-athletes that are not equally available to all prospects or Harvard students. If you accept any of these benefits, then you may be in violation of the NCAA's principle of amateurism and you could be deemed ineligible. An extra benefit includes the provision of any transportation, meals, housing, clothes, service, entertainment, or other benefit not equally available to all enrolled students and prospective students who are not athletes.

When can a coach call me?

Depending on what sport you play, coaches may call you at different points during your high school career. Please note that prospects can always initiate a phone call to a coach as long as the call is initiated by the prospect and is at the prospect’s expense.

All sports other than Basketball, Cross Country/Track & Field, Football, Swimming & Diving and Men’s Ice Hockey
In all sports other than basketball, cross country/track & field, football, swimming & diving and men’s ice hockey, coaches may make unlimited phone calls to prospects starting September 1 of a prospect’s junior year.

Football
In football, from April 15 through May 31 of the prospect’s junior year of high school, one telephone call can be made to the prospective student-athlete. Additional calls cannot be made to the individual prior to September 1 of the individual’s senior year of high school. After September 1, one telephone call may be made per week outside a contact period, but coaches’ calls may be unlimited during a contact period.

Men’s Basketball
In men’s basketball, a coach may not make telephone calls made prior to June 15 at the conclusion of the individual’s sophomore year of high school. Thereafter, coaches may make unlimited calls to the prospective student-athlete.

Women’s Basketball
In women’s basketball, a coach may not make telephone calls made prior to September 1 of the individual’s junior year of high school. Thereafter, coaches may make unlimited calls to the prospective student-athlete.

Men’s Ice Hockey
In men’s ice hockey, a coach may not make telephone calls made prior to January 1 of the individual’s sophomore year of high school. Thereafter, coaches may make unlimited calls to the prospective student-athlete.

Swimming & Diving and Cross Country/Track & Field
In swimming & diving and cross country/track & field, a coach may not make telephone calls prior to July 1 at the conclusion of individual’s junior year. In swimming & diving, coaches may call prospect student-athletes once per week. In cross country/track & field, coaches may call prospective student-athletes once per week outside of a contact period and unlimited during a contact period.

When can I call a coach?

If the call is paid at your own expense, you can call coaches at any time, but remember that coaches may not return a voice message if you do not qualify under the telephone call rules previously stated above.

Is it okay if I email a coach? Can I text message with him or her?

Like telephone calls, you may email a coach at any point. However, a coach will not be able to respond until a certain point of your high school career depending on the sport you play.

All sports other than Basketball, Cross Country/Track & Field, Football, Swimming & Diving and Men’s Ice Hockey
In all sports other than basketball, cross country/track & field, football, swimming & diving and men’s ice hockey, coaches may send electronic communication (texts, email, Twitter direct message, Facebook messenger, etc.) and communication via the postal service starting September 1 of a prospect’s junior year.

Football
In football, coaches may send electronic communication (email and fax only; no texting) and communication via the postal service starting September 1 of a prospect’s junior year.

Men’s Basketball
In men’s basketball, coaches may send electronic communication (texts, email, Twitter direct message, Facebook messenger, etc.) and communication via the postal service starting June 15 following a prospect’s sophomore year.

Women’s Basketball
In women’s basketball, coaches may send electronic communication (texts, email, Twitter direct message, Facebook messenger, etc.) and communication via the postal service starting September 1 of a prospect’s junior year.

Men’s Ice Hockey
In men’s ice hockey, coaches may send electronic communication (texts, email, Twitter direct message, Facebook messenger, etc.) and communication via the postal service starting January 1 of a prospect’s sophomore year.

Swimming & Diving and Cross Country/Track & Field
In swimming & diving and cross country/track & field, coaches may send electronic communication (email and fax only; no texting) and communication via the postal service starting September 1 of a prospect’s junior year.

When can a coach contact me?

Depending on the sport you play, a coach cannot visit you before a certain point of your high school career. They can come and watch you play before the dates listed below, but they cannot have an off-campus, face-to-face communication with you until the dates listed below.

All sports other than Basketball, Cross Country/Track & Field, Football, Swimming & Diving and Men’s Ice Hockey
In all sports other than basketball, cross country/track & field, football, swimming & diving and men’s ice hockey, coaches may have off-campus, face-to-face communication starting July 1 following a prospects junior year of high school.

Football
In football, coaches may have off-campus, face-to-face communication starting July 1 following a prospects junior year of high school.

Men’s Basketball
In men’s basketball, coaches may have off-campus, face-to-face communication starting on the opening day of a classes during a prospects junior year of high school.

Women’s Basketball
In women’s basketball, coaches may have off-campus, face-to-face communication starting September 1 of a prospects junior year of high school.

Men’s Ice Hockey
In men’s ice hockey, coaches may have off-campus, face-to-face communication starting June 15 following a prospects sophomore year of high school.

Swimming & Diving and Cross Country/Track & Field
In swimming & diving and cross country/track & field, coaches may have off-campus, face-to-face communication starting July 1 following a prospects junior year of high school.

A few weeks ago, an assistant coach mentioned that the team might want to bring me to Harvard for an official visit…

What exactly is an "official visit"?

An official visit is any visit to a college campus by you and your parents paid for by the college or university. An individual may only make one official visit per collegiate institution and may only make five official visits during their high school career. Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript and SAT, ACT, PACT, PSAT or PLAN score. The institution can pay for the following expenses:

  • Your transportation to and from the college
    • However, in Men’s & Women’s Basketball, the institution may pay for the prospect and parent’s transportation
  • Room and meals (three per day) for you and your parents while you are visiting the school; and
  • Reasonable entertainment expenses, which includes three complimentary admissions tickets to a home athletics game.

What exactly is an "unofficial visit"?

This is a visit to a college campus by you and your parents and paid for by you and your parents. Three complimentary tickets to a home athletics game are the only expenses you may receive from the college. You can make as many "unofficial" visits as you want and you can make these visits at any time. During an unofficial visit, the only time you cannot meet with a coach is during a dead period. A dead period is when a college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents during this time. Visit www.ncaa.org to learn more about the recruiting calendar for your sport.

For more information about playing on a Harvard intercollegiate athletic team, visit Harvard Recruiting Central.