Prospective Student-Athletes

Current Student-Athletes


Alumni, Parents and Friends

Local Merchants


A. Introduction
B. Recruiting
o NCAA Eligibility Center
o NCAA Initial Eligibility Standards
o Transferring to Columbia University
o Official Visits
o Unofficial Visits
o Extra Benefits
D. Helpful Links


So you want to be a Lion? Columbia University appreciates your interest in our athletics program. On this page you will find important links to information on what you need to do in order to join the Columbia tradition. Please do not hesitate to contact the Compliance Office if you need further guidance. We wish you luck in your quest to pursue a career in intercollegiate athletics!

NCAA Eligibility Center
All prospective student-athletes who wish to participate in NCAA Division I or II intercollegiate athletics need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center, formerly known as the NCAA Clearinghouse. This entity certifies the academic and amateur status of prospective student-athletes. Prospective student-athletes must be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center prior to going on an official visit at any Division I institution. Transfer student-athletes who intend on enrolling in a Division I institution for the first time must also register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and have their amateur status certified. Please visit for additional information.

NCAA Initial Eligibility Standards
For information pertaining to the high school academic requirements prospective student-athletes must meet in order to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center, please click on the following link:

Transferring to Columbia University
Transfer eligibility rules vary according to the current school the individual attends and his or her previous athletic history. Transfer students interested in participating in intercollegiate athletics at Columbia University typically fall within three categories: 1) no history of intercollegiate athletics participation; 2) current student-athlete (non-Division I institution); or 3) current Division I student-athlete.

Official Visits
An official visit is when an institution invites a prospective student-athlete to visit campus at the institution’s expense. These visits may not last more than 48 hours. A prospective student-athlete may not make more than one (1) official visit to any one institution and may not make more than (5) official visits in total. Further, a prospective student-athlete may not make an official visit until the opening day of classes of his/her senior year in high school.

A prospective student-athlete must provide the appropriate Columbia University coach with the following information before he/she can make an official visit:

1. A high school or college academic transcript;

2. A copy of a PSAT, SAT, PLAN or ACT score taken on a national testing date under national testing conditions (exception: that a state-administered ACT may be used for the purpose of making an official visits). The score must be presented on a testing agency document, on a high school or preparatory school academic transcript (official or unofficial) or through the use of the applicable testing agency's automated-voice system.

3. A NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly known as the NCAA Clearinghouse) ID number or Social Security number so that registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center may be verified by the Compliance Office.

Unofficial Visits
An unofficial visit occurs when a prospective student-athlete visits the institution at his/her own expense. A prospective student-athlete may visit a member institution's campus at his/her own expense an unlimited number of times. Additionally, a prospective student-athlete may make an unofficial visit before his/her senior year in high school.

Extra Benefits

An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of athletics interests to provide a student-athlete, or the student-athlete's friends or relatives, a benefit not expressly authorized by the NCAA.

Extra benefits a student-athlete may NOT receive include, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
money, special discount, payment or arrangement of credit on a purchase (airline ticket, clothing) or service (dry cleaning, laundry);
a professional service without charge or at a reduced cost (typing of papers for athletes);
use of a telephone, pager, cell phone or credit card for personal reasons without charge or at a reduced rate;
services (movie tickets, dinners, use of a car) from commercial agencies (theaters, restaurants, car dealers) without charge or at a reduced rate;
free or reduced-cost admission to professional athletic contests from professional sports organizations;
a loan of money;
use of an automobile;
signing or co-signing a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan;
preferential treatment, benefits or services (loans on a deferred pay-back basis because of athletic reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a future professional athlete);
rent-free or reduced rate housing during the academic year OR during the summer;
use of personal property (boats, summer homes, cars, computers);
holiday or other presents;
any thing given because an individual is a student-athlete.

Q: How do I know if I am considered a prospective student-athlete?
A: In general, if you are between 9th and 12th grades of high school, you are considered a prospective student-athlete, regardless of whether or not you are being recruited by a Columbia coach. In addition, if you have not yet started 8th grade, but an institution has provided you with benefits that it does not provide to all prospective students, that institution must treat you as a prospective student-athlete.

Q: I want to contact a coach to let him/her know that I would like to be a Columbia Lion. Can I do that?
A: Yes, you may contact a coach at your own expense and on your own initiative at any time. Please be aware that if you leave a telephone message or send a letter, NCAA rules may prohibit the coach from calling you back or writing to you. If you do contact a coach, be sure to tell him/her your grade in middle school or high school so that he/she can determine when or if it would be permissible for him/her to contact you.

Q: I'm thinking about transferring to Columbia University from another institution and I would like to compete as a Columbia Lion. What should I do?
A. You must obtain a written release from your school's Compliance Office and fax it to Columbia University’s Director of Compliance at (212) 854-1572. 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.

Columbia Athletics Coaches Directory

Columbia University Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Barnard College Office of Admissions

National Collegiate Athletic Association

Ivy League Recruitment and Admissions Statement

NCAA Eligibility Center

SAT Testing Dates

ACT Testing Dates