Here at Hillsdale College, we have high expectations of our student-athletes as it relates to academic and eligibility. This page will contain plenty of information you will need to make sure your eligibility is maintained properly.
Full-time enrollment requirement
To be eligible for practice, competition, and financial aid, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. If you need fewer than 12 credit hours to graduate, you may enroll in only these final hours and still be eligible for practice, competition, and financial aid.
Progress towards degree requirements
To maintain your eligibility, you must:
1. Complete 24 credits prior to second year of enrollment;
2. Earn 18 semester credits during the academic year (excluding summer);
3. Earn six academic credits in the previous regular academic term or full-time enrollment;
4. Declare a major no later than the beginning of your fifth semester or third year of enrollment and, thereafter, complete the required credits in courses applicable to your declared major;
5. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average that is 90 percent of the minimum GPA required to graduate (at least 1.8, 24-47 credit hours), 95 percent of the minimum GPA (1.9, 48-71 credit hours), and 100 percent of the minimum GPA (2.0, 72 credit hours and above).
An extra benefit is any special arrangement from the institution, its staff or its boosters to provide a benefit to student-athletes or their friends or family unless that benefit is (1) provided to the institution's students generally or (2) specifically permitted by NCAA rules.
Examples of Impermissible Extra
• The use of an automobile
• Giving a loan or helping to secure a loan
• Discounts on services, like dry cleaning or car repair
• Discounts on purchases, such as clothing or airline tickets
• The use of a cell phone or phone card
• Receipt of services from businesses, like movie tickets or dinner
Examples of Permissible Benefits the institution may
• Athletics scholarships
• Appropriate equipment for practice and competition
• Travel expenses for competition
• Complimentary admissions to their contests for family and friends
• Awards to recognize their participation and achievement
• Medical treatment
Academic support services
These are only some examples of impermissible and permissible benefits. The area of extra benefits is very complex and we do not want our student-athletes to inadvertently do something that jeopardizes their eligibility. That is why we encourage them to talk to us before accepting a benefit if they have any question about whether or not it is permissible.
• Student-athletes should be paid (1) only for work actually performed, and (2) at a rate commensurate with the going rate in that locality for similar services.
• Student-athletes should be provided only those benefits, like free uniforms or meals during work hours, that are provided to all employees.
• Student-athletes should be treated as the employer would any employee doing similar work when it comes to things like, time off, breaks, scheduling, etc.
• Student-athletes should not be paid
based on the value he or she may have for their employer's business
due to their athletics reputation or ability.
• Student-athletes' names or images may not be used to promote their employer's business or any commercial product or service.
• Student-athletes may not be paid for endorsing a commercial product or service or using that product or service.
• Student-athletes may not receive transportation from their employers (for work or otherwise) unless the employer provides it for all of their employees.
• The institution may provide you up to 4 complimentary
admissions to home events in your sport
• Your complimentary admissions may not be sold.
• Your guests' names will be placed on a pass list. You may not receive paper tickets for your complimentary admissions.
• The institution may not reserve additional tickets for purchase by student-athletes or their families.
• If you have a prospective student-athlete that you would like to invite to a home event, speak to your coach about putting that individual on the complimentary admissions list for prospective student-athletes.
NCAA recruiting information
Te NCAA has detailed rules regarding how and when coaches may recruit prospective student-athletes. There are also a number of criteria that a prospective student-athlete must meet in order to be eligible to participate in college athletics. The NCAA provides some resources that summarize these rules and criteria that may prove helpful to you.
Basic recruiting items to know
- Prospective student-athletes being recruited by Hillsdale College or any other institution should not receive cash or any other items of value from anyone associated with the college.
- Prospects should not receive promises of any of the above.
- Prospects should not receive correspondence or phone calls from anyone other than the Hillsdlae College staff or faculty about the college.
- Prospect's families should not be promised or given any items of value or received job promotions or new jobs based upon a prospect's decision to attend Hillsdale College.
- Neither a prospect nor their family should receive "free" tickets to any events other than complimentary tickets for athletics events held on campus.
Telephone calls to prospective student-athletes
Telephone calls to a prospective student-athlete (or the prospective student-athlete’s relatives or legal guardians) may not be made before June 15 immediately preceding the prospective student-athlete’s senior year in high school; thereafter, staff members shall not make such telephone calls more than once per week.
EXCEPTION FOR FOOTBALL: During a contact period, telephone calls may be made at the institution's discretion.
Exceptions to the telephone rule:
- Collect and Toll-Free Telephone Calls: Institutional coaching staff members may accept collect and toll-free telephone calls placed by prospective student-athletes and prospective student-athletes' parents and legal guardians at any time:
- Official-Visit Exception: The institution may make unlimited telephone calls to a prospect during the five days immediately preceding the prospect's official visit to campus.
- Letter-of-Intent Signing-Date Exception: The institution may make unlimited telephone calls to a prospect on the initial date for the signing of the National Letter of Intent and during the two days immediately following the initial signing date Off-Campus Contact Exception.
- The institution may make unlimited telephone calls to a prospect on the day a permissible, in-person, off-campus contact occurs.
An official visit is when an institution invites you to visit campus at its expense. These visits may not last more than 48 hours. You may not make more than one official visit to any one institution and may not make more than five official visits in total. You may not make an official visit until the opening day of classes of your senior year in high school.
Information that a prospective student-sthlete must provide the college before they can make an official visit:
1. A high school or college academic transcript
2. A PSAT, SAT, PLAN or ACT score taken on a national testing date under national testing conditions, except that a state-administered ACT may be used to meet the requirement. The score must be presented through 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. Registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center and is placed on the institutions Institutional Request List (IRL).
An Unofficial Visit occurs when a prospective student-athlete visits the institution at their own expense. A prospective student-athlete may visit a member institution's campus at his or her own expense an unlimited number of times. A prospective student-athlete may make unofficial visits before his or her senior year in high school.
If known, inform the Compliance Office of an unofficial visit 48 hours prior to the visit. If the visit was unanticipated, notify the Compliance Office at the first reasonable opportunity not to exceed 24 hours.
During an official or unofficial visit the institution may provide a prospective student-athlete a maximum of three complimentary admissions to a home athletics event at any facility within a 30-mile radius of the institution's main campus in which the institution's intercollegiate team practices or competes
- These complimentary admissions may only be used by the prospect and those persons accompanying the prospect on the visit
- The complimentary admissions must be issued through a pass list on an individual game basis.
- The complimentary admissions may provide seating only in the general seating area of the facility utilized for conducting the event.
- An institution may reserve tickets, only for the use of immediate family members accompanying a prospect during an official visit and for seat locations adjacent to the complimentary seats being provided to the prospect. These tickets must be purchased at face value.
- Providing seating during the conduct of the event (including intermission) for the prospect or those persons accompanying the prospect in the facility's press box, special seating box(es) or bench area is specifically prohibited.
- A member institution may not provide complimentary admissions to a prospect for a postseason conference tournament. The prospect may purchase tickets only in the same manner as any other member of the general public.
- The provision of complimentary or reduced-cost admissions to prospects for an NCAA championship (all rounds) or other postseason contests (e.g., bowl game, NAIA or NIT championship) constitutes excessive entertainment and is prohibited. The prospect may purchase these tickets only in the same manner as any other member of the general public.
Frequently asked questions
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. This is generally true even if you don't plan to play college sports. 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 them know that I
would like to be a Charger. Can I do that?
A: Yes, you may contact a coach at your own expense and on your own initiative at any time, but please be aware that they may be prohibited from contacting you. So if you leave a telephone message or send a letter, they may be prohibited by NCAA rules from calling you back or writing to you. If you do contact a coach, be sure to tell them your age and grade levels so that they can determine when or if it would be permissible for them to contact you.
Q: What is a dead period?
A: Under NCAA rules, each calendar year is divided into different recruiting periods. These periods are contact periods, evaluation periods, quiet periods and dead periods. Each of these periods have different limitations on the recruiting activities a coach can participate in, as follows:
Q: What is the contact period?
During a contact period authorized athletics department staff members may make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations.
Q: What is the evaluation period?
During an Evaluation Period authorized athletics department staff members may be involved in off-campus activities designed to assess the academic qualifications and playing ability of prospective student-athletes. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts shall be made with the prospective student-athlete during an evaluation period.
Q: What is the quiet period?
During a quiet period it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution's campus. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts or evaluations may be made during the quiet period.
Q: What is the dead period?
During a dead period it is not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off the member institution's campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by prospective student-athletes to the institution's campus. It remains permissible, however, for an institutional staff member to write or telephone prospective student-athletes during a dead period.
Rules Governing Prospective Student-Athletes:
Only coaches and athletic department staff members can be involved in the recruiting process. This rule states that you:
- MAY NOT telephone, write, email, text or make in-person contact (on or off campus) with a prospective student-athlete for the purpose of soliciting his/her participation in Hillsdale College athletics.
- MAY NOT contact a prospective student-athlete's coach, principal or counselor in an attempt to evaluate the prospect, and do not visit the prospect's high school to pick up transcripts or films.
- MAY NOT provide free or reduced price tickets to any Hillsdale College home or away contest to prospects, their relatives or friends.
- MAY NOT employ, or promise to employ, relatives or friends of a prospect as an inducement for his/her enrollment at Hillsdale College.
For Enrolled student-athletes and prospective student-athletes,
it is permissible to:
- Provide an occasional meal for student-athletes at your home (not at a restaurant) and it may be catered.
- Continue normal contact with prospective student-athletes with which you have pre-established relationships, as long as the contacts are not recruiting related.
- Attend games where prospective student-athletes are competing as long as no contact is made with the prospect or the prospect's parents or legal guardians.
The goal of Hillsdale College athletics is to protect our student-athletes' eligibility for as long as they wish to pursue collegiate athletics and then ensure that they can make informed decisions about those who will represent them when they are ready to pursue their professional careers.
NCAA rules state that a student-athlete cannot have a written or verbal agreement with an agent or anyone who will market the student-athlete's athletics ability or reputation. Also, a student-athlete may not agree, verbally or in writing, to have an agent represent them in the future.
Student-athletes and their families may not receive benefits from an agent.
Who is an agent?
An agent is anyone who markets your athletics ability or reputation. Whether or not someone calls themselves an agent, if they perform the functions of an agent under NCAA rules, they are considered an agent. Activities such as these would make someone an agent:
- Negotiating with a professional team
- Contacting a professional team on your behalf
- Arranging tryouts with professional teams
- Sitting in on your negotiations with a professional team
A student-athlete may have an advisor to help them evaluate their professional opportunities, but they must be careful that their advisor does not engage in any activities that would make them an agent under NCAA rules. As a good rule of thumb, an advisor can talk to you and your family, but if they are talking about you to any third parties (professional teams, media, scouts) they have probably crossed the line to being an agent.
To the extent that individual professional leagues or players' associations have rules governing the conduct of agents, Hillsdale College will support and adhere to those rules.
Tryouts with professional teams
Student-athletes may participate in tryouts with professional teams without losing their eligibility, provided they follow certain rules:
- Student-athletes cannot miss class for a tryout with a professional team.
- Student-athletes may receive actual and necessary expenses in conjunction with one 48-hour tryout per professional team.
- A tryout may extend beyond 48 hours if the student-athlete pays any additional expenses, including return transportation.
- A tryout paid for by the student-athlete may last any length of time, provided the student-athlete does not miss class.
Additional informational links:
Organized Competition Legislation
NCAA Banned-Drug Classes
NCAA Freshman Eligibility Standards
NCAA Nutrition and Performance