The NCAA isn’t your only option if you want to play collegiate golf. Another option is to get a golf scholarship from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). While the NJCAA may not have the prestige that comes with playing golf at big universities, it shouldn’t be dismissed. There are many benefits of aiming for a NJCAA scholarship, including:
- Lower academic requirements for eligibility
- At 2-year colleges which aren’t as competitive as big universities
- Can move onto 4-year university after completion
- Can use it as a stepping stone to get a NCAA or NAIA scholarship
- NJCAA colleges are much more affordable
Divisions of NJCAA Golf and Scholarships
The NJCAA offers men’s golf at three divisions: 1, 2, and 3. Women’s golf is offered only at Division 1.
- NJCAA Division 1 Golf: May offer full scholarships
- NJCAA Division 2 Golf: May only offer funding for tuition, fees, and books
- NJCAA Division 3 Golf: Cannot give any scholarships for athletics
NJCAA Golf Scholarship Requirements
Each college has its own requirements for eligibility, so you will have to check with the college. However, you can count on the fact that the academic (and athletic) requirements will be much lower and lax than with NCAA and NAIA Division 1 schools.
For example, at Indian Hills Community College (which is currently the #1 ranking men’s golf team in the NJCAA) has an “open admission policy.” This means that anyone who properly applies to the college will be accepted. Admissions couldn’t be easier than that, eh?
Once you are accepted to an NJCAA college, you will need to meet these requirements to keep your scholarship:
- Enroll in 12 credits at the college
- Maintain a 1.75 GPA during first season, and 2.0 corresponding GPA during the second season
After Your 2 Years Are Up
NJCAA colleges are two-year programs and NJCAA scholarships are limited to this period. You can’t do 2 years at one NJCAA college and then move on to another college.
So what are you supposed to do after your 2 years are up?
You could take the knowledge you’ve acquired and go get a job, either in the USA or back at home. Or, you can do what a lot of Americans do: move on to a 4-year university.
In fact, a lot of talented golfers use NJCAA scholarships as a chance to improve their game and move on to earn NAIA and NCAA scholarships at top universities.
You Can Play Golf for the NJCAA and Another Team
In most cases, students playing in the NJCAA are not allowed to play on any other teams during the season. However, there is an exception for golf. As an NJCAA golfer, you can still play with whatever teams you wish.
Best NJCAA Golf Colleges
You can find a complete list of NJCAA golf schools at the NJCAA website. Click here for Men’s NJCAA Golf Colleges and click here for Women’s NJCAA Golf Colleges. You’ll notice that there are a LOT of colleges to choose from! To narrow down the list, you might want to focus on a region. Or you can go to www.golfstat.com to see the current NJCAA Men’s Rankings and NJCAA Women’s Rankings.
Here are some you might want to consider:
Top NJCAA Division 1 Men’s Golf Colleges
- Indian Hills Community College
- Eastern Florida State
- Odessa Community College
- McLennan Community College
- Wallace State Community College
Top NJCAA Division 1 Women’s Golf Colleges
- Daytona State College
- Seminole State Florida
- McLenan Community College
- Mesa Community College
- Western Texas Community College