NCAA postgraduate scholarship: Eligibility & Application Process

In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, including eligibility criteria, nomination procedures, and the application process. Whether you’re a student-athlete aspiring to further your education or a coach looking to guide your athletes in their pursuit of this scholarship, read on to discover the essential details that can help pave the way to this exceptional opportunity.


The NCAA postgraduate scholarship program offers 126 scholarships each year to student-athletes who excel both academically and athletically and are in their final year of collegiate competition. These scholarships, valued at $10,000 each, are non-renewable and awarded three times a year, corresponding to the different sports seasons (fall, winter, and spring). There are 21 scholarships available for men and 21 for women during each sports season, and they can be used for accredited graduate programs.

One noteworthy aspect of this program is that all former student-athletes who have earned an undergraduate degree from an NCAA member school are eligible for nomination, regardless of when they completed their undergraduate studies. This inclusivity underscores the program’s commitment to supporting higher education for student-athletes.

The mission of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, established in 1964, is to promote and encourage graduate education by recognizing the achievements of student-athletes who have participated in NCAA championships and emerging sports. Selection criteria include a combination of athletic and academic accomplishments, campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities, and demonstrated leadership. The program follows a fair and equitable approach, ensuring that student-athletes from various sports, divisions, genders, and backgrounds have an opportunity to receive this prestigious graduate award. Ultimately, the program aims to reward those individuals whose dedication and effort align with the characteristics necessary for success in graduate studies.

Nomination Process

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship nomination process is initiated by the faculty athletics representative (FAR) or a designated representative chosen by the FAR. They must ensure that all components of the nomination are submitted to the NCAA national office within the specified deadlines corresponding to each sport’s season.

FARs or their designated representatives use the application provided in the Program Hub to nominate eligible student-athletes. After the nomination is made, the student-athlete receives system-generated emails informing them of their nomination. Subsequently, recommendation emails are generated once the student-athlete completes and submits their application section. This process ensures a systematic and organized approach to selecting qualified candidates for the scholarship program.

Application Sections

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship application comprises several key sections:

  • FAR or FAR Designee Nomination: The faculty athletics representative (FAR) or their chosen designee initiates the nomination process. They play a critical role in identifying and recommending eligible student-athletes.
  • Student-Athlete Section: This part is completed by the nominee themselves and includes the submission of a formal personal statement. The personal statement likely provides insights into the student-athlete’s background, achievements, and aspirations.
  • Transcript(s): Applicants are required to upload official transcripts as part of the application. These transcripts should cover all undergraduate coursework and can be scanned and uploaded as PDF documents. It’s important to note that electronic transcripts are not necessary to meet this requirement.
  • Four Letters of Recommendation: Four different individuals are expected to provide letters of recommendation for the applicant. These recommendations come from various perspectives:
  1. The FAR or FAR Designee provides one recommendation.
  2. A coach or someone with knowledge of the student-athlete’s contributions to intercollegiate athletics writes another.
  3. Someone who can speak to the student-athlete’s community service and leadership provides the third recommendation.
  4. A professor teaching in the discipline of the student-athlete’s undergraduate degree offers the fourth recommendation.

The endorsements tab becomes accessible after the applicant provides information about each endorser, including their name and email address. Once the application is submitted, endorsers receive automated emails with instructions for endorsing the applicant. It’s important to use the email address provided by the applicant to log in to the Program Hub for the endorsement process. This comprehensive application process ensures that candidates are thoroughly evaluated from multiple perspectives, including academic, athletic, leadership, and community service achievements.


Eligibility for the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship is determined by several criteria:

  • NCAA Membership: Student-athletes must be enrolled at an active NCAA member institution.
  • Athletic Eligibility: Applicants must either be in their final season of NCAA athletic eligibility or have completed their athletic eligibility.
  • Academic Status: They must be in their final year of undergraduate academic work or have already received an undergraduate degree.
  • Academic Performance: Eligible candidates should maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.200 or its equivalent on a 4.000 scale, considering all undergraduate coursework from all attended undergraduate institutions. Graduate-level hours are not included in this calculation.
  • Athletic Excellence: Candidates must have excelled as varsity team members in their respective sports. The evaluation of their athletic achievements is done in conjunction with their academic performance, involvement within their institution, and engagement in volunteer community service. Leadership qualities and exemplary behavior are also considered.
  • Graduate Program Enrollment: Scholarship recipients must enroll in a graduate degree program, either on a part-time or full-time basis, at an academically accredited graduate or degree-granting professional school.
  • Undergraduate Work Exclusion: The scholarship cannot be used to fund any undergraduate coursework.
  • Character and Role Model: Eligible candidates are expected to be outstanding citizens and serve as excellent role models within their institution and in the realm of intercollegiate athletics.

It’s important to note that student-athletes attending provisional member institutions are not eligible for nomination, and a scholarship recipient cannot use more than one NCAA scholarship award for graduate studies. Additionally, international student-athletes are eligible to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. These eligibility criteria ensure that the scholarship is awarded to well-rounded individuals who have excelled both in their sport and academics and who contribute positively to their communities and institutions.

Application Process

To apply for the NCAA postgraduate scholarship, visit the official website.

The information contained herein is derived from data obtained from sources believed by the author to be reliable and in good faith, but no guarantees are made regarding the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of the content, and the post may be updated from time to time without notice.

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