Dear Eligibility Coach:
My son completed all of the classes for high school graduation and has received a scholarship offer from a Division I school. However, he will receive a certificate of attendance instead of a high school diploma because he did not pass the FCAT that is required to graduate in Florida. Is there a way he can still get the athletic scholarship?
In order for a Division I school to be able to award an athletic scholarship to a student-athlete, the student-athlete must:
- Graduate from high school;
- Receive final certification for academics from the NCAA Eligibility Center; and
- Receive final certification for amateurism from the NCAA Eligibility Center.
If your son does not graduate from high school, he will be considered a non-qualifier for NCAA Division I. Non-qualifiers are not able to receive athletics scholarships during their first year of college, and they cannot practice nor compete in their sport.
Your son may still attend the Division I school if he is admitted to the university, but your family will be responsible for all of the first year college expenses. If your son meets NCAA continuing eligibility requirements, he may be able to receive an athletic scholarship during his second year of college, if the coach still has money available in his scholarship budget.
You may want to check with the high school guidance counselor to see if there is another opportunity for your son to take the FCAT and still be able to graduate this summer.