If you are interested in becoming a student-athlete at UW Oshkosh (or any other NCAA Division III university), it is important that you realize that the NCAA has very strict rules concerning the recruiting process. These regulations govern what a Division III member institution can and cannot do in evaluating, contacting, and arranging for you to continue your athletic career at UW Oshkosh.
Below is a basic set of important information and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which should be helpful in understanding that process.
TELL ME ABOUT UW OSHKOSH
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has been providing the residents of northeastern Wisconsin with high-quality affordable education since 1871. Among the largest public universities in the state, UW Oshkosh is committed to providing students with a broad knowledge base and transferable skills as well as a strong sense of values and ethics that prepares them for civic leadership in society.
The campus community promotes enrichment and active learning with opportunities for sports and recreation, arts and culture, service learning and career building. Approximately 14,000 students benefit from the nationally recognized expertise of our faculty, a wide variety of courses and degrees offered — including 60 undergraduate majors, 17 master’s degree programs and one doctoral degree (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) — and modest class sizes that foster one-on-one and collaborative learning with professors, rather than teaching assistants.
UW Oshkosh, the nation's first Fair Trade University, has been recognized for its role in embracing sustainable practices, such as building "green," examining its carbon footprints and promoting social justice. An integrated Campus Sustainability Plan, established in 2006, guides the University's effort to be a leader in responsible environmental stewardship, education, outreach and research.
Located on the Fox River and near downtown Oshkosh, the University serves the community and beyond through a multitude of programs, services and partnerships, including collaborations with other colleges, nationally and internationally. The University has a significant economic impact on the state and regional community — more than $500 million annually. The campus helped create more than 9,000 jobs in recent years and generated $37.5 million in tax revenue, while students and staff gave $4 million in time and money to local charities.
The University is proud of its nearly 80,000 alumni. Entrepreneurs, teachers, medical professionals and leaders, our alumni’s positive impact spreads throughout the country and truly defines “Titan pride.” Their successes reflect on the quality education and personal experiences they had at UW Oshkosh.
WHAT ABOUT THE INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETIC PROGRAMS?
UW Oshkosh is one of the largest public universities in NCAA Division III. With 21 different intercollegiate athletic programs, the Titans are perennial powers in almost every sport in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and have sent teams and individuals to the NCAA Division III national playoffs several times. UW Oshkosh is proud of its 31 first place team finishes in NCAA Division III, 28 second place team finishes, and many other appearances at the AIAW, NAIA, NCAA Division II, and NCGA levels. UW Oshkosh also owns 186 WIAC conference championships.
WHAT IS DIVISION III?
Division III is the largest subdivision of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) with more than 450 member institutions. Division III includes a large number of smaller, private institutions; but also includes several larger public universities. The Division III philosophy is that athletics are an important part of the total university experience, but that student-athletes are treated on equal terms with the rest of the student populations.
Because of this philosophy, NCAA Division III institutions are not allowed to award scholarships based solely on athletic ability or participation.
SO IS THERE ANY SCHOLARSHIP MONEY AVAILABLE?
Certainly. Just not athletic scholarships. Student-athletes are eligible to apply for and/or compete for the same scholarships, grants and other aid that is available to any other student attending UW Oshkosh - including merit-based, need-based and departmental scholarships.
For more information on scholarships and other forms of financial aid and other enrollment information, visit the UW Oshkosh financial aid website.
BUT I THOUGHT ALL COLLEGE STUDENT-ATHLETES RECEIVED ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP OR AT LEAST THE TALENTED ONES?
Honestly, the vast majority of college student-athletes receive little or no financial aid from participating in athletics. In most programs, "full-ride" athletic scholarships are limited to a very few, select athletes, mostly in the major sports. NCAA Division I and II programs are allowed a limited numbers of scholarships for their programs, but most universities divide those limited funds between a number of student-athletes, and then rely heavily on non-funded "walk-ons" to fill out their rosters.
Though they receive no athletic scholarship funding, Division III student-athletes are very often just as competitive and skilled as many of those at other levels. It is certainly not a testament to a student-athlete's ability if they are not awarded an athletic scholarship.
WHAT TYPE OF STUDENT-ATHLETE IS UW OSHKOSH LOOKING FOR?
It is important to us that you are a "good fit" for UW Oshkosh. Because most of our athletic programs are very strong, you can expect a lot of competition for roster spots and playing time in most programs.
Secondly, you MUST be strong academically to be considered for admission to UW Oshkosh. The admission process is the same for student-athletes as it is for any other applicant.
This doesn't, however, mean you have to be an honor graduate with a perfect GPA to even be considered. If you feel you are a strong student who will succeed in college and have relatively good test scores, we encourage you to apply.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
To begin the recruiting process, contact the coach for your particular sport via phone or email. Fill out the online recruiting questionnaire for your sport so we will know how to contact you and individuals who have worked with you in the past. Next, send us video (if available) and game schedules so we can come see you play if you are good fit.
Don't wait to begin the application process to the University either. Contact the Admissions Office to begin the application process to UW Oshkosh. Admissions can be contacted online or (920) 424-3164.
WHEN AND HOW CAN A COACH START "RECRUITING" ME?
The NCAA defines a "recruitable prospective student-athlete" as any student who has begun classes in the ninth grade, but it is more likely a coach will begin seriously begin recruiting you closer to your final year in high school.
There are various NCAA and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rules that apply to how and when a coach can make contact with an individual prospect. A NCAA Division III coach can contact a prospect at any time during the recruiting process via telephone, mail, text or email during the process. A coach can also communicate with your parents, coaches or other representatives in the same manner. There is no limit on these types of "indirect" communication.
SO CAN A COACH COME SEE ME PLAY?
Yes. If a coach determines you will be a good fit for the University and their program, they may come see you play in person at games, tournaments or other events. However, by NCAA rule, a coach cannot make "direct" contact with you at these off-campus events until AFTER the contest is over and only after your sophomore year in high school.
If you are sophomore in high school or younger, a coach is not permitted to visit with you or your parents in person at an off-campus location (such as a game or tournament). They may come see you play for evaluation purposes, but NCAA rules prohibit direct contact.
WHEN CAN I COME MEET THE COACH AND VISIT THE UW OSHKOSH CAMPUS?
Anytime after January 1 of your junior year of high school. WIAC member schools, however, have restrictions on what they may provide. It is not permitted to provide for or reimburse a prospect for travel expenses to and from a university. WIAC member schools also are limited to providing two complimentary meals to a prospect during an official visit. Meals may be provided to parents and/or guests accompanying the prospect. Finally, a prospect on an official visit may be provided lodging only in an on-campus dormitory.
If you come to the UW Oshkosh campus, we can visit with you and your parents in person regardless of your high school classification. It's also a great time to learn more about the University. Contact the coach directly to setup a visit, and you can contact the Admissions Office to arrange for a campus tour, meetings with professors, etc.
WHAT ABOUT TRYOUTS?
NCAA Division III does NOT allow its member universities to conduct tryouts - on-campus or off-campus - for prospective student-athletes. If another NCAA Division III school invites you for a "tryout," they are very likely in violation of this rule, and your eligibility for future competition could be jeopardized.
WHEN DO I SIGN A LETTER OF INTENT AND ANNOUNCE MY "SIGNING" TO THE MEDIA?
There are NO National Letters of Intent or "Signing Day" for NCAA Division III. Your commitment to the university is verbal and you "commit" by completing all admission requirements to the University, making a deposit and registering for classes. You may sign a standard, nonbinding athletics celebratory signing form after you have been accepted for enrollment to UW Oshkosh as well as make an announcement personally of your college choice in your local media, but the University is not allowed to officially participate in a "press conference" by NCAA Division III rules.
In dealing with your local media, it is very important for you to understand what is acceptable to say and what would be considered “out of compliance” and thus jeopardize the institution and your team. The following should serve as a guide for you as you communicate with interested parties about your decision to attend UW Oshkosh.
- Player X has decided to continue his/her education and athletic career at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh next season.
- Player X will attend the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to continue their education and athletic career for the Titans after graduation.
Samples of what a press release should NOT say …
- Player X has signed a letter of intent to play Sport X at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh next season.
- Player X has received an athletic scholarship to play Sport X at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
- Player X has signed a contract in order to continue their playing career the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Titans after graduation.
I'M CURRENTLY ATTENDING ANOTHER UNIVERSITY AND AM CONSIDERING TRANSFERRING TO UW OSHKOSH. HOW DO I BEGIN THE PROCESS?
You must first provide the UW Oshkosh Athletic Department with written notification of your interest and gain permission for our coaches to speak with you.
If you are attending another Division III institution, transfers must fill out the NCAA SELF-RELEASE FORM and send it to us before an athletic staff member can have any type contact with you about transferring.
Division I, II or NAIA transfers must obtain an OFFICIAL RELEASE from their current institution, permitting them to have contact with our athletic staff in regards to transferring. The NCAA prohibits any athletic staff member or representative of a university from contacting you about transferring - regardless of who initiates the contact - without first receiving the appropriate permission from your current university. Ask a coach or athletic administrator at your current school to provide you with this form.
Exact eligibility to compete (and actual remaining eligibility) will be determined at the time of enrollment. However, it is required that a student-athlete who transfers MUST BE ACADEMICALLY & ATHLETICALLY ELIGIBLE at the institution they are transferring from in order to compete at another institution.
For any recruiting questions or further clarification, you can contact:
Assistant Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator
Office: (920) 424-1384
Fax: (920) 424-0135