It is called a PSA (Prospective Student-Athlete) the person intending to become a university student and defend the colors of his or her school  in one of the sports sponsored by the institution. From the moment in which the PSA is admitted into the university and into the college sporting system (NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, etc.), he or she becomes officially a student-athlete (SA).

Every league we mentioned on the American System section (and every division) has its own academic and athletic requirements and all of them need to be respected. This is the main reason why there are external organizations to the leagues that have the responsability  of determie whether a PSA has all the requirements needed to compete in a league and/or a division.

The NCAA uses for this purpse its own Eligibility Center for Division I and Division II athletes (requirements are different for each division); while for Division III each school has to determine whether a PSA can become part of a team. 

A similar approach has the NAIA using PlayNAIA to evaluate prospects under its own academic and athlteic rules that differ from those of the NCAA. The NJCAA does not have an external organization to evaluate prospects but they do have several dettailed forms each student and institution has to complete to be able to register a student as a student-athlete competing for an affiliated Junior or Community College. 

Student-athletes have several responsabilities and duties during the academic year; they become more intense during preseason and official season (which usually lasts one semester) while are less intense during the off-season semester. It is during this semester that students will take the more demanding courses and will concentrate many more hours for studying and course projects (though this is never left on second place even during in-season); as a matter of fact they will always be considered student-athletes, being student the first and most importat concept.

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