US college sport is strictly amateur and this is one of the core principles of the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA and their respective member institutions.
If you have ever been paid a salary to participate in your sport, or have been employed as a professional athlete, then you will most likely not be eligible to compete in collegiate athletics.
However, it is permissible for you to have been signed as a ‘youth’ or ‘Academy’ player at a professional soccer club, for example, and still be eligible to obtain a scholarship to compete with an American college or university.
As a prospective student-athlete you will be asked by the NCAA & NAIA to provide evidence to support your position as an amateur athlete.
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