The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body of college tennis and a coaches association, both an advocate and an authority for the sport and its members. The ITA is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow while promoting both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community.

As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA is committed to guiding you through the process of joining a college tennis team. We understand that the recruitment journey is unique for every prospective student-athlete (PSA). In the sections to follow, we aim to educate you with the latest information on the college tennis pathway, along with recommendations for "best practices."

As you begin this journey, keep in mind that a fulfilling college tennis experience includes various elements: the location of the college, academic opportunities, campus ambiance, team dynamics, and much more. We urge you to maintain an open mind throughout the process, giving due consideration to factors beyond tennis. Ultimately, college tennis is about pursuing higher education in the classroom while forging relationships and creating memories that last a lifetime.

College tennis offers abundant opportunities for players of diverse skill levels. If you possess a genuine passion for the sport, a strong work ethic, and aspire to be part of a team, we firmly believe there's a place for you on a college tennis roster.

To aid you in compiling a suitable list of colleges based on your current skill level, we encourage you to acquaint yourself with the ITF World Tennis Number (WTN) at WTN has now become the official and exclusive rating system endorsed by the ITA and college tennis. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but just a starting point for your search.

At any point in this process, simply click the "FIND A COLLEGE FOR YOUR LEVEL" scrolling button, input your gender and current WTN rating, and a list of colleges tailored to your current WTN will be generated.









The College
Tennis Pathway

Step One:

Step Two:

Step Three:

Step Four:

Step FIVE:

Step SIX:



Step Nine:

Step Ten:

Step Eleven:


Learning About the College Tennis Divisions

College tennis consists of seven divisions with various sizes of universities, scholarship limitations, and eligibility requirements. It is important to understand these differences before continuing to the next step.


Understanding the College Tennis Playing Levels

College tennis features a wide range of tennis abilities. Please use the links below to see where you might fit in. Once you understand the WTN, click on the "Explore WTN Player Ranges" button to view WTN ranges for each division.

I Know My WTN Rating

I Don't Know My WTN Rating

I Don't Have A WTN Rating


What Am I Looking For?

Now that you understand the levels of college tennis and where you might fit in, the next step is to ask is:
What am I looking for in my college tennis and academic experience?

A good college experience should be about more than the level of the team you might play on. We encourage all PSAs to consider criteria in key areas such as: academics, social & campus life, the location of the school, the atmosphere of the team, and support services for athletes, to name a few.

Below are some questions we suggest you ask yourself as you begin this journey in order to narrow down your choices.


Where Might I Be Eligible To Play?

A PSA's eligibility to compete for a college tennis team and receive a scholarship is dependent on which organization oversees athletics at the university you are attending. NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, and CCCAA all have different rules & regulations when it comes to eligibility. Please refer to each division for eligibility basics. The ITA IS NOT an eligibility center and has no authority over the decisions made by each division regarding eligibility.


Making A List & Doing Your Own Research

You know the tennis level of the school you are looking for and you have answers to some very important questions from Step Three (What Am I Looking For). Now it’s time to create your list of schools and coaches that you want to contact.

We suggest coming up with a list of approximately 15 schools that you believe are a good fit for you. Use the links below to help you find schools with college tennis programs.

Research Tips
– Include schools that meet most but not all of your criteria
– Use the US News Rankings website for a comprehensive search
-Use this Net Price Calculator to gauge possible expenses

Find School Based On WTN

Find School Based On Ranking

Find School Based On Division

College Contact List Tracking Sheet


Creating A Recruiting Video

Recording Suggestions

Do's and Don'ts


Contacting A Coach

An email is most likely one of the first ways you will establish contact with a head coach. As this will be one opportunity at a first impression, it is important your message is clear, well-written, and includes the right information. We have included a sample email along with best practices when making initial contact with a coach.

Sample Email

Do's and Don'ts

Contact Restrictions

Finding Contact Info


Your First Conversation With A Coach

Sample Questions to Ask

Do's and Don'ts


Taking A Visit

The Basics of Visits

Do's and Don'ts


Making A Decision

What Is An NLI and Signing Dates


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I have contacted a coach several times and have not heard back from him/her?
Unfortunately, no response from a coach probably means they are not interested in you. College coaches are very busy and some programs receive hundreds of recruiting emails every semester.
Can I play college tennis if I’m studying at a university outside of the USA and want to transfer?
Yes. The NCAA has “progress towards degree” benchmarks. If the American college or university to which you hope to transfer approves the classes you are taking at your current university, and if you meet the transfer requirements it is unlikely you will have issues with your eligibility from an academic perspective. It is important that you work closely with the NCAA Compliance Officer of the school you intend to transfer to.
How and why do Ivy League, Patriot League, and Division III universities offer Financial Aid instead of Athletic Scholarships?
These universities provide financial aid to athletes only on the basis of financial need as determined by each institution’s Financial Aid Office. A coach may assist a prospective student-athlete to obtain an estimated financial aid award. However, only the Financial Aid Office has the authority to determine financial aid awards. They do not offer athletic scholarships purely on a philosophical and historical basis. Often players may end up receiving more money in a financial aid package than they would if they received an athletic scholarship from a different institution. Do not rule out these tennis programs because they don’t offer athletic scholarships until you get a sense of the type of financial aid package for which you may be qualified.
What happens if I get sick or injured?
Most athletic departments take the physical and mental health and wellness of their student-athletes very seriously. Typically, if injuries occur while training or on the tennis court, the university will cover any costs above and beyond what your own health insurance will cover. A coach cannot take away your scholarship during the school year if you get injured. However, depending on the institution, they may not renew the scholarship for the next school year. Every university and division has different policies.
Can a coach remove or reduce my scholarship for lack of performance?
Yes, and, no. It depends on the philosophy of the athletic department and the coach. This is an important question to ask the coach before you sign your NLI. The coach cannot take or reduce your scholarship during the academic year unless there are extreme circumstances (fraud, academically ineligible, misconduct, or quitting the team for personal reasons).
How do I transfer to another university?
If you want to transfer, you need to inform the coach and the compliance department of your intention to transfer and request to be placed in the Transfer Portal (NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II and III). Once you ask the compliance administrator to place your name in the portal, the athletic department has two business days to submit the information. Once your name is entered into the portal you will receive a confirmation email from the NCAA. Understand that one of the downsides is that your athletic department can reduce or stop awarding your athletic aid at the end of the term in which the request was made to enter the Transfer Portal. They may or may not choose to release you, but usually, a coach is not going to want to keep a player who does not want to be there. If the coach does not release you, then you can still transfer but would not be allowed to compete for a year. The coach will usually release you but may put some restrictions on where you can go. The coach may not want you going to any programs that the team typically competes against. Once you have been awarded a release, you will need to start the recruiting process again and send your letter of interest and attach your release to any emails you send to coaches. If your name appears on the Transfer Portal, then you may start receiving emails from college coaches. Coaches are NOT ALLOWED to speak with you unless you are placed in the Transfer Portal. If you do choose to transfer, you will be allowed to take five more official visits
What is a multi-year athletic agreement?
Universities can offer athletic scholarships for more than one year. A multi-year agreement requires the university to provide a scholarship to the student-athlete in accordance with the terms and conditions of the agreement. However, the agreement does not bind the student-athlete to the institution any more than the current transfer rules – he or she may transfer during the term of the award. If a student-athlete signs an NLI, he or she cannot transfer during the initial year of competition without penalty.
When can a scholarship offer be made by the coach?
A written scholarship offer cannot be made until your senior year in high school. However, a verbal offer may be made by the coach at any time before this. Technically they should not be made before June 15 after your sophomore year in high school because there is no way for an NCAA coach to communicate with you until that time. This verbal offer is not legally binding, and there are no legal consequences for either party changing their mind whether the scholarship was verbal or written. The agreement is not binding until the National Letter of Intent is signed and returned to the University.
Should I use a recruiting service to help me with the recruiting process?
Recruiting services can be very helpful for a variety of reasons. Many PSAs use the help of an outside service if they have a complicated case, are confused about the process or have a lower WTN/ranking than coaches are interested in.
What is calculated in the "Find A College For Your Level" algorithim?
WTN entered must be stronger than weakest WTN (the weakest or 6th player)
WTN entered must be weaker than the average WTN
Teams should be sorted from the weakest Team WTN to the strongest Team WTN
Are there any other college tennis options avaliable to me?
Yes, USTA Tennis on Campus is another college tennis option in the United State. For more information click here.

Advice for International Student-Athletes