The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. Student-athletes are nominated only once in their career by their school.
The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics manages the nomination process and selections. In 2015, a record-number 480 female college athletes representing multiple ethnicities and all NCAA-sponsored sports within Divisions I, II and III, were nominated. The Committee on Women’s Athletics encourages each member school to honor its top graduating female student-athlete(s) with a nomination.
Member schools are urged to submit two nominations if at least one of the nominees is a woman of color or international student-athlete. The nomination form is completed by the member school and student-athlete, and submitted by the member school via the NCAA Program Hub. School nominations are due at 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday, June 13.
All nominations from core member schools will be sent to their respective conference offices. All independent school nominees will be sent directly to the conference nomination round.
Upon receiving nominations from its core member schools, each conference will be responsible for assessing each nominee’s eligibility and will select up to two conference nominees based on their respective achievements in academics, athletics, service and leadership. Conferences may recognize two nominees if at least one of the nominees is a woman of color or international student-athlete. Each conference office must submit its nominee(s) to the national office by 5 p.m. Eastern time Friday, July 15, by emailing Richard Zhu at firstname.lastname@example.org and Jessica Duff at email@example.com.
All conference nominees are forwarded to the Woman of the Year selection committee. The selection committee will choose the top 10 honorees in each division. From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from among the top nine finalists to determine the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year.
All school and conference honorees receive an NCAA certificate and will be recognized on ncaa.org. The top 10 honorees from Divisions I, II and III, including the nine overall finalists, will be honored, and the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year winner announced, at a dinner Oct. 16 in Indianapolis.
To be eligible for the NCAA Woman of the Year award:
- The nominee must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2015-16 competitive season and received her undergraduate degree no later than the summer 2016 term.
- The nominee must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.50 (4.00 scale).
- All information on the student-athlete nomination form, including the personal statement and Institution Verification Form with signatures from the nominee, director of athletics, senior woman administrator and sports information director must be complete and uploaded in the NCAA Program Hub application. Incomplete nominations will not be considered.
Please note that the Woman of the Year selection committee and the Committee on Women’s Athletics will NOT consider videos, media guides, emailed photographs or other supplemental materials from schools, conferences and nominees.
New guidelines have been established by the Committee on Women’s Athletics, and these guidelines will be used for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year award process. The selection committee will determine the top 10 honorees in each division and the top three honorees in each division using the new guidelines outlined below. The Committee on Women’s Athletics also will follow these guidelines when evaluating nominees from Divisions I, II and III and when selecting the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year winner.
Scoring for the academic achievement section is based on the undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of the nominee. NCAA staff will score the athletics excellence section. Both committees will score the service and leadership section and the personal statement.
Academic achievement – 30 percent of total score, using a scale of 1 to 5.
Score is based on undergraduate cumulative GPA.
- 3.90-4.00 GPA: 5
- 3.70-3.89 GPA: 4
- 3.50-3.69 GPA: 3
- 3.30-3.49 GPA: 2
- 3.00-3.29 GPA: 1
Nominees must have a minimum GPA of 2.50 to be eligible to be nominated; however, a GPA of 3.00 or higher is needed to score points for academic achievement.
Please note that the nominee has the opportunity to emphasize significant academic achievements in her personal statement.
Athletics excellence – 30 percent of total score, using a scale of 1 to 5.
Score is based on the nominee’s highest honor of all listed athletics accomplishments.
- 5: Team or individual national champion; first-team athletics All-America honors.
- 4: Athletics All-America honors other than first team.
- 3: Regional All-America honors; team or individual conference champion; first-team athletics all-conference honors.
- 2: Athletics all-conference honors other than first team.
- 1: Multisport varsity letter.
All-America honors must be awarded by the sport’s coaches association or a nationally recognized awards association for the sport (for example, the Associated Press).
Service and leadership – 30 percent of total score, using a scale of 1 to 5.
- 5: The nominee engages consistently in extensive service and leadership activities that impact the campus, community and/or regional or national levels. The nominee makes the most of opportunities presented to her by taking on key roles and is creative and innovative in seeking out meaningful service and leadership opportunities.
- 4: The nominee engages consistently in service and leadership activities and plays a significant role in impacting the campus and community in a meaningful way.
- 3: The nominee is involved consistently in service and leadership activities that positively affect her campus.
- 2: The nominee is involved in some service and leadership activities at various points in her collegiate career.
- 1: The nominee is involved in a few service or leadership activities that are mostly one-time or short-term events.
Personal statement – 10 percent of total score, using a scale of 1 to 5.
The nominee should describe in 250 words or fewer how her experiences as a scholar, an athlete and a leader on her campus and in her community have influenced her life and empowered her to have a positive impact on the world.
The personal statement is an opportunity to highlight significant successes and experiences that have been instrumental in the nominee’s overall growth and development. Nominees are encouraged to highlight accomplishments that may not be reflected in the rating scales (for example, engaging in a scholarly research project, having an impact on girls and women through a service project, or earning the opportunity to compete on a national or Olympic team).
- 5: The nominee eloquently explains her experiences as a student-athlete using poignant examples to illustrate her significant growth and development. She provides insightful analysis of and appreciation for how she can have a positive impact on the world.
- 4: The nominee effectively explains her experiences as a student-athlete using appropriate examples to illustrate her growth and development. She provides a perceptive understanding of how she can have a positive impact on the world.
- 3: The nominee communicates her experiences as a student-athlete using multiple examples to illustrate her growth and development. She presents a clear understanding of how she can have a positive impact on the world.
- 2: The nominee communicates her experiences as a student-athlete using at least one example to make a connection to her growth and development. She offers a basic understanding of how she can have a positive impact on the world.
- 1: The nominee lists some of her experiences as a student-athlete and refers in some way to how she can have a positive impact on the world.
- Nomination(s) open via the NCAA Program Hub on Thursday, March 17.
- Member school nomination(s) must be submitted via the NCAA Program Hub by 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday, June 13.
- Conference nominees must be submitted by email to Richard Zhu at firstname.lastname@example.org and Jessica Duff at email@example.com by 5 p.m. Eastern time Friday, July 15.
- The top 30 (10 per division) will be announced in early September.
- The top nine (three per division) will be announced in late September.
- The 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced Sunday, Oct. 16, at the awards dinner in Indianapolis.