Collegiate Cycling FAQ


Please don't hesitate to contact us if there is something you are still unsure about.


International riders that attend American universities are allowed to race as part of their university team with a collegiate license. This is because we judge eligibility based on the designation of the team and not the designation of the riders.
Students at other international universities (American citizens or not) are allowed to race within the conference seasons on a case-by-case basis. However, these students are not allowed to compete at national collegiate competitions.
Collegiate cycling is open to anyone with the intent to not only get new riders into the sport, but also to allow those at the elite level to get an education while continuing to develop as a cyclist. Because of this emphasis on education we allow all levels of cyclists to compete with the hopes that this will encourage more athletes to get a college education.
In order to race in ANY collegiate cycling race, whether in the conference season or at national championships, a rider must be full-time as defined by the rider’s university or college.

In order to race or compete at national championships, a collegiate athlete has to be considered full time for the semester in which the bulk of the season occurs. The term full time is used in accordance to the athlete’s university guidelines and for the purposes of Track, Mountain and Cyclo-cross needs to be within the fall term and for Road and BMX it is full time within the spring term. 


The first thing you need to have is a USA Cycling Collegiate license. You can buy a One-Day License at the race, or an Annual Collegiate License. You must also be a full-time student and your school must have a team. If your institution doesn’t have a cycling team, you can always start one. The normal fee is waived for the first year.
First, create a USA Cycling account from the "Sign In" link. Once you are logged on, go to the "License" tab of your account. If you only plan on racing collegiately, you can buy a collegiate license by itself. Just make an account, find your school, and sign up. You can also select to get your collegiate license as an add-on to your regular USA Cycling license at no additional cost. You must purchase both the collegiate and the USA Cycling license under the same transaction to receive the discount. Otherwise, you will be charged a reissue fee.

Whether you have a collegiate license only or a regular USA Cycling license as well, your license is good until December 31st of the same calendar year you bought it.

You must race for the school you attend. If your school does not have a club, it is very easy to start your own. Once you have registered your club, you can simply race in a blank kit if you don't want to order school kits.
No, your collegiate license is valid for collegiate races only. If you want to compete in other USA Cycling events, you must purchase a regular license as well.

Your domestic license is only valid for regular races, if you want to compete as a collegiate cyclist you must get the free collegiate add-on or buy a one day license. One-day licenses are available only for the lowest collegiate category offered at the event.
When purchasing your license, if you find that your team is not listed but you know that your school does have one, then contact your club president to get this issue resolved. It is likely that the club membership is simply expired or that some paperwork is missing. For more details, check out this useful article.
When you log on to your USA Cycling account you will see a tab under "My Account" called "Profile." Select this tab and then scroll to the section, "Postal and Email Communication." You will be able to change all of your email preferences to what type of news you would like to receive from USA Cycling.
Your money funds the Regional Program Manager, Interscholastic Coordinator, and membership; insurance; the national collegiate budget; information technology; the conferences; national events; other departments; governance; and fulfillment. If you want to see exactly how much goes where, check out the handy document entitled "Where Does My Money Go?."

Online Club Tools

If renewing a club, you have two options.

A) You can renew by filling out the Club Application Form and the Collegiate Eligibility form and mailing or faxing them in. You can then pay by check or money order.

B) You can also renew online and pay by credit card as well. If you are already one of the club administrators, you will see a "Tools" tab on your personal account, and from there, a link called “Manage USA Cycling Clubs.” Clicking on this link will take you to your team’s account page, where you will see all your team’s information. If the club membership is expired, you will see a link that says so and that will allow you to renew and pay right then and there. You will, however, still need to fill out and send in the Collegiate Club Team Eligibility Form.

If you are a current team officer and do not see this link on your account either ask one of the previous team officers to add you as a club administrator or contact us and we can do it for you.
If you are already listed in the USA Cycling database as a contact for your club, you will see a link that says "Manage USA Cycling Clubs" under the "Tools" tab of your personal account. (If that link does not appear, someone who is listed as a contact can log in to their account and add you.) Follow this link to your club's account page and scroll down to "Club Contacts." From here, you can add a contact or edit/delete the current club contacts. If you can't get in contact with anyone that is currently listed, you can also get in touch with USA Cycling membership and ask them to edit this information for you.
Your club must be renewed for the calendar year. Any club contact, event organizer, or race director in your club can permit an event if they are listed on your club's page. There will be a "Tools" tab in their personal account with an "Event Permit" link to start your application. You can find more information on event permitting on our Race Directors page.

USA Cycling offers a complimentary race director license for one member of every registered club. This allows that individual to take the Level C Race Director Certification course for free. For collegiate clubs, this Level C Curriculum is specific to collegiate racing.

To assign the license, any club contact can log into their My USA Cycling account and select the "Tools" tab. Once there, they will see a link called "Manage USA Cycling Clubs." Under the club info section they should see in red "No Complimentary License Selected". To the right of this is a blue add link. This will take them to a page where they can add the club member. Once they've added the member, the Level C manual and exam will appear under that member's USA Cycling account under the Tools tab.


National championships work on a two year rotation, remaining in a location for two years at a time. Every other year, we accept bids for new host locations. If you are interested in submitting a host bid, you can find more details, including what events are looking for a host city and all the necessary paperwork, here. You can also find general information on hosting a race in our Hosting a Race guide.
Just go to the Events Search page and select "Collegiate" in the "Race Type" field. You can get more specific from there by specifying your state or city, the date, or even the event name.
In short, yes. Just have your registrar fill out the eligibility form proving that you are enrolled as a full-time student for the coming semester. Even if you haven't earned any credits yet, if you are enrolled as a full-time student for the coming fall, you are good to go.
To compete in any USA Cycling Collegiate National Championship event, you must be a full-time student during the semester of championship eligbility, which is listed on the Eligbility Verification Form. You must also meet any other eligbility requirements, like race participation, as well as any qualification standards, which are different for every discipline and sometimes vary by conference.
The rules for Nationals qualification vary by conference. In some conferences, you must have competed in one conference race if your conference held a track or cyclocross season and if participation in that season is required in your conference (ask your conference director). Participation is not requisite in all conferences, though, so just because your conference held a season does not mean you had to have competed in it in order to qualify. Always make sure to check the specific rules for your conference.
The fields are separated according to collegiate categories. So, there is an A race, a B race, a C race, and so on. Your USA Cycling category does correlate to a collegiate category, though, and some of the collegiate categories encompass more than one USA Cycling category. On the road, for example, A's are Category 1, 2, and 3 riders, while the B's are Category 3 and 4 riders. So a Category 3 rider may choose which collegiate category to compete in.
Collegiate cycling has a season for every discipline. Track runs from summer to September; mountain bike goes from August to October; cyclo-cross is held from November to January; and road spans from February through May.
The location of results and rankings will vary by conference. Many conferences post their race results to their conference websites. Some will also post those results here at the USA Cycling website, and you can search for a specific event by simply typing that event's name into the "Search USA Cycling" box. Finally, we keep an archive of all USA Cycling Collegiate Nationals results and an archive of current and past national rankings.
Start by talking to your Conference Director to find out what dates are available and what needs to be done to put on the event. If there is one thing we cannot emphasize enough, though, it is that you need to plan ahead! It is never too early to start. If your school has put on a race before, get in touch with whomever was in charge last time. He or she will likely have a lot of useful information that will give you a huge head start. For a rundown of what it takes to put on a race, check out our Hosting a Race guide.

Racing Categories

Your category is a reflection of your racing experience and ability. If you have never raced before, you should start out in the lowest available category and work your way up. If you do have previous racing experience, but this is just your first time racing collegiately, then your collegiate category correlates to your USAC category. If you are a Category 3 on the road, for instance, then you can race in either the A or B fields in collegiate. Check out the full Category Conversion Chart for full details.
Upgrade requests should be submitted through your USA Cycling account. Under your "License" tab. You can click to request an upgrade. You must then list all the races and results for which you think you earned upgrade points, as well the total number of points you have. The qualifying races and number of points necessary is different for each discipline and from category to category, so consult the document on categories and upgrade points for complete details.


As of the 2010 road season, collegiate cycling has a strict no aero equipment policy. This means that, if it's not mass-start legal, you can't use it. So while most helmets are kosher, that disc wheels, tri-spokes, and aero bars won't fly. For more details and a list of what is allowed and what is not, head over to the Rules page.
Yes, you can use aero equipment at collegiate track races. That means aero bars, disc wheels, etc. are all good to go.


Using the "Advanced Search" function on the USA Cycling Clubs page, select "Collegiate" in the "Affiliation" drop-down. You can then enter your school's name in the "Club Name" field and search for its team. You can also leave this filed blank and search an entire state, for instance, to see what schools have teams.
There is an annual club membership fee, however new clubs may register for free for the first year. All you need to do is fill out the USA Cycling Club Application Form and Collegiate Club Eligibility Form and send them in to USA Cycling (contact information can be found on the form itself). Please submit your application at least 45 days prior to club participation in an event. The same goes for renewing a club, which you can also do online through your club account.
No, when starting a club your team and its members may only be affiliated with a single school. If your school has no club, you can always start your own, as there is no minimum requirement for members. During conference races, though, you can compete with members of other clubs as a composite team for team time trials. Any results you earn, though, will not count toward the season's points, and this applies to the conference season only. No composite teams are allowed at USA Cycling Collegiate Nationals.
The conferences are organized by region, largely, though not always, divided along state lines. There are 11 in all, and they are meant to make traveling to competitions more convenient for you. Check out the map, towards the bottom of the Collegiate page, for the break-down of all the conferences.
Collegiate cycling is split into Division I and Division II based on school size, with the threshold for Division I at 15,000 students. Smaller schools can, however, choose to compete at the Division I level if they choose. Here is a complete list of collegiate clubs, and click "Details" to see what division your school competes in.
We do have a complete list of collegiate clubs on the Clubs/Teams page. Just click the "Details" link to the right of the school's name for complete club details, including contact information.
You can purchase jerseys from any clothing company you like. Wherever you are, chances are that there is a local clothing company that you can work with if you so choose. It is a good idea, though, to consider a number of manufacturers and compare their prices and minimum order numbers. Consult the "Starting a Club Guide" and "Team Leaders' Guide" for more help, and make sure to check with your school about licensing the school logo before you buy clothes for the first time.
Varsity teams are distinguished largely by the amount of funding they get from both their school and outside sponsors. Additionally, they must have a USA Cycling licensed coach. In order to be recognized as a varsity program by USA Cycling, teams have to meet three of the four following criteria:

1. Does your school recognize you as a varsity program?
2. Does your team give out at least $10,000 in athlete scholarships per year?
3. Does your team pay entry for most collegiate races during the year?
4. Did your team attend 2 USAC Collegiate National Championship events the previous year?
There are a number of schools that offer full and partial scholarships for cycling. Each does things a little differently, so it is best to speak with someone from those schools to find out how you can qualify for a scholarship and what that means. Visit the Varisty Teams page for a list of schools.

This Article Updated March 10, 2014 @ 03:03 PM For more information contact: