The NCAA has announced nominees for the Woman of the Year award  ©NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced 153 college athletes have been nominated for the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

The award, established in 1991, aims to recognise graduating female college athletes at the end of their NCAA eligibility.

Athletes must have distinguished themselves across their studies and sports, as well as providing service and leadership.

A total of 535 nominations were made for the award, with 154 now named as conference-level nominees.

The nominees represent student-athletes from 18 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions.

A total of 58 nominees competed in Division I, while 36 participated in Division II.

The remaining 60 competed in Division III.

The NCAA said: "Conferences can recognise two nominees if at least one is a woman of colour or international student-athlete.

"All nominees who compete in a sport not sponsored by their school's primary conference, as well as associate conference nominees and independent nominees, were placed in a separate pool to be considered by a selection committee.

"Three nominees from the pool were selected to move forward in the process with the conference nominees."

The Woman of the Year Selection Committee will narrow the shortlist down to a top 30, with 10 athletes progressing from each division.

The selection committee consists of representatives from the NCAA membership.

Organisers say the top 30 will be announced next month.

The selection committee will determine the top three athletes in each division from the list, with the nine finalists then announced.

The NCAA Committee on women's athletics will then select the winner of the award.

The full list of nominees can be accessed here.