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Eligibility Requirements » NCAA Requirements

NCAA Requirements

  • Did you know that the NCAA’s initial-eligibility academic standards are changing for student-athletes enrolling at an NCAA Division I university on or after August 1, 2016 (this year’s high school sophomore class and younger)? A brief summary of the changes can be found here.
  • To assist in getting this message out, NCAA has developed the Initial-Eligibility Resource Index , a new electronic tool that contains links to the NCAA Eligibility Center’s resources and presentations available free of charge. Please visit this site and share these materials broadly with your teammates, parents, coaches, etc. 

Please note - Beginning August 1, 2016, NCAA Division I will require higher GPAs (2.3 minimum as opposed to a 2.0) and higher SAT scores (1080 minimum as opposed to 1010). In addition 10 core courses must be completed prior to the 7th semester. These 10 courses become "locked in" and cannot be retaken for grade improvement. 

Information and Resources for College-Bound Student-Athletes and Parents

The Winning Edge:

The Student-Athlete’s Guide to College Sports

In order to participate in Division I or II athletics on a collegiate level a student must meet the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements for certification. It is the student’s responsibility to make themselves aware of these requirements and to meet them. This process begins in freshman year and continues throughout the four years of high school.

GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL. You should apply for certification during the Spring of your Junior year if you are sure you wish to participate in athletics as a freshman at the college to which you will be admitted. The Clearinghouse will issue a preliminary certification report when you have had all your materials submitted. After you graduate, the Clearinghouse will review your final transcript to make a final certification decision according to NCAA standards.

EARN A GRADE-POINT AVERAGE OF AT LEAST 2.00 on a 4.00 scale (2.3 for students enrolling on or after August 1, 2016) in a core curriculum of at least 16 academic courses (Division I) or 14 academic courses (Division II) which were successfully completed during grades 9 through 12. For students enrolling on or after August 1, 2016, NCAA Division 1 will require 10 core courses to be completed prior to the seventh semester. Only courses that satisfy the NCAA definition of a core course can be used to calculate your NCAA GPA. No special values are allowed for “+” or “-” grades. The chart below shows what your core courses must include at a minimum.

For Division I: The minimum grade point average in the core courses and required ACT or SAT score vary according to the Initial-Eligibility Index found here -http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/eligibility_center/Quick_Reference_Sheet.pdf.

For Division II: There is no sliding scale. The minimum core grade point average is 2.000. The minimum SAT score is 820 (Critical Reading & Math only) and the minimum ACT sum score is 68.

Students first entering a Division I collegiate institution on or after August 1, 2008 must meet the new 16 core-course rule.

The 16 core-course rule INCREASES the number of core courses from 14 to 16 for Division I only. Students must complete three (3) years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher), and four (4) years of additional core courses. The additional core course may be taken in any core area. Only courses taken in grades nine through twelve will qualify as core courses for Division I. If you graduate from high school on schedule (eight semesters) with your incoming ninth grade class, you may use one core course completed in the year after graduation (summer or academic year). 

For comprehensive rules on prospective Division I & Division II athletes please visitwww.eligibilitycenter.org or www.ncaa.org for more information.