About Eligibility

Commitment to academic achievement and adherence to member-created rules are vital parts of the NCAA’s mission to integrate athletics into the fabric of higher education. NCAA member schools create rules to ensure that the Association’s 430,000 student-athletes compete on equal footing. Various NCAA committees and the national office staff members work to make sure rules are applied fairly.

Becoming a Student-Athlete

Division I Toolkit

Division II Toolkit

Becoming Eligible

Academic Standards

The NCAA Eligibility Center verifies the academic and amateur status of all student-athletes who wish to compete in Division I or II athletics.

College-bound student-athletes who want to practice, compete and receive athletically related financial aid during their first year at a Division I or II school need to meet the following requirements:

  • Graduate from high school.
  • Complete a minimum of 16 core courses for Division I or II.
  • Earn a minimum required grade-point average in core courses.
  • Earn a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT.
  • Request final amateurism certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

For Division I student-athletes who will enroll in August 1, 2016 and later, the requirements to compete in the first year will change. In addition to the above standards, students must:

  • Earn at least a 2.3 grade-point average in core courses.
  • Meet an increased sliding-scale standard (for example, an SAT score of 820 requires a 2.5 high school core course GPA)
  • Successfully complete 10 of the 16 total required core courses before the start of their seventh semester in high school. Seven of the 10 courses must be successfully completed in English, math and science.

Students that earn at least a 2.0 GPA but not a 2.3 GPA and meet the current sliding scale standard (for example, an SAT score of 1,010 requires a 2.025 high school core course GPA) will be eligible for practice in the first term and athletically related financial aid the entire year, but not competition. Freshmen who are academically successful in the first term will earn the ability to continue to practice for the remainder of the year.

Division III colleges and universities set their own admission standards. The NCAA does not set initial eligibility requirements in Division III.

For more detail about academic requirements visit the Eligibility Center.

 

Last Updated: Dec 26, 2013