Before an athlete can play a sport or receive an athletic scholarship at a Division I or II college, he or she must meet specific academic criteria as set forth by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
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 have changed. 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.
Because the NCAA has such specific requirements, it is very important that athletes meet with their guidance counselors in the eighth or ninth grade to obtain information on all of the NCAA requirements. At this time, athletes may develop a four-year plan that includes courses satisfying all NCAA requirements.
Athletes should take the ACT and the SAT no later than the spring of their junior year in order to have time to retake them if necessary. In order to initiate the eligibility process, athletes must complete a NCAA Clearinghouse Student Release Form after completion of the junior year.
Forms and additional information are available from the College and Career Reference Library at Union High School or by visiting the NCAA Web site.