Academic Requirements for College Athletes

Question.. What are the NCAA DI Eligibility Requirements?

Answer..

The following requirements are for all athletes who want to play NCAA D1 sports and receive an athletic scholarship. 99% of athletes who meet the DI requirements will also be eligible at other division levels.  It is important to remember that just because you meet the academic requirements of the NCAA, you are not guaranteed to gain admission into the school of your choice. Here are the NCAA D1 requirements for athlete graduating in the class of 2013, 2014 or 2015.

  1. You must graduate from high school
  2. You must complete 16 core courses and receive a minimum GPA of 2.0 in those courses. The core course requirements are as follows 4 years of English, 3 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science, 1 extra year of English, Math or Science and 4 years of Religion, Philosophy, Foreign Language or additional years of any of the categories above.
  3. You must take the SAT or ACT and score a minimum of 400 on the SAT (Math and Reading only) or 37 on the ACT (your sum score). GPA Calculator.
  4. Your core course GPA combined with your SAT/ACT score must meet the minimum requirements as laid out by the NCAA Sliding Scale (please go to the bottom of this page to see the complete sliding scale).

Question..What are the New NCAA DI Requirements for Athletes Graduating in 2016 or Later?

Answer..

The academic requirements for student athletes graduating in 2016 or later are going to be much higher than the current academic markers. If current high school athletes were required to meet the new academic standards, over 15% of incoming freshman would not be eligible (40% of basketball players and 35% of football players). This means if you are following the same courses as the athletes ahead of you, there is a chance you will not be eligible. Here is a summary of all of the new requirements.

  • The new minimum GPA goes up from 2.0 to 2.3
  • The GPA requirements on the sliding scale have gone up roughly .5. See the sliding scale for 2016 graduates at the bottom of this page.
  • You must complete 10 of your 16 core course before your senior year of high school
  • You will not be allowed to retake any of your 10 core courses before your senior year for a higher score.

Question.. What are the NCAA DII Eligibility Requirements?

Answer..

The requirements to play NCAA D2 sports and receive a scholarship are lower than the DI level. All eligible DI athletes are eligible at the DII level. If you don’t meet the DI requirements but meet the requirements below, you can compete at the NCAA DII level.

  1. You must graduate from high school
  2. You must complete 16 core courses and receive a minimum GPA of 2.0. The core course requirements are as follows 3 years of English, 3 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science, 2 extra years of English, Math or Science and 4 years of Religion, Philosophy, Foreign Language or additional years of any of the categories above.
  3. You must take the SAT or ACT. You need to score a minimum of 820 on the SAT (Math and Reading only) or an ACT sum score of 68.

Question.. What are the NCAA DIII Eligibility Requirements?

Answer..

If you are going to compete at the NCAA DIII level you do not need to register with the NCAA. The NCAA has no academic requirements for DIII athletes. Each university sets their own academic standards for student athletes and financial aid. It is best to contact the coaches at the DIII universities you are interested and get the standards from them.

Question.. What are the NAIA Eligibility Requirements?

The academic standards for the NAIA are the lowest of all division levels except Junior Colleges. In order to be eligible  athletes must graduate from high school and meet 2 of the following 3 requirements:

  1. Finish in the top half of your graduating class
  2. Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0
  3. Score 860 on the SAT or 16 on the ACT

The academic requirements are only one set of the requirements needed to meet the eligibility standards to play college sports and receive a scholarship. Go here to read about the complete NCAA eligibility requirements.

NCAA Division I Sliding Scale

Use for Division I prior to August 1, 2016

Core GPA SAT ACT
3.550&above 400 37
3.525 410 38
3.500 420 39
3.475 430 40
3.450 440 41
3.425 450 41
3.400 460 42
3.375 470 42
3.350 480 43
3.325 490 44
3.300 500 44
3.275 510 45
3.250 520 46
3.225 530 46
3.200 540 47
3.175 550 47
3.150 560 48
3.125 570 49
3.100 580 49
3.075 590 50
3.050 600 50
3.025 610 51
3.000 620 52
2.975 630 52
2.950 640 53
2.925 650 53
2.900 660 54
2.875 670 55
2.850 680 56
2.825 690 56
2.800 700 57
2.775 710 58
2.750 720 59
2.725 730 59
2.700 730 60
2.675 740-750 61
2.650 760 62
2.625 770 63
2.600 780 64
2.575 790 65
2.550 800 66
2.525 810 67
2.500 820 68
2.475 830 69
2.450 840-850 70
2.425 860 70
2.400 860 71
2.375 870 72
2.350 880 73
2.325 890 74
2.300 900 75
2.275 910 76
2.250 920 77
2.225 930 78
2.200 940 79
2.175 950 80
2.150 960 80
2.125 960 81
2.100 970 82
2.075 980 83
2.050 990 84
2.025 1000 85
2.000 1010 86

NCAA Division I Sliding Scale

Use for Division I beginning August 1, 2016

GPA
for Aid and Practice
GPA
for Competition
SAT ACT
3.550 4.000 400 37
3.525 3.975 410 38
3.500 3.950 420 39
3.475 3.925 430 40
3.450 3.900 440 41
3.425 3.875 450 41
3.400 3.850 460 42
3.375 3.825 470 42
3.350 3.800 480 43
3.325 3.775 490 44
3.300 3.750 500 44
3.275 3.725 510 45
3.250 3.700 520 46
3.225 3.675 530 46
3.200 3.650 540 47
3.175 3.625 550 47
3.150 3.600 560 48
3.125 3.575 570 49
3.100 3.550 580 49
3.075 3.525 590 50
3.050 3.500 600 50
3.025 3.475 610 51
3.000 3.450 620 52
2.975 3.425 630 52
2.950 3.400 640 53
2.925 3.375 650 53
2.900 3.350 660 54
2.875 3.325 670 55
2.850 3.300 680 56
2.825 3.275 690 56
2.800 3.250 700 57
2.775 3.225 710 58
2.750 3.200 720 59
2.725 3.175 730 60
2.700 3.150 740 61
2.675 3.125 750 61
2.650 3.100 760 62
2.625 3.075 770 63
2.600 3.050 780 64
2.575 3.025 790 65
2.550 3.000 800 66
2.525 2.975 810 67
2.500 2.950 820 68
2.475 2.925 830 69
2.450 2.900 840 70
2.425 2.875 850 70
2.400 2.850 860 71
2.375 2.825 870 72
2.350 2.800 880 73
2.325 2.775 890 74
2.300 2.750 900 75
2.275 2.725 910 76
2.250 2.700 920 77
2.225 2.675 930 78
2.200 2.650 940 79
2.175 2.625 950 80
2.150 2.600 960 81
2.125 2.575 970 82
2.100 2.550 980 83
2.075 2.525 990 84
2.050 2.500 1000 85
2.025 2.475 1010 86
2.000 2.450 1020 86
2.425 1030 87
2.400 1040 88
2.375 1050 89
2.350 1060 90
2.325 1070 91
2.300 1080 93

Learn more about the NAIA Clearinghouse here.

Here is more information on how to get a scholarship and get recruited.

If you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center you can learn how here.

Author: David Frank

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