If you want to play NCAA Division I or II sports, you need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. And that means you need to be more than a good enough athlete. You need to be a good student, too!!
DON’T GET STUCK ON THE BENCH IN COLLEGE.
To play Division I sports, you need to qualify academically. To meet the minimum requirements for Division I student-athletes enrolling in college in August 2016 or later you must:
- Graduate from high school
- Complete 16 Core Courses, including 10 before your seventh semester
- Earn a minimum 2.300 Grade-Point Average in core courses to compete in your first year of college
- Earn a combined SAT or ACT score that matches your core-course GPA on the sliding scale.
ELIGIBILITY CHECKLIST: At the beginning of your sophomore year, register at eligibilitycenter.org. At the end of your junior year, ask your counselor to send your transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Take the ACT or SAT and use the code “9999” to have your official scores sent directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Check with your counselor to make sure you are on track to graduate on time with your class and have the required amount of core courses. Beginning April 1 of your senior year, request final amateurism certification. Be sure to ask your counselor to submit your final transcript with proof of graduation.
NCAA member schools require incoming student-athletes to build a foundation of high school courses that will best prepare them for the academic expectations in college.
- To play Division I sports, you must earn 16 core courses.
- Ten of them must be completed prior to the seventh semester. Those ten courses are “locked in” and can’t be retaken to improve the grade-point average.
- Seven of those 10 must be a combination of English, math or natural or physical science that fulfills the overall distribution requirements listed below.
- If you don’t earn 10 courses before your seventh semester, you are still eligible to practice and receive a scholarship, but you can’t compete.
- For a complete list of your high school’s NCAA core courses, visit www.eligibilitycenter.org.
DIVISION I CORE COURSE REQUIREMENTS
- 4 years of English.
- 3 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher).
- 2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered by high school).
- 1 year of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science.
- 2 years of social science.
- 4 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or comparative religion/philosophy).
Incoming student-athletes must present a grade-point average that predicts academic success at the collegiate level.
- Beginning August 1, 2016, you must earn at least a 2.300 GPA in NCAA core courses to be eligible to compete in your first year of college.
- To get a scholarship and practice, you must earn at least a 2.000 GPA in NCAA core courses.
- Only courses that appear on your high school’s list of NCAA courses will be used to calculate your GPA for NCAA eligibility purposes. For a complete list of your school’s courses, visit www.eligibilitycenter.org.
- Once ten core courses are “locked in” prior to the start of your seventh semester, you can’t take those classes over again to improve your GPA.
- Division I uses a sliding scale to match test scores and core GPAs.
Data show that while GPA is a better predictor of collegiate success than test scores, using the two in combination is the best method. The NCAA continues to emphasize GPA over test scores when assessing college preparedness.
- Division I uses a sliding scale to match test scores and core-course grade-point averages to determine eligibility.
- The NCAA uses only the critical reading and math SAT scores to determine eligibility. The writing score is not used.
- The NCAA uses only the sum of English, math, reading and science ACT scores to determine eligibility.
Non-English Language Resources for Future Student-Athletes
In order to assist international student-athletes, their families and others involved in the student-athlete’s future goals, a number of NCAA documents have been translated. Below are the languages currently supported and a list of the translated documents.
For more information, please refer to the NCAA Guide to International Academic Standards for Athletics Eligibility.
For academic eligibility purposes, the NCAA defines an education-impacting disability (EID) as a current impairment that has a substantial educational impact on a student’s academic performance and requires accommodation.
Some of the most common EIDs include:
- Learning disabilities or disorders.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Mental health disorders.
- Medical conditions.
- Deaf or hard of hearing.
- Autism spectrum disorder.
A high school student with a documented EID must meet the same initial-eligibility requirements as other students but may be provided certain accommodations to help meet those requirements. For instance, a student with a documented EID may be allowed to take classes designed for students with EIDs if the classes appear on the list of approved NCAA core courses at the student’s school.
In order for courses designated for students with EIDs to be approved, the course must be substantially comparable, qualitatively and quantitatively, as a regular core course offered in that academic area and must appear on the high school's list of approved core courses.
Students planning on attending a Division I school and whose EID documentation is approved by the NCAA Eligibility Center may take up to three additional core courses after graduating high school and before enrolling full-time at a Division I school, as long as they graduate high school in eight consecutive semesters after starting ninth grade.
Students planning on attending a Division II school may take an unlimited number of core courses after starting ninth grade and before enrolling full-time at a Division II school.
Submitting EID documentation
If you are a student with a documented EID, you only need to alert the NCAA Eligibility Center to your EID if you are planning on enrolling full-time at a Division I school and would like to take additional core courses after you graduate high school.
Information about EIDs submitted to the NCAA is not released to colleges unless the student-athlete makes a specific written request.
To document an EID with the NCAA Eligibility Center, a student-athlete must submit the following material:
- A completed NCAA EID application. Includes instructions for submitting the application and requested documentation, as listed below, to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
- Current, signed documentation of the diagnosis (including test data) and/or recommendations from the treating professional (e.g., medical doctor, clinical psychologist or other qualified individual).
- Current copy of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan. If the student’s high school did not provide an IEP or 504 Plan, the high school must submit documentation describing the available accommodations or an explanation of why accommodations were not provided.
- A signed Buckley Statement form, allowing certain individuals to review the student-athlete’s EID information and speak on his or her behalf to the NCAA. A parent or guardian who would like to discuss a student-athlete’s EID request with the NCAA must be listed on the Buckley Statement.
NCAA Scholarships and Grants
As part of its commitment to providing a pathway to opportunity, the NCAA awards scholarships and grants for further education to college athletes who demonstrate outstanding academic and athletic achievement. Colleges and universities are also awarded grants to improve academics and enhance campus culture – all to support student-athletes.
In addition to the $3.2 billion schools award in athletics scholarships each year, the NCAA funds more than $10 million in scholarships and grants annually to graduate student-athletes and member schools.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on the links below for other scholarship opportunities:
**You can also explore additional scholarship opportunities on your school's counseling website**