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National Collegiate Athletic Association Eligibility

One Opportunity - Limitless Possibilities

 

More than 480,000 college Athletes from 1,121 colleges and universities make up the 19,000 teams that send more than 54,000 participants to compete each year in the NCAA’s 90 championships in 24 sports across 3 divisions.

 

If you want to play sports at an NCAA Division I or II school, start by registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center at eligibilitycenter.org during your sophomore year.

 

Core Courses

This simple formula will help you meet the Divisions I and II core-course requirement:

 

4x4=16

  • 4 English courses (one per year)
  • 4 math courses (one per year)
  • 4 science courses (one per year)
  • 4 social science courses (one per year)

16 NCAA CORE COURSES

 

Grade-Point Average

The NCAA Eligibility Center calculates your grade-point average (GPA) based on the grades you earn in NCAA-approved core courses. Visit eligibilitycenter.org for a full list of your high school’s core courses.

 

Sliding Scale

Divisions I and II use sliding scales to match test scores and GPAs to determine eligibility. The sliding scale balances your test score with your GPA. If you have a low test score, you need a higher GPA to be eligible. If you have a low GPA, you need a higher test score to be eligible. Find more information about sliding scales at NCAA.org/playcollegesports.

 

Test Scores

You may take the ACT or SAT as many times as you want before you enroll full time in college, but remember to list the NCAA Eligibility Center (code 9999) as a score recipient whenever you take a test. We can accept official scores only from ACT or SAT and we won’t use the scores from your high school transcript. If you direct the ACT or SAT to send us your scores every time you take a test, we will choose the best scores from each test subject to create your sum score.

 

Grade 9 - Plan

  • Start planning now! Take the right courses and earn the best grades you can.
  • Ask your counselor for a list of your high school’s NCAA core courses to make sure you take the right classes. Or, find your high school’s list of NCAA core courses at eligibilitycenter.org.
 
Grade 10 - Register
  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at eligibilitycenter.org.
  • If you fall behind on courses, don’t take shortcuts to catch up. Ask your counselor for help with finding approved courses or programs you can take.
 
Grade 11 Study
  • Check with your counselor to make sure you are on track to graduate on time.
  • Take the ACT or SAT and make sure we get your scores by using code 9999.
  • At the end of the year, ask your counselor to upload your official transcript.
 
Grade 12 Graduate
  • Take the ACT or SAT again, if necessary, and make sure we get your scores by using code 9999.
  • Request your final amateurism certification after April 1.
  • After you graduate, ask your counselor to upload your final official transcript with proof of graduation.

 4 E

ACADEMIC STANDARDS 

DIVISION I 

To play sports at a Division I school, you must graduate from high school and meet ALL the following requirements:

 

1. Complete 16 NCAA core courses:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)
  • 2 years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it)
  • 2 years of social science
  • 1 additional year of English, math or natural/physical science
  • 4 additional years of English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy
2. Complete 10 NCAA core courses, including seven in English, math or natural/physical science, before your seventh semester.
3. Earn at least a 2.3 GPA in your NCAA core courses.
4. Earn an ACT sum score or SAT combined score that \matches your core-course GPA on the Division I sliding scale.
 

DIVISION II

To play sports at a Division II school, you must graduate from high school and meet ALL the following requirements:

 

Before August 1, 2018

  1. Complete 16 NCAA core courses.
  2. Earn at least a 2.0 GPA in your NCAA core courses.
  3. Earn an ACT sum score of 68 or an SAT combined score of 820.

After August 1, 2018

  1. Complete 16 NCAA core courses.
  2. Earn at least a 2.2 GPA in your NCAA core courses.
  3. Earn an ACT sum score or SAT combined score that matches3 your core-course GPA on the Division II sliding scale.

Core Courses for Division II

To play sports at a Division II school, you must complete these NCAA core courses:

  • 3 years of English
  • 2 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)
  • 2 years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it)
  • 2 years of social science
  • 3 additional years of English, math or natural or physical science
  • 4 additional years of English, math, natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy.
DIVISION III

Division III schools provide an integrated environment focusing on academic success while offering a competitive athletics environment. While Division III schools do not offer athletics scholarships, 75 percent of Division III student-athletes receive some form of merit- or need-based financial aid.

 

If you are planning to attend a Division III school, you do not need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Division III schools set their own admissions standards.

 

 

 

For more information: eligibilitycenter.org OR NCAA.org/playcollegesports

Search Frequently Asked Questions: NCAA.org/studentfaq

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