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NCAA raises GPA requirements and more

May 16, 2013
Wilbur D Mills University Studies High School

NCAA raises GPA requirements and more


Ever hear your coaches or parents stress the importance of academics and making the proper grades to play a college sport?

Well, it's more important than ever before as the NCAA has increased the requirements for high school athletes to qualify to play a college sport. Starting with the Class of 2016 (high school freshmen), the changes are as follows:

Get with your high school counselor and map out a plan to keep you on track and keep your dream of playing a college sport alive. 

Division I

·         An athlete must finish 10 core classes before his/her senior year. Seven of the 10 courses must be successfully completed in English, math and science. See below for the definition of a core class.


·         Athletes must have a minimum  GPA of 2.3, up from 2.0.

·         You can be an academic redshirt your freshman with a 2.0 GPA. You will only be able to practice with the team the first semester.

·         Minimum GPA for junior college transfers increased to 2.5, up from 2.3.

For Division II, you have to have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Along with GPA’s, the NCAA takes into account your SAT and ACT scores as well. Here’s how the NCAA incorporates standardize tests:

·         Division I uses a sliding scale to match test scores and core grade-point averages (GPA).

·         Division II requires a minimum SAT score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68.

·         The SAT score used for NCAA purposes includes only the critical reading and math sections. The writing section of the SAT is not used.

·         The ACT score used for NCAA purposes is a sum of the following four sections: English, mathematics, reading and science.

NCAA definitions:

Core classes-- The subjects that are required to meet the academic standards to receive  an NCAA scholarship (Math, science, language arts, history etc.)

GPA-- (Grade point average) This score only considers the 16 NCAA required subjects. Non NCAA required subjects such as physical education are not considered in calculating your GPA.

SAT Score: Standardized aptitude test (critical reading and math sections only)

ACT Sum: The best scores in the four disciplines on the test added together. You can take the highest score from each time you take the test. This is referred to as Super-Score.

For complete NEW NCAA Division I initial academic eligibility click the NCAA eligiblity center.

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