The NCAA recently released the new SAT/ACT sliding scale that corresponds with the increased GPA requirements for the class of 2015 and beyond. Needless to say, any current high school freshman who is even remotely considering the possibility of playing a sport collegiately needs to pay attention. The wiggle room to correct academic shortcomings has been greatly reduced. Now, more than ever, every semester counts.
Here is a summary of the new D1 academic requirements that take affect for the class of 2015 and beyond:
- The minimum core course GPA has increased from 2.00 to 2.30
- 10 of the 16 core course requirements must be satisfied prior to the start of the senior year
- 7 of those 10 core courses must be from the English, Math and Science subsections
- Grades earned in the 10 core courses are "locked in" for the purpose of calculating the final core course GPA
- Any retakes of the first 10 core courses must be completed prior to senior year
The NCAA has also introduced a new term - the "Academic Redshirt." This new designation applies to D1 incoming college freshman in 2015 and beyond who do not meet the new 2.30 core course GPA requirement, but have a core course GPA above 2.00 and have met the SAT/ACT sliding scale requirements. An Academic Redshirt may still receive a scholarship and practice with their team, but may notparticipate in game competition as a college freshman.
The new sliding SAT/ACT scale, which correlates with the new 2.30 GPA requirement, results in significant changes in minimum test scores.
Here are two examples of the changes to the new sliding scale requirement for D1 students in the class of 2015 and beyond:
- Currently: 2.00 core course GPA + 1010 SAT or 86 ACT = Full Qualifier
- 2015: 2.00 core course GPA + 1020 SAT or 86 ACT = Academic Redshirt
- Currently: 2.50 core course GPA + 820 SAT or 68 ACT = Full Qualifier
- 2015: 2.50 core course GPA + 1000 SAT or 85 ACT = Full Qualifier
Remember, the NCAA does not include the writing component of the SAT or ACT and the ACT score is a sum score (not average) of the English, math, reading and science sections.
Finally, just because a student-athlete meets the minimum NCAA academic standards, it doesn't mean they will be admitted to play sports at the college of their choice. Many universities have academic standards for incoming freshman athletes that are much higher than the NCAA minimum requirements.
So what does this all mean? Student-athletes must start tracking courses early. A student-athlete should calculate their initial core course GPA at the conclusion of their first semester in high school and continue to do so each semester thereafter.
Again, now more than ever, every semester counts.