NCAA Freshman Eligibility Standards
KNOW THE RULES
The NCAA recently released the new SAT/ACT sliding scale that corresponds with the increased GPA requirements for the class of 2016 and beyond. Any student-athlete beginning high school in the fall of 2012 and after who is even remotely considering the possibility of playing a sport collegiately needs to understand these changes. The wiggle room to correct academic shortcomings has been greatly reduced.
Here is a summary of the new D1 academic requirements for a Full Qualifier that take affect for the class of 2016 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 status for the class of 2016 - the "Academic Redshirt." An “Academic Redshirt” may receive a scholarship and practice with their team, but may not participate in game competition as a college freshman. Students with a GPA of 2.30 or above may achieve either “Academic Redshirt” or “Full Qualifier” status, depending on their SAT/ACT test scores. Students with a core course GPA between 2.00 and 2.29 cannot attain “Full Qualifier” status but may achieve “Academic Redshirt” status by meeting minimum sliding scale test score requirements.
The new sliding SAT/ACT scale results in significant changes in minimum test score requirements. The minimum SAT score required to compete as a college freshman increased by 180 points while the minimum ACT score increased by an average of 14 points (sum score).
Here are two examples of the changes to the new sliding scale:
- Prior to 2016: 2.00 core course GPA + 1010 SAT or 86 ACT = Full Qualifier
- 2016 and after: 2.00 core course GPA + 1020 SAT or 86 ACT = Academic Redshirt
- Prior to 2016: 2.50 core course GPA + 820 SAT or 68 ACT = Full Qualifier
- 2016 and after: 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.
Now more than ever, every semester counts.
Castle View High School has teamed up with CoreCourseGPA.com to provide custom online software to all student-athletes to assist in tracking their progress towards meeting NCAA initial eligibility requirements. Click here to register with CoreCourseGPA.com now.
Please note, Division II will require 16 core courses beginning August 1, 2013.