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The huddle

January 27, 2016

Academics | Standards for Division I, II, and III

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High school academic requirements for NCAA participation is something that too often flies under the radar and is unknown. Being aware of these requirements and ensuring you pass NCAA Clearinghouse is necessary to be NCAA eligible. Being eligible is a responsibility that is of your own, so ensuring you meet the minimum threshold is a must when trying to become a collegiate athlete. Below, we have highlighted some of the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements for each division.

 * Key Terms Defined at end

Division I Academic Standards:    

Full Qualifier:

  • Graduate High School
  • Complete 16 NCAA core courses*
    • 4 years of English
    • 3 years of Math
    • 2 years of Science
    • 2 years of Social Science
      • 1 per year
    • 1 additional year of English, Math, or Science
    • 4 additional years of English, Math, Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, comparative Religion or Philosophy
  • Minimum 2.3 GPA in your core courses
  • 7 of those courses (English, Math, or Natural/Physical Science) must be completed before the start of your 7th. Once you enter the 7th semester you cannot retake any of those 10 courses in order to improve your GPA.
  • Earn an SAT or ACT score that matches your GPA by looking at the Division I sliding scale* on the NCAA website.

Academic Redshirt:

  • Graduate High School
  • Complete 16 NCAA core courses
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA in your core courses
  • Earn an SAT or ACT score that matches your GPA by looking at the Division I sliding scale* on the NCAA website (specifically for enrollment after August 1st).

Division II Academic Standards:

Full Qualifier:

  • Graduate High School
  • Complete the 16 core courses
    • 3 years of English
    • 2 years of Math
    • 2 years of Sciences
    • 3 additional years in English, Math, or Science
    • 2 years of Social Science
  • Minimum 2.2 GPA in your core courses
  • SAT combined score of 840
  • ACT sum score of 70

Academic Redshirt:

  • Graduate High School
  • Complete the 16 core courses
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA in your core courses
  • Earn an SAT or ACT score that matches your GPA by looking at the Division II sliding scale* on the NCAA website

Division III Academic Standards:

The NCAA has no academic requirements for DIII athletes. Each university sets their own academic standards for student-athletes and financial aid. It is best to contact the coaches at the DIII universities you are interested in and get the standards from them.

Key Terms Defined:

Core Course: an academic, 4-year college preparatory course. English, Math, Natural Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, Religion/Philosophy. Courses such as: Theatre, Music, Physical Education etc. are NOT considered core courses.

Sliding Scale: NCAA uses the sliding scale to balance test scores and GPA. Therefore if your GPA is on the lower end, you need a higher test score to be eligible and vice-versa.

Full Qualifier: college-bound student-athlete may practice, compete and receive athletic scholarships during their first year of enrollment at an NCAA D1/D2 school.

Academic Redshirt: known as a partial qualifier, a college-bound student-athlete may receive athletic scholarships during their first year of enrollment and may practice during their first regular academic term, but may NOT compete during their first year of enrollment.

Updated on 7/29/19 by Joe Pounders

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