Requirements for College Athletes
NCAA D1 Eligibility Requirements
This information is for athletes who want to play NCAA D1 sports and receive an athletic scholarship. 99% of athletes who meet the DI requirements will also be eligible at other division levels. It is important to remember that just because you meet the academic requirements of the NCAA, you are not guaranteed to gain admission into the school of your choice. Here are the NCAA D1 requirements for athlete graduating in the class of 2013, 2014 or 2015.
- You must graduate from high school
- You must complete 16 core courses and receive a minimum GPA of 2.0 in those courses. The core course requirements are as follows 4 years of English, 3 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science, 1 extra year of English, Math or Science and 4 years of Religion, Philosophy, Foreign Language or additional years of any of the categories above.
- You must take the SAT or ACT and score a minimum of 400 on the SAT (Math and Reading only) or 37 on the ACT (your sum score).
- Your core course GPA combined with your SAT/ACT score must meet the minimum requirements as laid out by the NCAA Sliding Scale (please go to the bottom of this page to see the complete sliding scale).
New NCAA D1 Requirements for Athletes Graduating in 2016 or Later
The academic requirements for student athletes graduating in 2016 or later are going to be much higher than the current academic markers. If current high school athletes were required to meet the new academic standards, over 15% of incoming freshman would not be eligible (40% of basketball players and 35% of football players). This means if you are following the same courses as the athletes ahead of you, there is a chance you will not be eligible. Here is a summary of all of the new requirements.
- The new minimum GPA goes up from 2.0 to 2.3
- The GPA requirements on the sliding scale have gone up roughly .5. See the sliding scale for 2016 graduates at the bottom of this page.
- You must complete 10 of your 16 core course before your senior year of high school
- You will not be allowed to retake any of your 10 core courses before your senior year for a higher score.
NCAA DII Eligibility Requirements
The requirements to play NCAA D2 sports and receive a scholarship are lower than the DI level. All eligible DI athletes are eligible at the DII level. If you donít meet the DI requirements but meet the requirements below, you can compete at the NCAA DII level.
- You must graduate from high school
- You must complete 16 core courses and receive a minimum GPA of 2.0. The core course requirements are as follows 3 years of English, 3 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science, 2 extra years of English, Math or Science and 4 years of Religion, Philosophy, Foreign Language or additional years of any of the categories above.
- You must take the SAT or ACT. You need to score a minimum of 820 on the SAT (Math and Reading only) or an ACT sum score of 68.
NCAA DIII Eligibility Requirements
If you are going to compete at the NCAA DIII level you do not need to register with the NCAA. 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 and get the standards from them.
NAIA Eligibility Requirements
The academic standards for the NAIA are the lowest of all division levels except Junior Colleges. In order to be eligible athletes must graduate from high school and meet 2 of the following 3 requirements:
- Finish in the top half of your graduating class
- Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0
- Score 860 on the SAT or 16 on the ACT
The academic requirements are only one set of the requirements needed to meet the eligibility standards to play college sports and receive a scholarship.