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Academic eligibility


There are four basic requirements used to establish academic eligibility for a Division I or Division II school. You must:


graduate from high school

complete a certain number of core courses

earn a certain grade-point average (GPA) in your core courses

earn a certain SAT or ACT test score


To be eligible for a Division I school, you must complete 16 core courses, earn a minimum 2.000 core-course GPA, and earn a test score that matches your core-course GPA on a sliding scale. The higher your GPA is, the lower the minimum test score you need to earn is.


To be eligible for a Division II school, you must complete 14 core courses, earn a minimum 2.000 core-course GPA, and earn a combined SAT score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68.


When you find a college that belongs to the NCAA, be sure to find out which division it competes in, so you'll know the specific requirements you must meet.


Core courses fall into one or more of the following categories: English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, or non-doctrinal religion or philosophy. To see how many core courses are required in each category and to see how your core-course GPA is calculated, read more about the academic eligibility requirements at


Check with your guidance counselor to determine your high school's list of approved core courses, or view the list at


Remember that your academic eligibility, or lack thereof, may have an impact on your ability to qualify for sports scholarships.


You can take the SAT or the ACT more than once. The Writing section for either test is not used to determine whether you meet the test score requirement.


Your combined SAT test score consists of your best Math score and your best Critical Reading score. Your ACT sum score consists of your best English score, your best Math score, your best Reading score, and your best Science score.


The requirements mentioned above pertain only to Division I and II schools. If you wish to compete for a Division III school, you'll have to contact the specific institution to find out its academic eligibility requirements. This should be part of the college information you gather about the school if you're interested in playing sports.


Determining eligibility

If you wish to participate in Division I or Division II athletics, your eligibility must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly known as the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse).


When you register with the clearinghouse, you must complete the Student Release Form, which authorizes your high school to send the necessary academic information to the clearinghouse. You'll also have to fill out the amateurism questionnaire, which asks questions about benefits and activities that might affect your amateur status.


If you plan on participating in Division III athletics, the institution in which you enroll is responsible for certifying your amateur and academic eligibility.


Meeting NCAA eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission into any specific sports college. It simply means that you will be eligible to compete in intercollegiate athletics for an NCAA member institution in any division in which you meet the requirements.

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