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Becoming a College Student Athlete

Updated Resources for the 2019-20 Academic Year
It's time for another great school year! The following reminders are designed to help as you provide information to students and families and assist them with the registration, initial-eligibility and certification processes.

Our updated resources for the 2019-20 school year can be found on our Educational Resources page and include:

  • Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.
  • Initial-Eligibility brochure (tri-fold).
  • Initial-Eligibility one-page brochure.
  • High School Counselors Quick Hits.

More resources are coming soon! Check back to the Educational Resources page for updates.

Also, the NCAA Eligibility Center began a text-messaging program to reach out to registered prospective student-athletes. This program will reach out to U.S. phone numbers only, and will be used primarily to notify students when critical tasks are open within their Eligibility Center certification account. Texting will be limited to no more than four texts per month per student.

College-bound student-athletes who want to practice, compete and receive athletically related financial aid during their first year at a Division I or II school need to meet the following requirements:

  • Graduate from high school.
  • Complete a minimum of 16 core courses for Division I or II.
  • Earn a minimum required grade-point average in core courses.
  • Earn a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT.
  • Request final amateurism certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

For Division I student-athletes who will enroll in August 1, 2016 and later, the requirements to compete in the first year will change. In addition to the above standards, students must:

  • Earn at least a 2.3 grade-point average in core courses.
  • Meet an increased sliding-scale standard (for example, an SAT score of 820 requires a 2.5 high school core course GPA)
  • Successfully complete 10 of the 16 total required core courses before the start of their seventh semester in high school. Seven of the 10 courses must be successfully completed in English, math and science.

Students that earn at least a 2.0 GPA but not a 2.3 GPA and meet the current sliding scale standard (for example, an SAT score of 1,010 requires a 2.025 high school core course GPA) will be eligible for practice in the first term and athletically related financial aid the entire year, but not competition. Freshmen who are academically successful in the first term will earn the ability to continue to practice for the remainder of the year.

Division III colleges and universities set their own admission standards. The NCAA does not set initial eligibility requirements in Division III.

For more information, please click on the following links:


Important Links