How high school students miss out on NCAA requirements

What are the requirements students need for NCAA eligibility

Katie Tarnacki, Staff Writer

Many high school students aren’t aware of the requirements that they need to meet in high school in order to be NCAA eligible in college. The different Divisions have different requirements for what is accepted. 

Each high school offers different classes that have to be approved by the NCAA in order to count for eligibility. There are classes that the school offers that could count as a senior’s fourth-year math or English credit but they don’t count for the NCAA credits. 

Counselor Barry Goode said, “if they fail a core academic class, we’ve been putting them into an online class called MVS essentials but those are not NCAA approved.”

Many kids think that they can coast by and take online credits and still be able to play a sport in college, but the online courses are not NCAA eligible. 

Goode also said that many students don’t make their counselors aware of their intent to play a sport in college and fail to meet the requirements they need until senior year when they realize and it is too late. 

He said, “there are ways around this but many times it means that the student won’t be eligible for their first year in college until they can make up those credits and play their next year.” 

A very frequent mistake that is made is in the foreign language department. For Division 1 and 2 sports (D1 and D2), there is a requirement of four years of additional courses such as foreign language or comparative religion/philosophy. 

Along with a specific class course, the student’s GPA and test scores matter as well. Goode said, “On the sliding scale basically, the higher your GPA, the lower your SAT score can be.” 

According to the official NCAA website, for D1 sports the GPA and SAT/ACT scores are checked on the NCAA sliding scale. The NCAA does not accept the student’s GPA on their high school transcript; instead, they take what is called the core courses GPA, which is calculated with all of the NCAA approved classes throughout high school. The minimum core course GPA for D1 is a 2.3 along with a 900 SAT score or 75 ACT sum score. For D2, there is a minimum of a 2.20 GPA and an 840 on the SAT or a 70 ACT sum score.

When entering high school, students looking to play a sport in college will benefit by talking to their counselor and letting them know about their intentions as soon as possible even if they aren’t sure of their plan yet. 

Click here to access the sliding scale for GPA and test scores