Are you Eligible? New NCAA Academic Requirements Begin This Fall

New NCAA Academic Requirements Begin This Fall


Parents and athletes - with most high schools completing their current student and incoming 8th graders course selection for next school year, we wanted to remind everyone of the new academic standards set by the NCAA for student athletes.  

In an effort to bolster academic requirements and better prepare the student athlete the NCAA has made some significant changes for incoming prep athletes beginning in 2016.  We want to make sure everyone is aware of these changes from the current high school athlete to the incoming 8th grade athlete.


There are two major changes in 2016. First, each athlete must have a minimum 2.3 GPA in core classes. Second, each athlete must complete all 10 core classes before your senior year. There no longer will be an opportunity for athletes to get better grades or recover lost core classes, as there have been before.


The requirements for NCAA Division 1 are as follows:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of math Algebra I and higher
  • 2 years of natural or physical science (one lab if offered)
  • 1 additional year of English, math, natural/physical science
  • 2 years of social science
  • 4 years additional from areas above or foreign language, philosophy, or comparative religion.
    • Ten courses completed prior to the 7th semester (senior year).
    • These courses lock in to determine the Core Course GPA.
    • Seven of these ten must be English math, or natural/physical science.


Changes are also coming to the NCAA Division II level, where there are 16 core classes but with different classes for eligibility. For division II, athletes will need three years of English and two years of Math. The fill-in courses will be different, but athletes must still meet the 16 core classes needed.


What you can do:

We are aware that most of our members are on track to complete these requirements.  If you are unsure and you are currently in high school and not currently on a strict plan to reach these new standards over the next few years, it would be a good idea to schedule an appointment with your school counselor.  


If you will be an eighth or ninth grader next year, make sure you are putting yourself in the position to have the 10 core classes completed. A meeting with your counselor may be a good idea as well, as under the new rules, it is not too early.  In both cases, we know that school counselors have a very full schedule so many high schools are now incorporating NCAA information nights for parents and athletes. 

We would also like to note that minimum eligibility often will not gain a prospective student athlete admission to the college of their choice so it is our recommendation to set your academic goals higher than what is explained here.


Here is a quick reference guide from the NCAA Eligibility Center for Division 1 and Division 2 minimum eligibility requirements:    NCAA Eligibility Requirements

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