As important as it is, it might be a good idea to look at a little bit of its history just so you know the purpose of its mission.
In 1986, the NCAA enacted Proposition 48 or “prop 48” as it is generally called, this proposition established certain and firm eligibility requirements that student/athletes must meet before they could legally sign the National Letter of Intent. The requirements were later updated, but “prop 48” was the beginning of eligibility requirements.
NCAA Eligibility Requirements
- In order to play in Division I athletics as a Freshman in college, the high school student athlete must carry a minimum 2.0 grade point average in sixteen core courses as follows: 4 years of English, 3 years of Math (Algebra I or higher), 2 years of natural or physical science ( including 1 year of lab science if offered by your high school, 1 extra year of English, Math or Natural Science, 2 years of social science, 4 years of extra core courses (from any category above or foreign language, nondoctrinal religion or philosophy).
- What are core courses? Core courses are the certain high school courses that meet academic criteria specified by the NCAA to be eligible to play Division I and II athletics as a Freshman in college.
- Just recently, the NCAA governing body voted to raise the minimum GPA to 2.3, but the new rule has to be voted on by each conference. It may eventually actually be raised, or it may stay at 2.0, but either way, the student athlete must keep this minimum GPA in mind if he wants to go on to play college athletics.
- Earn a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches your core-course GPA and test score sliding scale (for example, a 2400 core-course GPA needs to have an 860 SAT)
- Student/Athletes must provide the NCAA with proof of graduation from high school.
When Should You Register?
It is recommended by the NCAA that you register at the beginning of your junior year, however there is no actual deadline and many student/athletes wait to register after their junior year. Remember, in order to play at any D-I or D-II school you must me cleared by the Eligibility Center.
Registering Is Easy
Go online to the NCAA Eligibility Center. You will have to pay a fee, fill in a form giving personal and course work information. Additionally, you will need to answer questions about any sports participation outside of high school.
Waving Registration Fee
The registration fee can be waived for student/athletes that have already received a waiver for the SAT or ACT. Your high school counselor must submit a confirmation of your test fee waiver. For more information go to the NCAA Eligibility Center High School Portal.
Records The Eligibility Center Requires
Students must arrange with their high school counselors to have their high school transcripts sent directly to the Center after they have completed at least six semesters of high school. You must request that your high school counselor send your transcript as they will not automatically do it.
At the time you register for your SAT or ACT tests, you must arrange for the testing company to have them sent directly to the center.
Additionally, the student/athlete must see that his final high school transcripts and proof of graduation be sent to the Eligibility Center after the senior year is completed.
NCAA Amateurism Eligibility Requirements?
While only about 1% of students do not meet the NCAA Amateurism Eligibility Requirements, these rules must be taken into consideration if you want to play college sports. The amateurism rules pertain to receiving payment for athletic participation, playing with a professional team and other related issues. For more information check out NCAA Amateurism.
Percent Not Making The Cut To Be Certified
Approximately 180 thousand student/athletes register with the NCAA Eligibility Center every year. Of those, about 7% do not meet academic standards of the division where they want to compete and less than 1% fail to be certified due to issues related to amateurism.
Many student athletes need not worry about being certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. Do your job in high school by keeping your grades up, score well on the SAT or ACT and basically do not accept any form of payment for any athletic performance as a high school athlete and you should be fine.