NCAA Continues to Waive SAT Requirement for Class of 2023; May Drop Permanently

The NCAA Eligibility Center has announced it is extending the COVID-19 waiver that was first put into place in April 2020 in response to the disruptions to academic life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally meant to provide relief for the high school class of 2020, its provisions were extended to the classes of 2021 and 2022 in April 2021. Now, student-athletes entering college in the 2023-24 school year will enjoy the same benefits.

The provisions of the waiver include:

SAT or ACT test scores: the NCAA Eligibility Center has eliminated the SAT/ACT score as a requirement of academic eligibility. With the pandemic raging in the spring of 2020, test centers closed and students were unable to sit for the required standardized tests. Universities responded by dropping testing requirements – some for a trial period, some permanently – and the NCAA quickly followed suit.

The NCAA Standardized Test Score Task Force was established in April 2021 to conduct a review of its testing requirements within the initial-eligibility process. It focused on (1) Initiatives to advance racial equity (a review of testing requirements had been identified as one of the NCAA’s eight action items to advance racial equity in the summer of 2020); (2) Higher education’s shifting position on standardized tests for admissions processes; and (3) Ongoing NCAA Standards Evaluation.

In April 2022, the Standardized Test Score Task Force recommended the permanent removal of the test score requirement. Its recommendation will be voted on at the NCAA Convention, which will take place from January 11-14, 2023, in San Antonio, Texas.

The NCAA is quick to point out that students may still need to take the SAT for admission to a particular college or university or for an academic scholarship that might complement an athletic grant, so it is up to the student to determine whether or not to take the test.

Without the SAT or ACT, together which with a student’s GPA used to be the basis of a sliding scale of academic eligibility, the NCAA will now determine academic status by the GPA alone. Prospective student-athletes must achieve a GPA of 2.3 in the 16 core courses for Division I and a 2.2 for Division II.

Distance or virtual learning: When schooling went online, the NCAA accepted courses taken in distance, e-learning or hybrid programs offered by their high schools, without doing a separate review of those programs. That directive will continue. “Students may complete their NCAA-approved core courses through the channels of instruction provided or recommended by their school, district or state department of education.”

Pass/fail grades: Pass/fail grades on a student’s transcript can only help the student. “If the student’s core-course GPA would increase by assigning a value of 2.300, this value will be assigned to the passed courses. However, if the student’s core-course GPA would decrease by including the 2.300 value for passed courses, the student’s core-course GPA will be calculated based only on courses with assigned letter grades from previous terms (credit from these courses will still be applied toward the student’s core-course requirements).” Before 2020, “pass” on a student’s transcript was treated as the high school’s lowest passing grade, most often a D, and was assigned a value of 1.0.

The virtual learning and P/F grades provisions will extend to freshmen and sophomores, as well. For example, any online classes and P/F grades on their transcript will still be treated favorably to the student through their graduation in 2025.

The provisions of the waiver are outlined here.

 

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Melanie
1 month ago

When will the recruit ranking come out?

Doug DeNunzio
1 month ago

Important to see how this decision plays out with the NCAA.

Hook Em
1 month ago

All NCAA Swim programs should be required to have 25% of their team as African American.

Honest Observer
1 month ago

Next, let’s abolish stopwatches in swimming since those are discriminatory, too.

Alex Dragovich
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

Wow. What an asinine analogy.

Swim nerd
1 month ago

Are Ivy schools dropping SAT/ACT requirement for their athletes as well?

PBJSwimming
Reply to  Swim nerd
1 month ago

All eight Ivies have announced that they will be test-optional through at least the Fall 2023 admissions cycle.

Swim nerd
Reply to  PBJSwimming
1 month ago

My friend is in communication with Harvard coach and he asked her to provide SAT/ACT test as soon as she has it (grade-wise and swim-wise she is ok). I wonder if she dares to reference to this “test-optional” info 🙁

DrSwimPhil
Reply to  Swim nerd
1 month ago

Meanwhile, MIT has gone back to requiring SAT/ACT for admissions’ purposes.

Here’s an interesting write-up (with a solid amount of citations) by their admissions in stating that it will actually help their diversity mission: We are reinstating our SAT/ACT requirement for future admissions cycles | MIT Admissions

Idek
Reply to  Swim nerd
1 month ago

They probably don’t release that information publicly but last year they where test optional and still used the act/sat as a benchmark for athletes.

ACC
1 month ago

Considering less than 25% of colleges require either the SAT or ACT, this makes sense. If college admissions don’t think it’s important, why should the NCAA?

Idek
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

While I agree, most colleges didn’t drop it because it’s not important, rather because of COVID.

Idek
1 month ago

Gotta say idk who this rlly affects an 18 act score is kinda a joke

Last edited 1 month ago by Idek
Admin
Reply to  Idek
1 month ago

Not everyone grows up with the benefits of the same educational opportunities that are usually afforded to schools that produce the kind of swimmers who would be in the SwimSwam comments section. For international students, the tests can be more difficult as well.

About 41% of ACT test takers score 18 or below.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

FWIW: As you’re probably aware, last month MIT reinstated the use of SAT scores in their admissions criteria (after a two-year pandemic-related break). They reckoned that the SAT provided them with the best indicator of a student’s likely success in their highly rigorous math and science programs.

Coach Tom
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
1 month ago

This is really what it comes down to for me. I understand the desire to create a more equitable environment but how are you doing students any favors if you’re admitting them into a school where they can’t complete the coursework? More often than not, this is going to result in the student dropping out with a mountain of debt and no degree to show for it.

I do not see how anyone who is incapable of meeting the minimum NCAA requirements would go on to have a successful academic career once they get to college.

swimapologist
Reply to  Idek
1 month ago

If anyone is unsure of what it means to have “privilege,” this is a perfect example.

College athletics continue to exist not because they need to give a bunch of upper-middle class white swimmers from the suburbs scholarships to go to college. The biggest value of college athletics is as a tool for social mobility – an avenue out of a crappy elementary and secondary educational system.

Get some perspective. Try meeting people outside of your 3 mile bubble. It will change your view of the world, I promise.

Big Mac #1
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

People who live more than three miles outside my bubble literally plotted to kidnap and execute my governor

Idek
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

There are like 5 million people in my 3 mile bubble I think I’m good.

new york’s battle leader
Reply to  Idek
1 month ago

venture out fam, you’ll find 5 million more

new york’s battle leader
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

fam you just can’t bring in facts that will hurt these upper middle class white swimmers fee fees!! it will burst their little bubble of how life is 😥😥

HJones
Reply to  new york’s battle leader
1 month ago

I didn’t know only upper-middle-class white people could score well on the SATs?

HJones
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

Removing testing that MIT (which by many accounts, is considered the best university in the world, and at least the very best STEM college) believes is a critical indicator of college success is only a band-aid to solve the larger issue you describe, not a solution. Those socioeconomic problems will continue to be around whether or not SAT/ACT scores are required.

If standardized testing goes by the wayside, then I guarantee you that many selective colleges (especially those known to have strong STEM programs) will begin to use their own entrance exams–CalTech already does this for transfer applicants.

sam
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

maybe better comment would be big collegea really does not offer the best education these days and especially the swimswam commentariat fav schools, much better education in some smaller school unknown to most….. or leave college alone and go to some apperentice program and make good money without idiotic huge loans….

Walter Sobchak
1 month ago

The NCAA: “Taking the scholar out of scholar-athlete.”

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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