NCAA Stiffens Freshman Eligibility Requirements

  7 Braden Keith | July 22nd, 2012 | College, Featured, News

The NCAA has changed its standards for college-bound athletes to receive initial eligibility as a freshman, effective with the incoming class for the fall of 2016. Specifically, the NCAA has established two separate sets of admission requirements: one that allows athletes to practice and receive a scholarship under an academic redshirt, and one that allows an athlete to compete.

Notably, these new requirements to compete are significantly more challenging. Specifically, in the 16 required “core courses” on the high school schedule, an athlete will need a 2.3 GPA to compete as a freshman, whereas the previous standard of 2.0 will allow an athlete just to practice and receive a scholarship. The 16 core classes for Division I are below (Division II is similar, except that it allows for some flexibility in taking extra math or science courses):

  • 4 years English,
  • 3 years math at Algebra I level or higher,
  • 2 years natural or physical science (one lab if offered by any school attended);
  • 1 year additional English, math or natural/physical science;
  • 2 years social science; and
  • 4 years additional from areas above or foreign language, philosophy or comparative religion.

Previously, an athlete with a high enough SAT or ACT score could be eligible to compete immediately with as-low-as a 2.0 GPA in the above core courses. The sliding scale, outlined below with both the old and new standards, offers the minimum test scores required dependent on an athlete’s GPA in high school to compete and receive a scholarship as a freshman. As the charts show, the test scores needed to receive a scholarship beginning in 2016 are largely the same as what is required to compete today. However, the test scores needed to compete immediately has gotten drastically more difficult.

For example, an athlete with a 2.75 GPA in the core classes (mostly B’s with a few C’s) used to be able to compete immediately with a 720 GPA. Now that same athlete will need a 900 on the SAT (on the math and reading sections only) to be on a competitive roster right away, or they will have to sit out their first year.

Further, under the new rules, athletes must complete 10 of these 16 courses prior to their senior year of high school, and at least 7 in math, science, or English. These 10 courses become locked in, meaning that athletes can not retake them as seniors in an attempt to improve their grade point average.

These standards are being announced very early to allow this year’s incoming freshmen to adapt, so this is an opportunity for parents , administrators and athletes in this coming year’s high school freshman class to prepare early.

Learn more from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Sliding Scale Prior to 8/1/2016 New Standards 8/1/2016
Core GPA SAT ACT GPA for Aid GPA for Comp. SAT ACT
3.55 & above 400 37 3.55 4 400 37
3.525 410 38 3.525 3.975 410 38
3.5 420 39 3.5 3.95 420 39
3.475 430 40 3.475 3.925 430 40
3.45 440 41 3.45 3.9 440 41
3.425 450 41 3.425 3.875 450 41
3.4 460 42 3.4 3.85 460 42
3.375 470 42 3.375 3.825 470 42
3.35 480 43 3.35 3.8 480 43
3.325 490 44 3.325 3.775 490 44
3.3 500 44 3.3 3.75 500 44
3.275 510 45 3.275 3.725 510 45
3.25 520 46 3.25 3.7 520 46
3.225 530 46 3.225 3.675 530 46
3.2 540 47 3.2 3.65 540 47
3.175 550 47 3.175 3.625 550 47
3.15 560 48 3.15 3.6 560 48
3.125 570 49 3.125 3.575 570 49
3.1 580 49 3.1 3.55 580 49
3.075 590 50 3.075 3.525 590 50
3.05 600 50 3.05 3.5 600 50
3.025 610 51 3.025 3.475 610 51
3 620 52 3 3.45 620 52
2.975 630 52 2.975 3.425 630 52
2.95 640 53 2.95 3.4 640 53
2.925 650 53 2.925 3.375 650 53
2.9 660 54 2.9 3.35 660 54
2.875 670 55 2.875 3.325 670 55
2.85 680 56 2.85 3.3 680 56
2.825 690 56 2.825 3.275 690 56
2.8 700 57 2.8 3.25 700 57
2.775 710 58 2.775 3.225 710 58
2.75 720 59 2.75 3.2 720 59
2.725 730 59 2.725 3.175 730 60
2.7 730 60 2.7 3.15 740 61
2.675 740-750 61 2.675 3.125 750 61
2.65 760 62 2.65 3.1 760 62
2.625 770 63 2.625 3.075 770 63
2.6 780 64 2.6 3.05 780 64
2.575 790 65 2.575 3.025 790 65
2.55 800 66 2.55 3 800 66
2.525 810 67 2.525 2.975 810 67
2.5 820 68 2.5 2.95 820 68
2.475 830 69 2.475 2.925 830 69
2.45 840-850 70 2.45 2.9 840 70
2.425 860 70 2.425 2.875 850 70
2.4 860 71 2.4 2.85 860 71
2.375 870 72 2.375 2.825 870 72
2.35 880 73 2.35 2.8 880 73
2.325 890 74 2.325 2.775 890 74
2.3 900 75 2.3 2.75 900 75
2.275 910 76 2.275 2.725 910 76
2.25 920 77 2.25 2.7 920 77
2.225 930 78 2.225 2.675 930 78
2.2 940 79 2.2 2.65 940 79
2.175 950 80 2.175 2.625 950 80
2.15 960 80 2.15 2.6 960 81
2.125 960 81 2.125 2.575 970 82
2.1 970 82 2.1 2.55 980 83
2.075 980 83 2.075 2.525 990 84
2.05 990 84 2.05 2.5 1000 85
2.025 1000 85 2.025 2.475 1010 86
2 1010 86 2 2.45 1020 86
2.425 1030 87
2.4 1040 88
2.375 1050 89
2.35 1060 90
2.325 1070 91
2.3 1080 93

 

Leave a Reply

7 Comments on "NCAA Stiffens Freshman Eligibility Requirements"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Coach Peter
4 years 2 months ago

Is this really an issue for swimmers?

john
4 years 2 months ago

no

4 years 2 months ago

Football

Brian
4 years 2 months ago

What a joke. 2.0 to 2.3? If you have below a 2. anything in high school you shouldn’t be competing in college your first year. You’d probably be having to do enough just to scrape by in college courses.

Swimlong
4 years 2 months ago

And basketball. What happens to “one and done” if you can’t compete during the “one?”

WHOKNOWS
4 years 2 months ago

With scores and grade points like that, how many individuals would be accepted in to institution of higher learning????

wpDiscuz

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

Read More »