All student-athletes entering college on or after Aug. 1, 2016, take note: the NCAA is changing its academic requirements for student-athletes bound for the Division I level. The new rules increase the core course GPA requirement and require D-I bound student-athletes to complete 10 core courses before the start of their senior year of high school. However, the NCAA recently decided to delay the effective date of its D-I eligibility rules, from Aug. 1, 2015 to Aug. 1, 2016.
Here are the new requirements for current eighth graders and all student-athletes entering college on or after Aug. 1, 2016:
1. Complete 16 core courses (same distribution as in the past).
2. Complete 10 of the core courses before your seventh semester of high school (senior year). Seven of the 10 courses must be in English, math or science. The 10 courses become “locked in” for the purpose of GPA calculation, meaning that you cannot repeat them after your senior year begins.
3. Earn a minimum GPA of 2.30 in your 16 core courses. This rule didn’t exist in the past.
4. Meet the new sliding scale of GPA and SAT/ACT scores. The new scale increases GPA/test score requirements. For example, if you have a 2.50 GPA, you must score 1000 on the SAT or 85 on the ACT. Under the old rules, your 2.50 GPA required an 820 SAT or a 68 on the ACT.
5. Graduate from high school. If you meet this and the other new requirements, you’ll be a full qualifier at the NCAA Division I level, eligible to receive an athletic scholarship and compete during your first year of college.