Future FAQs

Frequently asked questions for future student-athletes

How is the start of the seventh semester determined for schools on a nontraditional calendar?



The start of the seventh semester (or the equivalent) is based on three calendar years from initial enrollment in grade nine.


eFAQ 141


What is the NCAA Division I core-course progression (10/7) requirement?



Beginning August 1, 2016, in order to be eligible to compete during the initial year of full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I school, a college-bound student-athlete must complete sixteen core courses. Ten of the sixteen core courses must be completed before the start of the seventh semester of high school and at least seven of these 10 core courses must be in English, math, or natural or physical science. Grades achieved in such courses must be used in the college-bound student-athlete's academic certification and cannot be replaced by courses or grades achieved after starting the seventh semester.

*Note: The prospective student-athlete must also meet the Division I sliding-scale index for competition (minimum 2.3 core-course GPA).   

  • Click here for more information on Division I academic requirements.
  • Click here for information on Division II academic requirements.


eFAQ 139



How are student's account prioritized?



Students who have their status requested by an NCAA school are prioritized by the NCAA Eligibility Center for processing. NCAA colleges/universities make this request by activating a student's account on their Institutional Request List (IRL) with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Once this happens, the student’s information may be processed if all information is complete. This includes online registration, fee payment or fee waiver verified by the high school, ACT or SAT test score on file from the testing agency and an official transcript from each high school attended. If a student is never placed on an institution’s IRL, the NCAA Eligibility Center may not process that student's certification.


eFAQ 136


What should I do if I'm behind academically in school?



If you have not performed well in high school academics, you may not have enough core courses or a grade-point average high enough to meet NCAA initial-eligibility requirements. Here are some suggestions about what to do to improve that situation and some pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Sign up for four-year college-preparatory courses. Work on taking the required courses early, and do not get behind. There is no substitution for hard work.
  2. The courses should meet your high school's graduation requirements and should be on your high school's list of NCAA courses, located on the NCAA Eligibility Center's High School Portal. If there are questions about this, you should meet with your high school counselor or contact the NCAA Eligibility Center at 877-262-1492.
  3. See a high school counselor for guidance. You should not try to do this on your own or take advice from an authority who is not involved in your educational planning. Call the college admissions or compliance office at the college/university you plan to attend for additional guidance.
  4. Get tutoring or other study help. Consider meeting with a teacher before or after school or consider getting a tutor.
  5. Stay on track and take a full schedule of college-preparatory courses during the academic year. Try not to overload.
  6. Graduate on time. This will best position you, if necessary, to take one course after high school graduation to use in Division I certification.
  7. When questions arise, call the NCAA Eligibility Center at 877-262-1492 or the compliance officer at the college recruiting you.
  8. Try to avoid a "quick fix" through credit recovery or other short cuts. These courses may not be accepted and could trigger extra review of an academic record.
  9. Try to avoid taking a full schedule of courses at high school during the day and another full schedule through an alternative school program simultaneously. This could result in academic overload and could trigger extra review of an academic record.
  10. Keep coursework. If an academic record contains irregularities (e.g., high number of courses in a given term, dramatic increase in grade-point average over a given term), the NCAA may request to review the work (e.g., exams, papers and assignments).
  11. Follow your high school's policies. The best thing to do is work within the rules.


eFAQ 135


What types of nontraditional programs may not be accepted by the NCAA?



Not all nontraditional educational programs meet NCAA core-course requirements. When it comes to online, correspondence, credit recovery or other types of nontraditional courses, NCAA legislation may not be satisfied by schools or programs that:

  • Do not have teacher-based instruction.
  • Do not require regular and ongoing interaction between the student and the teacher.
  • Do not have certified or qualified teachers.
  • Only require students to do part of a class (e.g., the student only has to complete a portion of a course, or is exempt from parts of a course if they pre-test out of certain sections).
  • Are less rigorous. Courses should have the same rigor as a college-preparatory course and should contain the same content.
  • Do not have security measures to verify student identity.
  • Allow students to complete courses in a short period of time (e.g., two weeks for a full-year course).
  • Allow students to take numerous courses at the same time, especially courses in the same subject area, or that are sequential in nature (e.g., Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II at the same time).
  • Have no formal assessments or limited assessments.
  • Have no official student grade records (e.g., transcript, grade report, student course activity information).

Click here for more information on nontraditional courses.


eFAQ 134

Are credit recovery courses considered "nontraditional"?



Generally, credit recovery courses are taught via the internet, distance learning, correspondence or computer software and are, therefore, subject to the nontraditional core-course legislation. Click here for more information on credit recovery programs.


eFAQ 133

How can I find an appropriate nontraditional program?



When considering nontraditional courses, there are several things to keep in mind when determining whether such a course may be used for NCAA initial-eligibility purposes.

  • There is no substitute for working hard academically. NCAA rules require that core courses are academic, four-year college-preparatory courses. Courses taken through distance learning, online, or for credit recovery need to compare in length, content and rigor to courses taught in a traditional classroom.
  • Nontraditional courses must require ongoing and regular access and interaction between the instructor and student for purposes of teaching, evaluating and providing assistance throughout the duration of the course. Consider a program that includes actual instruction - this may include feedback, conversations and questions between the two parties.
  • Nontraditional courses must have a defined time period for completion. It should be clear whether the course is meant to be taken for an entire semester or during a more condensed time frame.
  • Nontraditional course titles should be listed on the high school transcript and should be clearly identified as such.
  • Nontraditional courses should be completed in their entirety. Additionally, nontraditional courses must meet high school policy. School policy should clearly indicate whether such courses are accepted (and for whom), how they are placed on the transcript and how they are given credit.

Click here for more information on nontraditional courses.


eFAQ 132


How do I know if a nontraditional course has been approved?



Visit the NCAA Eligibility Center's High School Portal to view a school/program's list of NCAA courses. Near the top of each school/program's list is an "Additional Information" box that may include language regarding a school/program's nontraditional courses. If this box is empty, it is likely that the nontraditional school or nontraditional program has not yet been reviewed by the NCAA Eligibility Center.


eFAQ 130



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