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Initial-Eligibility

The Initial-Eligibility Standards for NCAA Division I College-Bound Student-Athletes Are Changing

College-bound student-athletes first entering an NCAA Division I college or university on or after August 1, 2016, will need to meet new academic rules in order to receive athletics aid (scholarship), practice or compete during their first year.

What are the New Requirements?

Full Qualifier Academic Redshirt Nonqualifier
Complete 16 Core Courses:
• 10 of the 16 core courses must be complete before 7th semester (senior year) of high school.
•7 of the 10 core courses must be in English, Math, or Science.
Complete 16 core courses. Does not meet requirements for Full Qualifier or Academic Redshirt status.
Minimum Core-Course GPA of 2.3 Minimum Core-Course GPA of 2.0  
Meet the Competition sliding scale requirement of GPA and ACT/SAT score.* Meet the Academic Redshirt sliding scale requirement of GPA and ACT/SAT score.*  
Graduate from high school. Graduate from high school.  

*To view the Full Qualifier and Academic Redshirt sliding scales, please click here.
**International prospective student-athletes who present international graduation credentials listed in the  NCAA Guide to International Academic Standards for Athletics Eligibility will be exempt from meeting the seventh semester core course distribution requirements.

Full Qualifier: A college-bound student-athlete may receive athletics aid (scholarship), practice and compete in the first year of enrollment at the Division I college or university.

Academic Redshirt: A college-bound student-athlete may receive athletics aid (scholarship) in the first year of enrollment and may practice in the first regular academic term (semester or quarter) but may NOT compete in the first year of enrollment. After the first term is complete, the college-bound student-athlete must be academically successful at his/her college or university to continue to practice for the rest of the year.

Nonqualifier: A college-bound student-athlete cannot receive athletics aid (scholarship), cannot practice and cannot compete in the first year of enrollment.

Examples

Q: A college-bound student-athlete completes nine core courses prior to the seventh semester of high school. What is the college-bound student-athlete’s initial-eligibility status?

A: The college-bound student-athlete cannot be certified as a qualifier because only nine of the 10 required courses were completed before the seventh semester. He/she would be permitted to practice and receive aid (scholarship), provided he/she presents 16 core courses and meets the necessary core-course GPA and test score requirement at the time of graduation.

Q: A college-bound student-athlete completes 16 core courses in the required framework with a 2.500 core-course GPA and a 68 sum ACT. What is the college-bound student-athlete’s initial-eligibility status?

A: The college-bound student-athlete is a qualifier. 

Q: A college-bound student-athlete completes 15 core courses with a 2.500 core-course GPA and an 820 SAT score (critical reading and math). What is the college-bound student-athlete’s NCAA initial-eligibility status?

A: The college-bound student-athlete is a nonqualifier because only 15 core courses were completed, not the required 16 core courses. 

International prospective student-athletes who present international graduation credentials listed in the NCAA Guide to International Academic Standards for Athletics Eligibility will be exempt from meeting the seventh semester core course distribution requirements.

For additional information on these requirements please visit: www.eligibilitycenter.org.

Division I Initial-Eligibility Standards Reference Guide