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Divisions I and II extend COVID-19 initial-eligibility policies

Standardized test scores will continue to be optional

Students who initially enroll full time during the 2021-22 or 2022-23 academic years and intend to play NCAA Division I or II athletics will not be required to take a standardized test to meet NCAA initial-eligibility requirements.

“Many testing centers around the world remain closed or with limited capacities, and this makes it hard for some prospective student-athletes to take a standardized test,” NCAA Eligibility Center Vice President Felicia Martin said. “Our members decided that extending the 2021-22 COVID-19 initial-eligibility policies was most fair for current high school juniors who will initially enroll in college during the 2022-23 academic year.”

Similar to 2021-22 policies, student-athletes enrolling in a Division I school during the 2022-23 academic year will be academically eligible by earning a 2.3 grade-point average in 16 NCAA-approved core courses, with 10 core courses (seven in English, math and science) completed by the start of their seventh semester in high school (before senior year).

Student-athletes enrolling in a Division II school during the 2021-22 or 2022-23 academic year will be academically eligible by earning a 2.2 grade-point average in 16 NCAA-approved core courses.

International student-athletes enrolling in a Division I or II school during the 2021-22 or 2022-23 academic year will be academically eligible if they earn at least a 2.3 GPA in 16 core-course units in Division I or a 2.2 GPA in those core courses in Division II.

These standards, which do not require submission of a standardized test score, will be considered automatic waivers, meaning that students who meet these criteria are academically eligible to receive an athletics scholarship, practice and compete in their first year at an NCAA member school.

As of mid-July, NCAA research found that about 23% of Division I schools have adopted test-optional policies for at least one year in their admissions process. Another 19% have permanent test-optional policies. About 37% indicated at that time they still will require the SAT or ACT. The remaining 21% have policies that are unclear or dependent on other variables (for example, major, high school GPA).

The NCAA has organized a task force to review the use of test scores as part of NCAA initial-eligibility standards in Divisions I and II. The task force will begin meeting this spring and will review recommendations for the Division I Committee on Academics and the Division II Academic Requirements Committee for consideration.

“The task force will consider a number of factors associated with the use of test scores in eligibility decisions, including the equity and accessibility impact, the movement among some in higher education toward test-optional admission policies and an evaluation of the effectiveness of standardized tests as a predictor of academic success,” Martin said. “NCAA members are committed to making decisions in the best interest of college-bound student-athletes.”

Additionally, Divisions I and II extended the spring/summer 2020 approach to pass/fail grades through the 2021-22 academic year. Ordinarily, a “pass” on a student’s transcript is awarded the high school’s lowest passing grade, most often a D, and is assigned 1.0 quality points.

The Eligibility Center also extended its policy to not require a separate review of distance, e-learning or hybrid programs offered by schools with NCAA-approved core courses during 2021-22 in response to COVID-19. Students are encouraged to complete their courses as recommended by their school, district or state department of education.

More information on the Eligibility Center’s COVID-19 response is available at on.ncaa.com/EC_COVID.

Questions about initial eligibility can be directed to the NCAA Eligibility Center at 877-262-1492.