Division I Academics

More than a decade into academic reform, Division I student-athletes continue to improve academically.  More student-athletes than ever are graduating, due in large part to enhanced eligibility standards and the success of the Division I Academic Performance Program.  Division I is committed to an intercollegiate athletics model which recognizes and supports the importance of the academic mission of its member schools.

Academic Performance Program

The Academic Performance Program (APP) is designed to ensure Division I student-athletes receive exemplary educational and intercollegiate-athletics experiences.  The APP encourages student-athlete graduation through a reward and penalty system directly tied to a team’s academic performance. The APP umbrella covers both the Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR). 

Academic Primers
Student-Athlete Degree Completion Assistance

In August 2018, Board adopted legislation to require schools to provide degree completion funding to former men’s and women’s basketball players. The Board established a fund for limited resource institutions to fund degree completion.  These actions came at the recommendation of the Commission on College Basketball.

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Graduation Rates

The Graduation Success Rate for Division I college athletes who entered school in 2008 climbed to 86 percent – two points over last year and the highest rate ever measured.

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Division I Academic Eligibility

Student-Athletes are required to meet and maintain certain academic standards in order to practice and compete in Division I athletics.  The academic benchmarks that impact a student-athlete’s eligibility include initial-eligibility, two-year college transfer eligibility, and progress-toward-degree.

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Academic Based Revenue Distribution

In October 2016, the NCAA approved a new academic-based revenue distribution fund that will begin in the 2019-20 academic year.  The revenue distribution rewards broad-based academic achievement by all the university’s athletics teams and reward Division I schools for academic success.

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The Division I Committee on Academics manages the division’s academic matters.  The Committee is chaired by a Division I president and reports directly to the Division I Board of Directors.

Academic Certification of Eligibility Resource

The following educational resource is a tool designed to support the NCAA Division I membership’s understanding of the application of Bylaw 14 as it relates to certifying student-athlete academic eligibility.  This module takes a basic approach and does not address every possible scenario.  Users should always refer to the NCAA Division I manual and associated interpretations for the complete legislation.  Interpretive questions should be submitted through RSRO. 

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Webinars conducted by NCAA staff following meetings of the NCAA Division I Committee on Academics provide timely, practical education in areas of high membership interest and help the membership understand action taken by the committee.