Before an athlete can play a sport or receive an athletic scholarship at a Division I or II college, he or she must meet specific academic criteria as set forth by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
A student must have at least a 2.0 GPA (based on a 4.0 scale) in 13 core courses. A student must also achieve a minimum combined ACT score of 68 (sum of the four scores) or a combined SAT score of 820. To be eligible at a Division I school, the student with a minimum GPA will need a higher test score, and the student with a minimum test score will need a higher GPA.
Students must take specific courses in order to meet NCAA eligibility requirements. These include a certain number of college preparatory English, science, social science, and math courses, with at least one year of algebra and one year of geometry.
Because the NCAA has such specific requirements, it is very important that athletes meet with their guidance counselors in the eighth or ninth grade to obtain information on all of the NCAA requirements. At this time, athletes may develop a four-year plan that includes courses satisfying all NCAA requirements.
Athletes should take the ACT and the SAT no later than the spring of their junior year in order to have time to retake them if necessary. In order to initiate the eligibility process, athletes must complete a NCAA Clearinghouse Student Release Form after completion of the junior year.
Forms and additional information are available from the College and Career Reference Library at Union High School or by visiting the NCAA Web site.