Are you Ready to Cross the Academic Finish Line?

finishlineHigh school seniors, Class of 2016, will be certified using a different eligibility certification system than has been used in the past. The main difference in this new process is the progression requirement for prospects to be eligible to compete in their freshman year of college at NCAA Division I schools. Specifically prospects must:

  • Complete 10 of the required 16 core courses before beginning the senior year of high school; and
  • 7 of those 10 core courses must be in English, math or natural/physical science.

This means that prospects will not be able to repeat these 10 core course in an effort to achieve a higher grade-point average. In fact, the grades for all 10 courses will be locked in and will determine the standardized test score that will be necessary in order to meet the NCAA Division I sliding scale.

The old sliding scale used a 2.0 grade-point average as its floor. The new floor is a 2.3 grade-point average.

Timing of Certification

Regardless of when the prospect actually graduates from high school, the determination of the timing of certification will be based on three calendar years from initial enrollment in high school.

Impact of New SAT

The NCAA Eligibility Center uses the highest score obtained on the  critical reasoning and math sections of the SAT to determine the total score used with the sliding scale. However, this can only occur with the same tests. Therefore, two SAT tests taken prior to March 2016 may be used, OR two SAT tests taken March 2016 or after may be used, to obtain the superscore. The Eligibility Center will not be able to use the score from one section of the old SAT with the score from one section of the new SAT to obtain a superscore.

Academic Redshirt

An academic redshirt will be a prospect who:

  • has a high school grade-point average below 2.3; or
  • has completed less than 10 core courses prior to beginning the 12th grade.

These prospects must still:

  • complete 16 core courses;
  • meet the academic redshirt sliding scale; and
  • graduate from high school.

Academic redshirts may practice in their freshman year of college and receive an athletic scholarship, but may not compete. Prospects must understand that individual university scholarship budgets will determine if a particular coach will be able to pay to have a student-athlete attend school who will not be eligible to compete.

Impact on International Student-Athletes

If the international prospects entire academic record is based on international credentials [e.g. category one or category two credentials] then the prospect will not be subject to the 10/7 requirement. If the prospects academic credentials are split between the United States and international then the prospect WILL BE required to meet the 10/7 requirement.

One Core Course After High School Graduation

Prospects are still allowed to complete one core course after high school graduation and prior to enrollment in college to meet the 16 core course requirement. However, a core course may not replace a core course that was used to meet the 10/7 requirement. It may only be used to replace one of the remaining six core courses required after meeting the initial 10/7 core courses.

How will 2015 graduates that delay enrollment to fall 2016 be certified?

Prospect graduated Spring 2015 but delayed enrollment until Fall 2016

If this prospect was certified as a Final Qualifier under the previous initial eligibility standards he will not need to be re-evaluated and will remain a Final Qualifier. If that same prospect was determined to be an Early Academic Qualifier that status will not change either.

If this prospect did not provide all of the information required to receive an academic certification from the Eligibility Center, and delayed initial full-time collegiate enrollment until Fall 2016, he WILL NOT be evaluated under the old certification process, but WILL BE certified under the 2016 initial eligibility requirements. However, if the prospect does not meet the new requirements AND would be have eligible under the old eligibility standards at the time of his graduation, the Eligibility Center may certify the prospects academic record with an automatic waiver.

For more information on the new eligibility certification process, visit the NCAA’s new website




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