Do you want to continue to compete in track & field and/or xc after high school? In order to do so at any NCAA Division I or II college/university you must register and be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. You must apply and be approved prior to your freshman year of college or you will not be allowed to be on the team or to accept any athletic scholarships. It is recommended to apply to the NCAA Eligibility Center before the end of your 11th grade school year. Final certification will come after graduation.
The NCAA Eligibility Center was created to bring academic and amateurism certifications together under one roof. Its purpose is to ensure that college-bound student-athletes, as well as coaches and administrators, understand the requirements to participate in NCAA Divisions I and II athletics.
All incoming freshman who plan on attending any NCAA Division I or II university MUST register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, meet all academic and amateur requirements and be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
The standards issued by the NCAA Eligibility Center are slightly different for Division I and Division II but are based on the same four principles:
This is a very important topic for you to understand. Core courses are the foundation of the NCAA Eligibility Center standards. The more you know about core course requirements and the sooner you know it, the better prepared you will be to monitor your progress throughout your high school career. If you are even DREAMING of being a collegiate athlete, you should meet with your school counselor to map out a 4-year plan of the courses you will take. It's best to do this by no later than midway through your 10th grade year or as soon as possible after that if you are learning about this for the very first time. Making a plan prior to your 9th grade year is even better.
A core course is any course at your high school that has been reviewed and approved by the NCAA Eligibility Center as a course that meets its academic standards. In other words, core courses are courses "approved" by the Eligibility Center.
The NCAA Eligibility Center approves courses in four categories; English, Math, Natural/Physical Science and Social Science. Some Foreign Language, Philosophy and Non-Doctrinal Religion classes may also be approved as core courses. Please note that classes like Art, Band, Choir, Computers, Economics, Yearbook, and Physical Education are examples of courses that are NOT approved as core courses.
You must complete a minimum number of core courses in each category as part of the NCAA Eligibility Center certification process.
The NCAA Eligibility Center maintains a list of approved core courses for every high school in the country that has registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center. There are two ways for you to get the list for your high school.
Students in the classes of 2008 and beyond must complete 16 core courses for Division I and 14 core courses for Division II. It is recommended to set 16 core courses as your goal, just in case you develop DI potential in your junior and senior years.
|Div I Core Course Requirements||Div II Core Course Requirements|
|English||4 years||English||3 years|
|Math (Algebra I or higher)||3 years||Math (Algebra I or higher)||2 years|
|Natural/Physical Science||2 years||Natural/Physical Science||2 years|
|Additional English, Math or Natural/Physical Science||1 year||Additional English, Math or Natural/Physical Science||2 years|
|Social Science||2 years||Social Science||2 years|
|Additional from any category above and/or Foreign Language, Philosophy or Non-Doctrinal Religion courses||4 years||Additional from any category above and/or Foreign Language, Philosophy or Non-Doctrinal Religion courses||3 years|
|Total||16 Courses||Total||14 Courses|
The NCAA Eligibility Center requires that you complete your core courses with a minimum GPA of 2.000. This is NOT the same as your overall high school GPA, since your high school GPA includes all of the courses you have taken, whether or not they are approved as core courses. Your core course GPA is calculated using only the core courses you have completed that are listed on your high school's list of approved core courses.
Calculating your core course GPA by hand involves the following steps:
The test score requirements vary between Divisions I and II.
In Division II, the test score requirements are the same for every student, regardless of GPA. To meet Division II requirements, you must achieve at least an 820 on the SAT or a sum score of 68 on the ACT.
In Division I, a sliding scale is used based on core course GPA. The higher your GPA, the lower your test scores need to be to qualify. Higher test scores will also allow for a lower minimum gpa. The Test Score Index for the Division I is listed here.
Note: Test scores will be calculated using the math and verbal subsections of the SAT and the sum of the Math, Science, English and Reading subsections of the ACT. The writing component of the ACT or SAT will not be used to determine your qualifier status. However, more and more schools are requiring the writing portion of the test for admission, so it is a good idea to take that portion each time you take the test.
NOTE: Test scores must be reported directly from either ACT or SAT using code 9999. The NCAA no longer accepts test scores reported by your high school.
Also please note that it is common for student/athletes to take the ACT or the SAT more than once in order to get their desired score.
Return to www.nationalscholastic.org/resources to find the links to register online for the SAT and/or ACT as well as to see the test dates and registration deadlines.
For registration information, visit the NCAA Eligibility Center website at https://web1.ncaa.org/eligibilitycenter/common/ or contact NCAA Eligibility Center at the address and phone listed below:
NCAA Eligibility Center
P.O. Box 7136
Indianapolis, IN 46207-7136
Call Center Hours: 8a.m. - 6p.m. EST Monday-Friday