When you decide that you want to play collegiate sports, there are probably many things that cross your mind. Will I receive a scholarship? What schools will recruit me? Can playing sports in college help my chances to turn pro? These are all valid questions as they will help guide you in making one of the most important decisions in your life. However, they may not be the most important questions you should be asking. Many prospective student-athletes forget the first part about being a student-athlete: being a student.
Each year there are thousands of student-athletes that miss an opportunity to play collegiate sports because they failed to meet the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) initial eligibility academic requirements. To be eligible to begin practicing and competing in the first semester of your freshman year, you must meet the NCAA’s baseline academic requirements. Keep in mind, however, that individual institutions have the final say with regards to admission and they may have their own requirements that are stricter than the NCAA’s. The NCAA academic requirements include a minimum GPA of 2.3 in 16 core courses for Division I and 2.2 in 16 core courses for Division II, standardized test scores from either the SAT or ACT, and registration with the NCAA eligibility center (eligibilitycenter.org). Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students that enroll in a college or university for the 2021-22 academic year will not have to provide SAT/ACT scores for initial eligibility as deemed by the NCAA. However, we recommend you check with your prospective school, as they may still require standardized scores for admissions eligibility. As always, be diligent in your research and ask admissions officers or the school’s coaches when in doubt.
With COVID-19 creating so much uncertainty within academic institutions, it is more important now than ever to be prepared and informed. It is also important to ensure you are staying on track in your core courses with many schools revising or altering their curriculum due to distanced learning. The last thing you want to happen is to have an offer from the school of your dreams, just to have it rescinded or have to sit out once arriving on campus because you are unable to meet the minimum requirements. For more information or assistance with staying on track, ARISE is here to help! Select the ‘Join Now’ tab where you can create an account and have all the information you need to ensure you are prepared and ready to succeed both athletically and academically.