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Academic Eligibility

Frequently Asked Questions

When should a student register with the NCAA Eligibility Center?

Students should register with the Eligibility Center at the beginning of their junior year in high school. At the end of the student's junior year, a transcript, which includes six semesters of grades, should be sent to the Eligibility Center from the high school. Additionally, students should have their SAT or ACT scores forwarded directly to the Eligibility Center (by using code "9999") whenever they take the exam.

What requirements do I need to be able to practice, play and get a scholarship at an NCAA Division I or II college or university?

You need to complete the following:

1. Graduate from high school;

2. Complete a minimum of 16 (for Division I) or 14 (for Division II) core courses;

3. Present the required grade-point average (GPA) (see the sliding scale in the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete for Division I or a minimum 2.0 GPA for Division II);

4. Present a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT (see the sliding scale in the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete); and

5. Complete the amateurism questionnaire and request final amateurism certification.

How do I know if the courses I am taking will count as core courses?

You need to look at your high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses. Follow these steps:

1. Go to the NCAA Eligibility Center Web site at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net;

2. Click on "General Information";

3. Click on "List of Approved Core Courses";

4. Input your high school's CEEB code (if you know it) or search by your high school's name and state; and

5. Review the list.

*Very important: If a core course you took is not on the list, it will not be used in your eligibility determination. Courses that appear on your transcript must exactly match what is on the list.

What do I do if a core course I took is not on the list?

See your high school counselor immediately. Someone at your high school is responsible for keeping your high school's list updated. It is important your high school does this each year to make sure the core courses you are taking appear on the list.

What is the lowest grade that will be used for a course to count as a core course?

Follow your high school's policy regarding its lowest passing grade. If the Eligibility Center does not have this policy, the lowest passing grade that will be used is D.

Will credit-by-exam courses meet core-course requirements?

No. Courses completed through credit-by-exam will not be used. Are vocational courses acceptable? No. Traditional vocational courses (e.g., typing, auto mechanics, driver's education and health) are not acceptable.

Do pass/fail grades count?

Yes, these grades may satisfy your core-course requirements. The Eligibility Center will assign your high school's lowest passing grade for a pass/fail class.

May courses taken in the eighth grade that are high school core courses (e.g., Algebra I, Spanish 1, Freshman Composition) be used to meet the core-course requirement?

A high school course taken in the eighth grade may be used if the course is on the high school transcript with a grade and credit and if the course is on the high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses.

May independent-study, Internet and correspondence courses count as core courses? Yes, if the following four conditions are met:

1. The course meets core-course requirements;

2. You and the instructor have access to each other during the course so that the instructor can teach, evaluate and provide assistance to you;

3. Appropriate academic authorities evaluate your work according to the high school's academic policies; and

4. The course is acceptable for any student to take and is placed on your high school transcript.

May college courses count as core courses?

College courses may be used to satisfy core-curriculum requirements if the courses are accepted and awarded credit by the high school for any student and meet all other requirements for core courses. For NCAA Division I only, such courses must be placed on the student's high school transcript. Courses taken at a college will NOT appear on the high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses. The high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses will include only those courses taught/offered by the high school.

How are courses taken over two years counted?

A one-year course that is spread over a longer period of time is considered one course and will receive a maximum of one core-course credit. (Example: Algebra 1, spread over two years, would receive one unit of credit.)

How is my core-course GPA calculated?

Your core-course GPA is the average of your best grades achieved for all required core courses. If you have taken extra core courses, those courses will be used in your GPA, only if they improve your GPA.

Can weighted grades for honors or advanced-placement courses be factored into the calculation of the student's core GPA?

A school's normal practice of weighting honors or advanced courses may be used, as long as the weighting is used for computing GPAs. Weighting cannot be used if the high school weights grades for the purpose of determining class rank. Additionally, in no instance may the student receive greater than 1.000 additional quality points for purposes of calculating the GPA for initial eligibility.

How is the NCAA core GPA different from a student's overall GPA?

The NCAA core-course GPA is calculated using only NCAA-approved core courses in the required number of core units. High school GPAs generally include the grades from most or all courses attempted in grades nine through 12.

Will courses taken after my senior year meet core-course requirements?

For Division I, maybe. Only courses completed in grades nine through 12 will qualify as core courses for Division I. If you graduate from high school on schedule (in eight semesters) with your incoming ninth grade class, you may use one core course completed in the year after graduation (summer or academic year). You may complete the core course at a location other than the high school from which you graduated and may initially enroll full time at a collegiate institution at any time after completion of the core course.

For Division II, yes. All core courses completed before your full-time enrollment at any college may be used by the Eligibility Center.

For Division I students with diagnosed disabilities, yes. If you have a properly diagnosed and documented disability, you may use one or more core courses completed after high school but before full-time enrollment in college.

How does the NCAA treat courses similar in content?

Some approved core courses might be considered duplicates. That is, the content of one course is the same as that of another, even though the classes might have different titles. If you have taken two classes considered to be duplicates, you will receive only one core-course credit (typically for the course with the higher grade). Please ask your high school counselor if you have questions about duplicate courses.

May courses taken at high school "A" be accepted if they appear on high school "B's" transcript?

No. High school "A" may provide the Eligibility Center with an official copy of high school "B's" transcript, but grades from one high school cannot be accepted on another high school's transcript.

Does the prohibition against special education, remedial or compensatory courses apply to students with education-impacted disabilities?

No. In order for courses designated for students with education-impacted disabilities to be approved, the course must be substantially comparable, qualitatively and quantitatively, as a regular core course offered in that academic area.

Can students with a diagnosed education-impacted disability use courses that are designated for students with an education-impacted disability to meet NCAA core-course requirements?

Students with appropriately diagnosed education-impacted disabilities may use courses for students with education-impacted disabilities for the purpose of meeting NCAA core-course requirements. Courses for students with education-impacted disabilities must appear on the high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses in order for a student to receive NCAA credit for the course.

May a nonstandard ACT/SAT exam be used for initial eligibility?

Yes. Students with diagnosed education-impacted disabilities may take a nonstandard ACT or SAT exam. The test score must be provided to the Eligibility Center from the testing agency, just as any other test score.

How are students prioritized for processing at the Eligibility Center?

Students who have their status requested by an NCAA institution are prioritized by the Eligibility Center for processing. If a student's eligibility status is never requested by a member institution, the Eligibility Center may not process such a student's status. *If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact the Eligibility Center's customer service staff at 877/262-1492.

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