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How to remain eligible in high school so you can compete in the NCAA 

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What GPA Do You Need to Get Into a DI College?

DI Academic Requirements

​​Division I uses a sliding scale to match SAT/ACT scores and core-course grade-point averages to determine eligibility. The sliding scale balances your test score with your GPA. If you have a low test score, you need a higher GPA to be eligible. If you have a low GPA, you need a higher test score to be eligible.​​

Click here to see the NCAA DI GPA and Test Score Sliding Scale to see where you fall under the guidelines.
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To compete at a DI school you need to graduate high school meeting all of the requirements listed below:

Complete these 16 core courses and graduate from high school:
  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)
  • 2 years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if offered by your high school)
  • 1 extra year of English, math, or natural or physical science
  • 2 years of social science
  • 4 years of extra core courses (from any category above, or foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy)
  • Earn a minimum required grade-point average in your core courses
  • Earn a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches your core-course grade-point average and test score sliding scale (for example: A 2.400 core-course grade-point average needs an 860 SAT).

Redshirt Requirements 

Don't Meet the Requirements for DI? 

Complete 16 core courses:
  • Four years of English
  • Three years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)
  • Two years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it)
  • One additional year of English, math or natural/physical science
  • Two years of social science
  • Four additional years of English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy
  • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA in your core courses.
  • Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA on the Division I sliding scale.


If you have not met all the Division I academic requirements, you may not compete in your first year at college. However, if you qualify as an academic redshirt you may practice during your first term in college and receive an athletics scholarship for the entire year.


DII Academic Requirements 

To be eligible to compete in the NCAA in your sport during your first year at a Division II college, there are certain academic requirements for need to fulfill in your core courses, in your grade-point average (GPA) and your standardized test scores. You should take note that the requirements for students who enroll full-time at a Division II school after August 1 of 2018 are changing. 

If you enroll BEFORE August 1, 2018  you must graduate high school meeting all the requirements listed below:

Complete 16 core courses:
  • Three years of English.
  • Two years of math (Algebra 1 or higher).
  • Two years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it).
  • Three additional years of English, math or natural or physical science.
  • Two years of social science.
  • Four additional years of English, math, natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy.
  • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA in your core courses.
  • Earn a SAT combined score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68.  

If you enroll AFTER August 1, 2018 you must graduate high school and meet ALL the following requirements:

Complete 16 core courses:
  • Three years of English.
  • Two years of math (Algebra 1 or higher).
  • Two years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it).
  • Three additional years of English, math or natural or physical science.
  • Two years of social science.
  • Four additional years of English, math, natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy.
  • Earn at least a 2.2 GPA in your core courses.
  • Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA on the Division II sliding scale, which balances your test score and core-course GPA. If you have a low test score, you need a higher core-course GPA to be eligible. If you have a low core-course GPA, you need a higher test score to be eligible.

What GPA Do You Need to Get Into a DII College?

Beginning August 1st of 2018, you must earn at least a 2.2 GPA in NCAA core courses along with the corresponding required test score to compete in Division II sports as a college freshman.  

To be able to practice and receive a scholarship, you must earn at least a 2.0 GPA along with the corresponding required test score in NCAA-approved core courses.

Check the NCAA DI GPA and Test Score Sliding Scale to see where you fall under the guidelines.
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Don't Meet the Academic Requirements? 

If you enroll BEFORE August 1, 2018:​

If you enroll full-time at a DII school before Aug. 1, 2018, and you haven't met all of the Division II academic requirements listed above, you may not compete in your first year of competition. However, if you meet the requirements to be a partial qualifier, you may practice and receive an athletics scholarship in your first year at college. In order to become a partial qualifier, you need to graduate from high school and meet ONE of the following requirements:

Earn a 2.0 GPA in 16 core courses:
  • Three years of English.
  • Two years of math (Algebra 1 or higher).
  • Two years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it).
  • Three additional years of English, math or natural or physical science
  • Two years of social science
  • Four additional years of English, math, natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy
  • Earn an SAT combined score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68. Remember, if you took the SAT on or after March 2016 you need to compare your score on the College Board concordance table. The 820 score is after the concordance table is applied.


If you enroll AFTER August 1, 2018:

If you enroll full-time at a Division II school after Aug. 1, 2018, and you have not met all the Division II academic requirements, you may not compete in your first year. However, if you meet the requirements to be a partial qualifier, you may practice and receive an athletics scholarship in your first year at college. To be a partial qualifier, you must graduate high school and meet ALL the following requirements:

Complete 16 core courses:
  • Three years of English.
  • Two years of math (Algebra 1 or higher).
  • Two years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it).
  • Three additional years of English, math or natural or physical science.
  • Two years of social science.
  • Four additional years of English, math, natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophyEarn at least a 2.0 GPA in your core courses.
  • Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA on the Division II sliding scale.

DIII Academic Requirements 

  • If you are interested in competing at the NCAA DIII level you do not need to register with the NCAA.


  • DIII institutions are typically much more leniant in their academic requirements and in general the NCAA has no academic requirements for DIII athletes.
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  • Each institution is different within DIII and usually each school sets their own academic standards for student athletes and financial aid.


  • To be sure you are fully aware of the academic requirements that you need to complete in high school to apply to a DIII school, it is in your best interest to research which schools you are interested in playing for on the Sports Thread, use the email templates provided by Sports Thread to establish a relationship with the coach at that school and eventually ask them for the standards at their school. 
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