Eligibility FAQ

When should a student register with the NCAA Eligibility Center?

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

What is the fee to register?
The registration fee for U.S. students is $70.

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 and II) core courses;
3. Present the required grade-point average (GPA) (see the Freshman Eligibility Standards Quick Reference Sheet 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 Freshman Eligibility Standards Quick Reference Sheet); and
5. Request final amateurism certification (beginning April 1 for fall enrollees or beginning October 1 for spring enrollees).

How do I know if the courses I am taking will count as core courses?
You need to look at your high school’s list of NCAA courses.

*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 NCAA 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?
Maybe, these grades may satisfy your core-course requirements. The NCAA Eligibility Center will assign your high school’s lowest passing grade for a pass/fail class so long as the course receives credit toward graduation.

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 list of NCAA courses.

May independent-study, Internet and correspondence courses count as core courses?
Yes, if the following four conditions are met (beginning August 1, 2010):
1. Courses that are taught through distance learning, online, credit recovery, etc. need to be comparable in length, content and rigor to courses taught in a traditional classroom setting. Students may not skip lessons or test out of modules. The course must be four-year college preparatory.
2. All courses must include ongoing access between the instructor and student, as well as regular interaction for purposes of teaching, evaluating and providing assistance. This may include, for example, exchanging of e-mails between the student and teacher, feedback on assignments, and the opportunity for the teacher to engage the student in individual instruction. Any course taken must have a defined time period for completion. For example, it should be clear whether the course is meant to be taken for an entire semester or during a more condensed time frame, such as six weeks, etc.
3. Nontraditional courses should be clearly identified as such on the high school transcript.

Nontraditional courses completed prior to August 1, 2010, will be reviewed under NCAA standards in place prior to August 1, 2010.

It is important to remember that all courses need to be rigorous and four-year college preparatory in nature. Students should be encouraged to take courses that are quantitatively and qualitatively the same as courses offered through traditional means, and to take courses that will prepare them for the academic rigors they will face at a four-year college or university.

To read more about this new rule, go to www.eligibilitycenter.org and click the “High School Administrators Enter Here” link, then the “Resources” page and read the documents related to online/virtual/credit recovery courses.

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 list of NCAA courses. The high school’s list of NCAA 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.)

May my study in a foreign country help me meet core-course requirements?
If you attended a secondary school outside the United States for all or part of grades nine through 12, different evaluation procedures will be applied to your international education documents. You must submit original-language documents with certified translations for NCAA Eligibility Center evaluation.

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.

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 time (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) prior to full-time collegiate enrollment. 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 NCAA Eligibility Center.
For students with diagnosed disabilities.
• For Division I only,
beginning August 1, 2010, a student must graduate “on time” in order to use up to three (3) additional approved core courses taken before full-time enrollment in college.
For Division II only, students may use any approved core courses taken before full-time enrollment in college.
For Divisions I and II, students may use courses for students with education-impacting disabilities that are designated on the high school’s list of NCAA courses.

For more information regarding education-impacting disabilities, see the Frequently Asked Questions on Students with Disabilities page located at www.eligibilitycenter.org, then click “NCAA College-Bound Student-Athletes” and then “Resources.” It is located under the “U.S. Students” section.

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 NCAA 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.

May a nonstandard ACT/SAT exam be used for initial eligibility?
Yes. Students with diagnosed education-impacting disabilities may take a nonstandard ACT or SAT exam. The test score must be provided to the NCAA Eligibility Center from the testing agency, just as any other test score.

How are students prioritized for processing at the NCAA Eligibility Center?
Students who have their status requested by an NCAA college or university are prioritized by the NCAA Eligibility Center for processing. If a student’s eligibility status is never requested by a college or university, the NCAA Eligibility Center may not process such a student’s certification.

*If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact the NCAA Eligibility Center’s customer service staff at 877/262-1492.

Source: NCAA Eligibility Center