Requirements for Athletic Scholarshipssports_money1

EVERY high school student-athlete who wishes to participate in Division I or Division II college sports   MUST  meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements.

Initial NCAA Eligibility Certification requires successful completion of EACH of the following:

  1. High School Graduation
  2. Amateurism Certification
  3. Completion of 16 Core Courses
  4. Qualifying SAT or ACT Test Score

High School Graduation

You must graduate from high school and earn your high school diploma. You must complete the specified core-course requirement within four consecutive academic years (i.e., eight semesters) from the start of ninth grade.  

Amateurism Certification

In order to receive an athletic scholarship and participate in NCAA Division I and II sports, student-athletes must be certified as an amateur athlete by the NCAA Eligibility Center. 

Student-athletes may participate in amateur sports clubs as long as they do not receive expenses in excess of lodging, travel or equipment for practice or competition. A student-athlete may accept prize money based on performance in an open competition as long as the prize is awarded by the sponsor of the event and the amount of the prize does not exceed the student-athlete’s competition expenses.

Completion of 16 Core Courses

NCAA Division I and II require the completion of 16 core courses. Here’s the breakdown:

Core Course Requirements

Division I

Division II




Mathematics (algebra I or higher)



Natural/Physical Science



Social Science



Additional English, Math or N/P Science



Additional courses (foreign language, nondoctrinal religion/philosophy, or any area listed above)






Division I student-athletes that enter college on or after August 1, 2016 must complete a minimum of 10 core courses prior to the start of the seventh semester of high school (senior year).

Additionally, 7 of the 10 must be a combination of English, math or natural or physical science that meet the distribution requirements.  These 10 courses become “locked in” and cannot be retaken for grade improvement (for eligibility consideration) after the seventh semester (senior year) begins.

Qualifying SAT or ACT Test Score

Division I uses a sliding scale to determine the required test scores based on core course GPA. The full sliding scale is contained in the MyPath2d1 smartphone app.

Division II requires a minimum SAT score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68.

The SAT score is the sum of the critical reading and math sections.  The writing section of the SAT is not used.  The ACT score is the sum of the English, Mathematics, Reading and Science sections.

When registering for the SAT or ACT test, use the NCAA Eligibility Center code of 9999 to ensure all SAT and ACT scores are reported directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center from the testing agency.  Test scores that appear on transcripts will not be used.

Get the MyPath2d1 smartphone app to keep up-to-date on the changing requirements.