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A Quick Course In Academic Eligibility
And "Qualifying" Under NCAA Rules?--(April 17, 1998)

All right, if you read our last article on the SAT/ACT, you know what a "qualifying" or "passing" score on the SAT or ACT is. If you don't, then you didn't read our last article. Go read it first. You know, the one entitled "What it Really Means When An Athlete Says He or She "Passed" the SAT." Yes, that's az link. Really, go read it. Then come back and finish reading here.

Because that SAT or ACT score is just half the battle. Actually, it's really only about 1/5th the battle.

You've still got to complete what the NCAA calls it's "Core" curriculum. Remember, we're talking Division I only here. Division II and III have their own requirements which are different. So keep that in mind. (We'll cover those later).

Remember the NCAA "Qualifier Index" chart? If you don't, that was just another link. It will take you there. Go back and look at it again. Now.

Good. Now that we're done with the numbers, you recall that in order to "qualify" the GPA must be between a minimum range of 2.0 to 2.5 (from the chart, remember?). So the question arises: "In which courses do I need to get that GPA?"

No, your auto shop classes don't count; home economics doesn't count either, and neither do all those A's you've been getting in PE or Art (unless the Art course is one which qualifies as the "extra" course referred to below, like "Philosophy of Art" or "Art History").

Nope, the GPA has to pretty much be in the hard-core academic subject. Math. Science. Languages. You must, in order to be a full "qualifier", complete the following Academic Requirements (unless you want to be a "partial qualifier" and not all schools take partial qualifiers). Remember, the idea is actually to get into a college. You must "qualify" or that offer to play ball really means nothing.

Here are the course requirements, direct from the NCAA (with some helpful editing by SoCalHoops):

Division I Academic Eligibility Requirements
If you're first entering a Division I college on or after August 1, 1996, or thereafter, in order to be considered a "qualifier," you're required to:

  1. At least four years in English;
  2. Two years in Math (one year of Algebra and one year of geometry, or one year of a geometry and another higher-level math course which requires that you take geometry first);
  3. Two years in social science;
  4. Two years in natural or physical science (including at least one laboratory class, if offered by your high school);
  5. One additional course in English, math or natural or physical science; and
  6. Two additional academic courses (which may be taken from the already-mentioned categories, e.g., foreign language, computer science, philosophy)

There now. Isn't that simple? Lots of English, some math, science, social science, physical science, more English, math, science, and maybe some foreign language. A score of not less than 820-1010, and a GPA in these subjects of 2.0 or better.

Now, get to work.

The Swish Award
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