Each year, the NCAA Eligibility Center outlines academic requirements for all Division 1 athletes. It is imperative that all Division 1 student-athletes meet these requirements in order to be considered a full qualifier. A full qualifier means that the athlete may practice, compete and receive athletics scholarships during their first year of enrollment. To be considered a full qualifier, the athlete must meet at minimum the following requirements:
Complete 16 core courses. 10 of the 16 courses must be completed before the seventh semester (senior year) of high school. Seven of the 10 courses must be in English, math or natural/physical science. Earn a core course GPA of at least 2.300. Earn the ACT/SAT score matching your core course GPA on the Division 1 sliding scale. Graduate high school.
The Division 1 sliding scale highlights what test score the athlete must achieve in order to be considered a full qualifier. This required test score changes based on their core GPA. The higher their core GPA is, the lower their test scores can be. The lower their core GPA is, the higher their test scores must be. The test scores used are the SAT and the ACT sum score. The ACT sum score is the athlete’s English, math, and science subscores all combined. The student-athlete is allowed to take both the ACT and the SAT as many times as they want to up to the point of enrollment.
When an athlete does not meet all of the criteria to be considered a full qualifier, they may be considered an academic redshirt. An academic redshirt means that the athlete can receive athletic scholarship and attend practice during their first year of enrollment, but they may NOT compete during their first year. To be considered an academic redshirt, the student-athlete must meet the meet at minimum the following requirements:
Complete 16 core courses. Earn a core course GPA of at least 2.000. Earn the ACT/SAT score matching your core-course GPA on the Division 1 sliding scale. Graduate high school.
Lastly, if the student-athlete does NOT meet the requirements to be an academic redshirt, then they are considered a nonqualifier. They will be unable to receive athletic scholarship, practice, or compete during their first year. The nonqualifying athlete will still have to make sure that they graduate high school with the mandatory core course requirements. The 16 core course requirements are:
English: 4 years Math (Algebra 1 or higher): 3 years Natural/Physical Science: 2 years Additional English, Math, or Natural/Physical Science: 1 year Social Science: 2 years Additional Courses (any of the above areas, foreign language, or comparative religion/philosophy): 4 years
If a nonqualifying athlete does not meet the high school core course requirements prior to their high school graduation, then they will not be eligible to be a Division 1 athlete.
This information was taken from the D1 Fact Sheet found in the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Hailey attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Her experience began with working in the recruiting department of TCU Football for her entire four years of college. She then moved on to work for the Dallas Cowboys as a member of the promotions team. She now lives in Denver, Colorado to contribute her knowledge of the college football recruiting process to Student-Athlete Showcase.