October 20, 2015
As we kick off a new academic year, it is an appropriate time to remind you of the changes in NCAA Division I initial-eligibility academic standards effective for the class of 2016. Originally adopted in October 2011, the new standards were developed based on a substantial review of national data and later revised in response to feedback from a number of stakeholders.
Specifically, the new Division I standards increase the minimum required high school core grade point average from 2.00 to 2.30. This increase is based on research showing that student-athletes with high school GPAs below 2.30 are at substantial risk for academic difficulties in college. The new standards also require prospective Division I student-athletes to pass ten NCAA-approved core courses (seven in English, math or natural/physical sciences) before the start of their seventh high school semester. This standard was designed to discourage the educationally-inappropriate practice of completing high numbers of credits during a single academic year or semester in order to meet NCAA initial-eligibility requirements. The new requirements also introduce a separate academic redshirt standard which, if met, allows for students to receive an athletics scholarship and practice with their team even though they may not compete during their first year on campus.
Recent survey data indicates almost 90 percent of high school administrators have a working knowledge of the new standards. These new standards will help ensure college-bound student-athletes are prepared for the academic rigors of college and provide a mechanism (academic redshirt year) to successfully transition those who need additional help. Please help us by continuing to get the word out by sharing these resources within your networks so all college-bound student-athletes have the opportunity to participate in and benefit from a collegiate athletic experience.
We appreciate all you do to help your students succeed on the field and in the classroom.
Have a great year!
Sharon Cessna Ryan Tressel
Director of Championships Assistant Director of Championships
cc: Division I Men’s Soccer Committee
Division I Women’s Soccer Committee
Selected NCAA Staff Members