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For 75 percent of college student-athletes, they will have no issue meeting the academic minimums laid out by the NCAA. That said, just because you are a good student doesn’t mean you can assume you will meet the academic eligibility rules. Every year, student-athletes with 3.5+ GPAs and honors courses are declared academically ineligible due to not meeting one of the following NCAA eligibility requirements.
The cornerstone of the amateurism rules is that student-athletes are not allowed to have received prize money (beyond the reimbursement for participation); they can’t have signed a contract with or receive benefits from an agent; they can’t receive money for promotion of products or services; and they are not allowed to make money by use of their athletic ability or fame. Additionally, student-athletes are prohibited from delaying their full-time collegiate enrollment to compete in organized sports.
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Insider Tip: The NCAA does not answer questions about what you can and can’t do regarding amateurism. If you have questions about maintaining your amateurism status, you can get more information on our amateurism rules page.
If you are enrolling BEFORE August 1, 2018 (Class of 2017)
If you are enrolling AFTER August 1, 2018 (Class of 2018 and later)
Division III schools are responsible for setting their own academic eligibility rules. If you are going to be competing for a DIII institution, or if you are unsure what division level you’ll be competing at, you can start with a free NCAA Profile page. If you do decide to pursue a DI or DII program, you can always transition to a Certification Account later.Back to Top ^
The NCAA will only review an athlete’s eligibility status if their status has been requested by a DI or DII college. This process will begin once you graduate high school, complete a minimum of 16 core courses—with a minimum 2.3 GPA average in these courses—and earn a qualifying ACT or SAT test score. You also need to request your final amateurism certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center. Once the NCAA reviews your account, they will assign you an “Academic Status.” Here are the various statuses you could receive and what they mean: