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To be eligible to compete in NCAA sports during your first year, you must meet academic requirements for your core courses, grade-point average (GPA) and test scores. The rules can be a little complicated and they vary a little between Division I and Division II, but here are the highlights:
- The NCAA actually calculates your grade-point average (GPA) based on the grades you earn in NCAA-approved core courses.
- You must complete 16 core courses.
- Your NCAA GPA is calculated on a 4.0 scale. If you enroll before August 1, 2016 you must have a 2.0 GPA in your NCAA core courses. The requirements go up after August 1, 2016.
- Numeric grades such as 92 or 87 are changed to letter grades such as A or B.
- The NCAA Eligibility Center does not use plus or minus grades when calculating GPA.
Honors or advanced courses may improve your core-course GPA but your high school must notify the NCAA Eligibility Center that it weights grades in these classes.
Here’s the bottom line. You have to pay attention to your grades and test scores starting in your freshman year. If you are unsure about your NCAA academic eligibility, then go to the NCAA website and make sure you don’t have a problem.