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2016 Academic Requirements

2016 Academic Requirements For NCAA Athletes

2016 academic requirements changes are here! While these rules don’t change constantly, when they do, high school athletes really need to pay attention.

Editor’s Note: 2016 academic requirements changes are here! While these rules don’t change constantly, when they do, high school athletes who want to play in college really need to pay attention. The new rules impact every single prospective college athlete starting after August 1, 2016, so unless you’re enrolling in a college or university within the next 10 months, this applies to you! Van O’Banion from Stylin Strings takes us through the changes, and the rationale behind it all.

The When – 2016 Academic Requirements

In 2012 the NCAA changed the academic eligibility requirements for Division 1 students entering college in 2016 and after. This applies to students whose initial full­time collegiate enrollment is after August 1, 2016. This will directly affect every lacrosse player looking forward to playing college lacrosse this upcoming year.


The new requirements will create considerably higher academic standards in order for freshman to play than what will be needed simply to receive financial aid as well as practice therefore creating an academic redshirt year. The new requirements are intended to ensure prospective student­athletes are as prepared to succeed in the classroom as they are in the sport.

Sankofa, Brown, England Lacrosse Scrimmages 2016 Academic Requirements

The Why – 2016 Academic Requirements

The NCAA hopes that this change will prepare every young player with increased academic standards in order to play college ball. “Academics are vitally important and demand just as much attention as athletics, especially in college.” says NCAA president Mark Emmert. “NCAA research indicates student-­athletes in football and men’s basketball will feel the most significant impact from the higher academic standards as those sports regularly post the lowest Academic Progress Rates and Graduation Success Rates”.

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The impact is expected to decrease over time as prospective student­-athletes adjust to the changes and improve their preparation.

The What – 2016 Academic Requirements

The most drastic of the changes affect those players wanting to play Division 1. To be able to play a Division 1 sport in college you must first:

  • Graduate high school.
  • Complete 16 high school core courses in four academic years. Ten core courses,with at least seven in English, math or science, must be completed before you start your seventh semester.
  • Earn at least a 2.300 GPA in your core courses.
  •  Core­course GPA is calculated using the best 16 core courses that meet both progression (10 before seventh semester; seven in English, math orscience; “locked in”) and subject­area requirements.
  • Earn the SAT or ACT score that matches your core­course GPA (minimum 2.300) on the Division I sliding scale.
  • Required Core Courses4 years of English, 3 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of natural or physical science­ (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it), 1 additional year of English, math or natural or physical science, *2 years of social science; and *4 years of additional courses (any area above, foreign language or comparative religion/philosophy)

Not all high school classes are NCAA core courses. A core course prepares you for a four­year college and is taught at or above your high school’s regular academic level. Visit eligibilitycenter.org for a full list of your high school’s core courses.

There is a stark difference between the Division 1 and Division 2 requirements . This applies to students whose initial full­time collegiate enrollment is before August 1, 2018. To be eligible to play lacrosse at a Division 2 school you must:

  • – Graduate high school.
  • Complete 16 high school core courses
  • Earn at least a 2.000 GPA in your high school core courses.
  • Earn a combined SAT score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68.

For student­-athletes whose initial full­time collegiate enrollment is after August 1, 2018 you must:

  • ­ Graduate high school.
  • Complete 16 high school core courses.
  • Earn at least a 2.200 GPA in your core courses.
  • Earn the SAT or ACT score that matches your core­course GPA (minimum 2.200) on the Division II sliding scale.

Division 3 programs do not require registration with the NCAA so there are no academic eligibility requirements. Division 3 programs do not offer athletic scholarships, although 75% of D3 athletes receive some form of need or merit based financial aid.

The How – 2016 Academic Requirements

These are major changes that are going to affect college sports as we have previously known them to be. The new standards are demanding prospective athletes to be aware of their academic decisions as early as the 9th grade.

This will do away with college freshman athletes going to school based on athleticism alone, there is no freshman pass anymore. As Dick Vitale says “The NCAA is sending a loud and clear message to coaches and administrators alike. They want players that have a legitimate chance of being productive college student-­athletes.”

EN: Thanks to StylinStrings for the info! Here’s a little bonus for those who might need a new college legal pocket – 10% OFF!

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