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High school athletes must satisfy the NCAA academic requirements to be certified as a Qualifier and be eligible to compete and receive an athletic scholarship in their freshman year at an NCAA Division I or Division II university.

High schools shifting to online instruction or taking other action due to COVID-19 could have a negative impact on a recruit’s opportunity to satisfy the academic requirements for Division I and Division II eligibility.

As of the date of this post,  the NCAA Eligibility Center has not yet issued any official changes or adjustments to these academic requirements. However, the Eligibility Center will be conferring with NCAA Division I and II governing committees and is expected to release information on possible changes soon.

High school recruits and families should be aware that the NCAA freshman academic requirements to be certified as a Qualifier are also important if your athlete is planning to attend a two-year college before transferring to an NCAA university.

Recruits who are not certified as an NCAA Qualifier by the Eligibility Center will have more extensive academic requirements to satisfy while attending a two-year college in order to be eligible when they transfer to an NCAA university.

Do You Have Questions?

If you are concerned about the impact of online instruction on your academic eligibility, we offer confidential phone consultations. We’ll answer all your questions, discuss the possible impact on your athlete’s eligibility due to COVID-19, and suggest options for your athlete to consider. Schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consult online here, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

If you are a parent of a high school athlete who is taking online courses of any kind, we advise you to make sure that those courses will be accepted as “Core Courses” by the NCAA Eligibility Center so that the athlete can be classified as a Qualifier.

We were recently contacted by the parent of a high school senior who just learned that nearly all of the courses that his daughter took online will not be accepted by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Do you Have Questions?

For questions about NCAA core course requirements, schedule a confidential Eligibility Consult online, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

We can also provide our Freshman Transcript Review Service to provide a written report on your athlete’s progress toward becoming a Qualifier to be eligible for a scholarship, practice, and competition as a freshman.

In a recent post, we discussed the Importance of NCAA Qualifier Status for High School Athletes. If a high school athlete doesn’t meet the initial NCAA academic eligibility requirements, they are classified as a Non-Qualifier.  They then have several hurdles to jump before they can be eligible at an NCAA DI or DII school.

When I worked on campus, the hardest thing I had to do was tell an athlete they were not academically eligible to play the sport they loved.  The sad thing is that it is a preventable situation.

We created Informed Athlete’s Freshman Eligibility & Transcript Review service so we can help high school athletes and parents be better informed and prepared without unpleasant or costly mistakes.

With a Freshman Transcript Review Service, we will:

  • Compare the courses completed with the courses approved by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Review your ACT or SAT test scores, and determine the GPA that will be needed for eligibility,
  • Provide a written assessment of the subjects that need to be completed to satisfy initial eligibility requirements.
  • Suggest steps and discuss a plan of action that may be available to satisfy eligibility requirements.

To Schedule a Freshman Transcript Review

If you are interested in this service, you can schedule a Freshman Transcript Review online, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Not being classified as an NCAA Qualifier out of high school can cause all kinds of problems for student-athletes throughout their college career.  Many high school athletes fall through the cracks and don’t meet the academic requirements to be classified as an NCAA Qualifier because they:

  • Don’t know what “Qualifier Status” is,
  • Weren’t planning early enough in high school, or
  • Had bad or incorrect advice regarding college athletic eligibility

The following 3 common scenarios show how important it is for high school athletes and their families to know and understand NCAA Qualifier Status.

My athlete plans to go to an NCAA DI or DII school out of high school:

If an athlete doesn’t meet the NCAA Division I or DII requirements for freshman eligibility because they didn’t take the required core courses, or don’t have the necessary GPA, SAT or ACT test score, the athlete:

  • Cannot receive an athletic scholarship during their freshman year unless the requirements for “Academic Redshirt” or “Partial Qualifier” are met.
  • Will NOT be eligible to compete with the team during their freshman year.
  • Will not be eligible to practice with the team or attend weight training with their team.

My athlete plans to go to an NCAA DIII School:

Qualifier Status is a factor if your high school athlete goes to an NCAA DIII school and then decides to transfer to a DI or DII school before they complete a full year of school.

My athlete is going to a Junior College out of high school and then plans to transfer to an NCAA DI or DII.  Does Qualifier Status matter?

The answer is YES, if an athlete goes to a JUCO their freshman year as a non-qualifier, they:

  • Will NOT be eligible to transfer to a Division I program after just one year.
  • Will have more extensive academic requirements at the JUCO to be immediately eligible upon transfer to a Division I or Division II program (more required junior college courses).

If you have questions: 

If you’d like a confidential phone consult to discuss your athlete’s specific situation, schedule an eligibility consult online or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

An NCAA Qualifier is a high-school athlete who has satisfied the NCAA academic requirements to be eligible as a Freshman.

If the NCAA Freshman eligibility requirements are not met, the high-school athlete is classified as anNCAA Non-Qualifier.  Reasons for this frequently include:

  • The high-school athlete didn’t take the NCAA required core courses.
  • Low GPA, SAT or ACT test scores.

A high-school athlete who is classified as an NCAA Non-Qualifier:

  • Cannot receive an athletic scholarship during their freshman year unless the requirements for “Academic Redshirt” are met.
  • Will NOT be eligible to compete with the team during their freshman year.
  • Will not be eligible to practice with the team or attend weight training with their team.

High-school athletes who go to a JUCO their freshman year as an NCAA Non-Qualifier:

  • Will NOT be eligible to transfer to a Division I program after just one year.
  • Will have more extensive academic requirements at the JUCO to be immediately eligible upon transfer to a Division I program (more required junior college courses).

If you’re unsure as to whether your high-school athlete is on track to meet the NCAA Freshman Eligibility Requirements, we can discuss your situation in a confidential consultation. Click here to schedule a confidential consultation or call our office at 913-766-1235.

We also offer NCAA Freshman Transcript Evaluations to assess if your student-athlete is on track and if not, we can provide an action plan of what they will need to do to achieve NCAA Qualifier Status.

If you are not sure you’re on track to be an NCAA Qualifier for Fall 2019, contact us for a Transcript Review and Assessment.
We will evaluate your core courses as well as your estimated core course GPA and your ACT or SAT test score to make sure you’ll satisfy the sliding scale requirement. If you’re not on track, we can help you with an action plan to become eligible or provide you with other options to consider.
The absolute hardest thing I had to do when I was a DI Compliance Director was tell a student-athlete that they weren’t academically eligible to play their sport in college. Don’t let this happen to you!

For more information, give us a call at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com