NCAA Sliding Scale
Impact of COVID-19 on NCAA eligibility: The NCAA Eligibility Center loosened standards for students who initially enroll full-time during the 2021–22 academic year and intend to play D1 or D2 sports. Students won’t be required to take the ACT or SAT by the NCAA. Additionally, the use of pass/fail grades for core course requirements has been extended through the 2020–21 academic year. To keep track of updates that will impact eligibility for current and future recruiting classes, NCSA will continue to share information on our coronavirus resources page.
When you are trying to determine the GPA or SAT/ACT test scores you need to be NCAA eligible, you must reference the NCAA sliding scale. The NCAA sliding scale is designed so that if you have a higher GPA, you can have lower SAT/ACT scores. If you have really strong test scores, you can have a lower GPA.
Insider Tip: The NCAA uses the “core course GPA.” This is different than the GPA on your high school transcripts. Each year, a small group of student-athletes will assume that because they are on track to graduate high school, they are on track to be NCAA eligible, but they are different things. Go here to calculate your core course GPA.
Academics are very important when it comes to earning a roster spot and securing scholarship money. College coaches do not want to worry about how athletes are doing in the classroom and whether they are staying eligible to compete. That’s why they recruit good students. Check out this video to see how the NCAA factors in both grades and test scores in eligibility requirements.
What is a Good SAT and ACT score?
The most common question that athletes and families ask us about the ACT and SAT tests is regarding what score qualifies as good. The national average on the ACT is a 21 and the national average on the SAT is a 1070. With that said, these are relative scores and you’ll have to gather more information when applying to colleges. In this video, Tom Ehlers, President and Founder of Method Test Prep, breaks down what you need to know.
NCAA SAT requirements: How to send your SAT scores to the NCAA
The NCAA uses what is called a “combined SAT” test score. This means you add the math and reading scores and do not use the written score when determining your NCAA eligibility. You can take the SAT as many times as necessary during high school. The NCAA will use your highest single math and reading score and add them together for your best SAT combined score.
How to send your SAT scores to the NCAA: The NCAA only accepts test scores sent directly from the College Board.
- Sending test scores when registering: When you are registering for the SAT, enter the code “9999” in the area identifying the schools you would like your test scores sent.
- Sending test scores after you have taken the SAT: If you have already taken the SAT, you have two options. You can send your scores to the NCAA for free up to nine days after the test date. However, if it’s been more than nine days, you will need to go to the college board website to have test scores sent. Be advised this will cost $12, but there are fee waivers available.
SAT Concordance Score: The College Board organization changed the SAT test in the spring of 2016. If you took the SAT before then, you likely took the old version and will need to use the concordance table to convert those scores into the ones now used by the NCAA.
NCAA ACT requirements: How to send your ACT scores to the NCAA
The NCAA sliding scale uses your “ACT sum score.” This is calculated by adding together your English, math, reading and science scores. You can take the ACT a total of 12 times during high school, and your top scores in each subject will be used to create your highest ACT score.
How to send your ACT scores to the NCAA: The NCAA will only accept ACT scores sent directly from the ACT organization.
- Sending ACT scores when registering: When you register for the ACT, enter the code “9999” in the area identifying the schools you would like your test results shared with.
- Sending ACT scores after you’ve taken the test: If you have already taken the ACT and need to send scores, go to the ACT website. Be advised, this will cost $38 per test date per report if you tested before 9/1/2016, and $13 per test date per report if you tested after that date.
NCAA D1 Sliding Scale
|Core GPA||New SAT||
|GPA's Below 2.3 Are Redshirt only|
NCAA D2 Sliding Scale
|Use for Division 2 FULL QUALIFIER after August 1, 2018||Use for Division 2 PARTIAL QUALIFIER after August 1, 2018|
|Core GPA||New SAT||Old SAT||ACT||Core GPA||New SAT||Old SAT||ACT|
|3.300 & above||400||400||37||3.050 & above||400||400||37|
|2.250||900||820||68||2.000||900||820 & above||68 & above|
|2.200||920||840 & above||70 & above|