Home Career NCAA Permanently Eliminates SAT, ACT Requirements for Division I, II Student-Athletes

NCAA Permanently Eliminates SAT, ACT Requirements for Division I, II Student-Athletes


A quick dive:

  • Last month, the NCAA permanently eliminated the requirement that Division I and II freshman athletes receive a qualifying SAT or ACT score to participate in sports.
  • The shift results from the NCAA plan to promote racial justice, which entailed examining requirements for athletes such as entrance testing.
  • NCAA officials dropped those testing mandates starting in 2020 as COVID-19 began to spread and shut down typical testing sites.

Dive Insight:

Historically, freshmen who wish to practice, compete and receive athletic financial aid in the top two athletic divisions must obtain a minimum SAT or ACT score.

High school athletes’ GPA determines the qualifying score — the higher a student’s GPA, the lower their required score must be.

Colleges in Division III set their own standards for acceptance.

However, when COVID-19 hit the world, the NCAA dropped the testing requirement. Many locations where students normally take the SAT or ACT were closed, limiting students’ access to the exams.

These restrictions have prompted institutions to relax entrance exam requirements. And while pandemic-era restrictions have since been rolled back, many colleges have maintained test-optional policies in the general undergraduate admissions process.

Proponents of test-optional admissions argue that the tests disadvantage vulnerable applicants who cannot afford the same extensive education as their more affluent peers.

With some colleges opting out of entrance testing, NCAA officials felt the same standards should apply to eligible athletes, said Linda Tiller, the University of Florida’s executive associate director of athletics and chair of the Division I board. the statement said.

The Division I Council, one of the NCAA’s governing bodies, voted to eliminate standardized testing requirements at the association’s annual meeting in January. Representatives of the II division separately did the same at the meeting.

Athletes may still need to take the SAT or ACT for colleges that have not waived their own testing requirements for general admission. Some athletic scholarships also require test scores.

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