What is Core Course GPA for Athletes?

What are the Division One Core Courses Required by the NCAA?

Below is info on the NCAA Division One Core Courses. The NCAA requires potential recruits to meet certain core courses to be Division One eligible. Most high school athletes think that the NCAA looks at their entire GPA when determining eligibility status. That is not true. The NCAA is only concerned about your core courses. That means, you cannot use gym class, art class, pottery class and so on to calculate your grade point average. So study up!

Complete 16 Core Courses:

  • ● 4 years of English
  • ● 3 years of mathematics *(algebra 1 or higher)*
  • ● 2 years of natural or physical science *(one year must be a lab science)*
  • ● 1 extra year of English, Math, or Science
  • ● 2 years of social science
  • ● 4 years of extra core courses *(can be from foreign language, philosophy, nondoctrinal religion, or any of the categories above)*

In addition to the 16 core courses you must also…

  • ● Graduate from high school
  • ● Earn a minimum core course GPA of 2.3 and;
  • ● Earn a combined ACT or SAT score with your core course GPA. Use the sliding scale to gauge where you stand.
  • ● Ten (10) core courses completed before the seventh semester; seven (7) of the 10 must be in English, math or natural/physical science. These courses/grades are “locked in” at start of the seventh semester (cannot be repeated for grade-point average [GPA] improvement to meet initial-eligibility requirements for competition).

The NCAA has different core courses requirements for division one, division two, and division 3. You can get to the requirements here.

How to calculate core course GPA?

Core course GPA is calculated differently than your high school GPA. The scale is on an A, B, C, D evaluation with an A worth 4.00, a B worth 3.00, a C worth 2.00, and a D worth 1.00. The NCAA eligibility center does not use plus or minuses (+, -) and the lowest grade you can earn is a D. The NCAA eligibility center uses a scale to measure the length of a class, and its value to your overall GPA. A trimester course is worth .33 units, a semester course is worth .5 units, and a year-long course is worth 1.0 units. Only your best grades from the core courses will be used. You can include other core course scores if they improve your overall GPA. Here is an example for you to calculate your GPA:

  • An “A” in a semester course: 4 x .5 = 2 quality points and .5 credits earned
  • A “B” in a year course: 3 x 1 = 3 quality point and 1 credits earned
  • A “C” in a trimester course: 2 x .33 = .66 quality points and .33 credits earned
  • A “B” in a semester course: 3 x .5 = 1.5 quality points and .5 credits earned

The next step is to calculate your grade point average. Add up your quality points and divide them by the amount of credits you have earned. For this example it would be:

7.16 quality points (.5+3+.66+1.5) divided by 2.33 credits earn (.5+1+.33+.5) for a GPA of 3.07

Your GPA will determine whether or not you qualify to play college athletics. The NCAA does have a sliding scale in place for division one bound athletes that have a lower GPA but higher ACT and/or SAT test scores.

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