NCAA Initial Eligibility Checklist

  • Myth – One needs to be a star athlete to receive scholarship money
  • Myth – If you do not need a scholarship you need not worry about

NCAA eligibility. This applies to all current HS students who seek to play ANY sport at any NCAA school.

  • Myth – If you pass all your classes and graduate on time you will be eligible to accept a scholarship

There are three levels of college sports – Division I, II, and III. Scholarship varies from a full scholarship (tuition, books, room and board) to partial scholarships which may cover a portion of any of the above items. A partial scholarship will reduce the student’s need to seek student loans. NO student-athlete may accept or receive a college scholarship unless they complete the following:

  • Take 16 core courses (different at every school, see guidance counselor)
  • If applying for Division I, maintain Core GPA to correspond with SAT/ACT scores (see Sliding Scale in Guide for the College Bound Athlete)

We strongly suggest that all PSAL student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, guidance counselors and parents download “Guide for the College Bound Athlete” at This process is complicated and to fully understand it will require some time and effort on the part of the student. At the beginning of your second high school semester you must begin planning all your remaining years of high school, yes, all the way through your senior year!!!! The PSAL has created a tool to help you with this –
The “Core Course Game Plan” worksheet. On this worksheet, you will plan all 16 of your courses from beginning to end, as well as track and calculate your core GPA. After you have completed your plan please share it with your guidance counselor and coach.


NCAA Initial Eligibility Checklist NCAA Logo

9th and 10th Grade

  • Start planning now!!!
  • Identify your guidance counselor and ask her/him to clarify the schools’ core courses that are registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center
  • Work with your parent(s)/guardian and guidance counselor to fill out your PSAL “Core Course Gameplan” worksheet
  • Work hard to get the best grades possible, it’s harder to raise your GPA at the end of your high school career than it is to start off on the right track
  • Identify your academic strengths and weaknesses
  • Seek out school resources for college prep (i.e. tutoring, night school, summer school)
  • In the 10th grade, TAKE PSAT, it’s FREE!!!!
  • Visit, to familiarize yourself with the registration process

11th Grade

  • Register to take the ACT, SAT or both and use the Eligibility Center code “9999” as a score recipient.
  • Revisit Core Course Game Plan worksheet and double check to make sure that you are taking courses that match your high school’s NCAA List of Approved Core Courses.
  • Request that your high school guidance counselor send an official transcript to the Eligibility Center after completing your junior year. (The Eligibility Center does NOT accept faxed transcripts.).
  • Prior to registration for your senior year, check with your guidance counselor and the Eligibility Center to determine the number of core courses that need to be complete your senior year.
  • Register for summer school if needed, if you are not on track to graduate in 8 semesters, your eligibility is in jeopardy! The Eligibility Center does not accept credits completed after the eighth semester.

12th Grade

  • Follow-up with Guidance Counselor/College Advisor and revisit Game Plan worksheet.
  • Check again to make sure that you are taking courses that match your high school’s NCAA List of Approved Core Courses.
  • Complete registration with NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • You may take the SAT and/or ACT as often as you feel necessary. The Eligibility Center will use the best scores from each section of the SAT or ACT to determine your best cumulative score.
  • Graduate on time!!! (courses taken after 8th semester are not considered by Eligibility Center)
  • Review your amateurism questionnaire responses and request final amateurism certification beginning April 1 (for fall enrollees) or October 1 (for spring enrollees).

Click here to view the print friendly PDF Version of the NCAA Initial Eligibility Checklist