Traditionally, first-year student-athletes competing at NCAA division one and two schools in the US had to earn a minimum qualifying ACT or SAT score, which was determined by their high school GPA (the higher their GPA, the lower their qualifying score could be). However, in January, the NCAA Division I Council and the Division II representatives voted to end standardized testing requirements for their student-athletes.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA waived the testing requirements as many testing centers shut down, limiting students’ access to exams. These limitations prompted post-secondary institutions across the US to loosen their entrance exam mandates. Beyond the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the usefulness of these exams in admissions has long been called into question, and supporters of test-blind policies often argue the entrance exams disadvantage vulnerable applicants, who may not have access to the same level of support and tutoring as their wealthier peers.
Even now, with tests readily available, many colleges have remained test-optional, some even moving to completely test-blind policies. Because of this, the NCAA wanted the same standards to apply to their student-athletes.
While this change to the NCAA’s testing requirement is permanent, students may still need to take the ACT or SAT for a college that hasn’t removed its own testing requirement or for some athletic scholarships, so it will be important for students to do their research when making decisions about taking (or not taking) these entrance exams.
If you have questions about becoming a student-athlete in the US, our consultants are ready to help. Contact us today.