- The NCAA last month permanently removed the requirement that Division I and II freshman athletes obtain qualifying SAT or ACT scores to participate in sports.
- The shift stems from the NCAA schedule to promote racial equality, which meant studying the eligibility requirements for athletes, such as entrance tests.
- NCAA officials waived those testing mandates starting in 2020 as COVID-19 began to spread and shut down typical testing sites.
Historically, first-year players who want to practice, compete and receive athletic financial aid in the top two sports divisions have had to earn a minimum SAT or ACT score.
A high school athlete’s 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 eligibility standards.
However, when COVID-19 hit the world, the NCAA dropped the testing requirement. Many locations where students typically take the SAT or ACT were closed, limiting students’ access to the exams.
These restrictions have prompted institutions to relax entrance exams. And while pandemic-era restrictions have since been scaled back, many colleges have maintained elective-exam policies in their general undergraduate admissions process.
Proponents of test-based admissions argue that the tests disadvantage vulnerable applicants who cannot afford the same extensive tutoring as their wealthier peers.
Because some colleges have moved away from entrance exams, NCAA officials believed the same standards should apply to athletes’ eligibility, Lynda Tealer, executive associate director of athletics at the University of Florida and chair of the Division I board, said. he said in a statement.
The Division I Council, one of the NCAA’s governing bodies, voted to end standardized testing requirements at the association’s annual meeting in January. Division II representatives separately he did the same on a meeting.
Athletes may be required to take the SAT or ACT for colleges that have not waived their own testing requirements for general admissions. Some athletic scholarships also require test scores.