Academic Eligibility

Student-athletes must satisfy many NCAA rules to become eligible or maintain eligibility throughout their collegiate career. This edition of the Compliance Corner will discuss the basics that determine each student-athlete's eligibility status.

*These are the general eligibility rules that student-athletes must maintain to preserve their NCAA eligibility. There are additional regulations that all student-athletes at Oakland University must fulfill in order to remain in good academic standing.

1st year -- Initial Eligibility
All incoming freshmen must meet the NCAA standards for initial eligibility in order to be immediately eligible for practice, competition and athletic financial aid during their first year of school. In order to be a qualifier (an individual who is eligible for practice, competition and athletic financial aid) a student must meet a sliding scale that includes a core high school grade point average and a standardized test score. The scale ranges from a 2.0 GPA with a 1010 SAT or 86 sum ACT to a 2.5 GPA or greater with an 820 SAT or 68 sum ACT.

In addition to the academic component, incoming freshman must also be certified through the amateurism portion. For all first year student-athletes, at all NCAA Division I and II schools, these requirements are certified through a central organization, the NCAA Eligibility Center. Student-athletes must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center during their senior year of high school, in which they will issue final high school transcripts, test scores and proof of graduation. Using this information, the Eligibility Center will certify them as either a "qualifier" or a "non-qualifier." "Qualifiers" are eligible for practice, competition, and athletics-based financial aid. "Non-qualifiers" are not able to practice, compete, receive scholarship that is not need-based, nor receive any athletically related benefits throughout a full year of residence.

All first year student-athletes must be enrolled in at least 12 semester hours for both fall and winter terms in order to maintain full-time enrollment status. This full-time status is crucial when determining each student-athlete's eligibility for both competition AND practice.

Continuing Eligibility Standards
Once a prospective student-athlete becomes a full-fledged student-athlete at a university (i.e., after he or she has attended the first day of practice or classes), he or she must then begin to meet NCAA "continuing eligibility" or "satisfactory progress" regulations in order to maintain eligibility for competition. Each year a student-athlete progresses through school, the NCAA standards are somewhat different. Following is a breakdown of the NCAA requirements for all current student-athletes who are entering or pursuing credit within each specified year.

Included in all of the following standards, are minimum GPA requirements. The GPA requirements vary on the year in attendance, the first term of initial enrollment, and the particular degree program that a student-athlete is enrolled in. It is a good rule of thumb for student-athletes to always maintain a GPA at or above the minimum requirement for their major.

2nd Year Student-Athletes
A second year student-athlete must have successfully completed 24 hours of credit between the opening of classes for the fall of his/her first year and the end of the summer session immediately preceding his/her second year. Of the 24 hours, 18 must be completed during the regular academic year (fall and winter semesters), allowing for the additional 6 to be completed in the summer session leading up to the start of the second year.

A second year student-athlete must have successfully completed six hours of credit during both previous regular academic terms (six credits in Fall of their first year and six credits in Winter of their first year).

A second year student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.80 at the start of their second year, and throughout their second year per NCAA standards (additional GPA standards will apply that are specific to each degree program).

A second year student-athlete must be enrolled in at least 12 semester hours for both fall and winter terms in order to maintain full-time enrollment status. This full-time status is crucial when determining a student-athlete's eligibility for both competition AND practice.

3rd Year Student-Athletes
A third year student-athlete must have successfully completed 18 credits of DEGREE APPLICABLE coursework during the previous regular academic year (Fall and Winter semesters combined), with at least 6 credits of DEGREE APPLICABLE coursework coming from each semester individually (at least six credits in Fall of their 2nd year and at least six credits in Winter of their 2nd year, but totaling 18 credits together).

A student-athlete must designate a degree program by the opening day of Fall classes their third year, and prior to the Fall term must have 40% of degree requirements completed towards the designated degree.

A third year student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.90 at the start of their third year, and throughout their third year per NCAA standards (additional GPA standards will apply that are specific to each degree program).

A third year student-athlete must be enrolled in at least 12 semester hours for both fall and winter terms in order to maintain full-time enrollment status. This full-time status is crucial when determining a student-athlete's eligibility for both competition AND practice.

4th Year Student-Athletes
A fourth year student-athlete must have successfully completed 18 credits of DEGREE APPLICABLE coursework during the previous regular academic year (Fall and Winter semesters combined), with at least 6 credits of DEGREE APPLICABLE coursework coming from each semester individually (at least six credits in Fall of their 3rd year and at least six credits in Winter of their 3rd year, but totaling 18 credits together).

Before the Fall semester begins of their fourth year, a student-athlete must have 60% of their degree requirements completed toward their designated degree. A fourth year student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 at the start of their fourth year, and throughout their fourth year per NCAA standards (additional GPA standards will apply that are specific to each degree program).

A fourth year student-athlete must be enrolled in at least 12 semester hours for both fall and winter terms in order to maintain full-time enrollment status. Fourth year student-athletes, however, may fall below 12 semester hours of enrollment during a regular academic term, if, upon completion of that term, he/she will earn their specified degree.

5th Year Student-Athletes
A fifth year student-athlete must have successfully completed 18 credits of DEGREE APPLICABLE coursework during the previous regular academic year (Fall and Winter semesters combined), with at least 6 credits of DEGREE APPLICABLE coursework coming from each semester individually (at least six credits in Fall of their fourth year and at least six credits in Winter of their fourth year, but totaling 18 credits together).

Before the Fall semester begins of their fifth year, a student-athlete must have 80% of their degree requirements completed toward their designated degree.

A fifth year student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 at the start of their fifth year, and throughout their fifth year per NCAA standards (additional GPA standards will apply that are specific to each degree program).

"Fifth years" may also fall below the 12 semester hours of enrollment during a regular academic term as long as upon completion of that term, he/she will earn their specified degree.

Updated 11/08

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