What Does NCAA Non-Qualifier Mean?

National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA) is a nonprofit group that works for student-athletes and their well-being. It was established in 1910. It is headquartered in Indiana. The NCAA provides support to over 480,000 college athletes every year. Over 1200 North American Institutions are associated with the NCAA. Let’s check – What Does NCAA Non-Qualifier Mean?

What Does NCAA Non-Qualifier Mean?

NCAA Non-Qualifier

An NCAA non-qualifier is a candidate who doesn’t fulfill the eligibility criteria. On the contrary, a candidate who qualifies or fulfills the criteria is an NCAA qualifier. Non-qualifier candidates are ineligible for scholarships. They are not allowed to participate with their team in NCAA events.

What Is The Eligibility Criteria For NCAA?

It is crucial for student-athletes to fulfill the eligibility criteria for NCAA. If they fail to do so, they are given non-qualifier status. In order to avoid rejection from the NCAA, there is a list of academic and athletic criteria. If students clear the criteria they get eligibility status. In addition to these two categories, a third category called partial qualifiers is present. 

Partial qualifiers are the candidate who missed either core course scores or SAT scores. Such athletes may get transferred to qualifier status after completion of the deficient criteria. During this period, they are not allowed to participate in team events.

The criteria force students to complete NCAA Eligibility Center-approved courses. The athlete should be a high school graduate. In addition to this, the SAT score should be in alignment with the average core course grades.

There are three divisions in the NCAA, i.e., D1, D2, and D3. Then the NCAA Eligibility Center, depending on the academic score, evaluates the students and classifies them into qualifiers and Non-qualifiers. The qualifiers are then again on the basis of their performance assigned to these divisions. For D1, a minimum SAT score of 980 and a GPA of 2.3 is a must. Lower grades will harm your chances of getting the eligibility status.

How Long Is the NCAA Eligibility Process?

Students usually apply for NCAA Eligibility during their junior high. After applying, it takes about 3-4 months for verification of the details and information. The finalization of the status, it may take anywhere from a few months to a year. All those who wish to apply to the NCAA must pay a registration fee of $90 for US citizens. For non-residents, the registration fee is $150. Those who can not afford the registration fee may apply for a fee waiver.

What Is The Course Requirement For NCAA?

The eligibility criteria demand the students to complete core courses. The score accumulated in these core courses should match the SAT score acquired by the student. The core courses are:

  • English language – 4 years
  • Mathematics(Algebra) -3 years
  • Natural science- 2 year
  • Lab science -1 year
  • Social science- 2 years
  • Religion, foreign language, philosophy, English, Mathematics, or Science – 1 year (extra)

Students should be caught up with the core courses before Graduating High School. They may consult and form a schedule from the beginning of freshman year. The following schedule may be followed:

  • Freshman year: English, Algebra, Foreign language, Philosophy
  • Sophomore year: Mathematics, English, Social science, Foreign language, Natural Science(Biology)
  • Junior year: English, Mathematics(Algebra) Natural Science(chemistry), Social Science (Economics)
  • Senior year: English, Mathematics(pre-calculus), Science( physics)

What Are The Athletic Restrictions For Non-Qualifiers?

NCAA divisions are made up of different conferences. These conferences take part in holding regional competitions. Conferences in some regions do not allow non-qualifiers to enroll in colleges. A non-qualifier is not provided financial aid for athletics. This rule is applicable to conference institutions. These rules vary from conference to conference. Some conferences do not impose rules or restrictions on non-qualifiers.

Non-qualifiers are not allowed to transfer into D1 after freshman year in college. They don’t receive financial aid or scholarships for athletic achievements from the NCAA. They are neither allowed to practice nor participate with the team in the conference-held events.


High school graduates who fail to fulfill the eligibility criteria of the NCAA are Non- Qualifiers. The NCAA Eligibility Center has 16 core courses for qualification. Some institutions impose certain restrictions on non-qualifiers. They are disallowed to partake in competitions or practice sessions with their team. They are not eligible for financial aid.

  1. What is the academic score for NCAA eligibility?

An SAT score of 900 and a GPA of 2.3 are minimum criteria for NCAA division 1. 

  1. Where do I apply for an NCAA eligibility certificate?

You can visit and register at the NCAA Eligibility Center website- https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/.

  1. How to become eligible for the NCAA?

The minimum GPA score is 2.3 for D1 and 2.2 for D2.

  1. What is the registration fee for NCAA eligibility?

The registration fee for an NCAA eligibility certificate is $90 for US citizens and $150 for non-US citizens.