College Advising

NCAA Division I Eligibility and Worksheet

The NCAA has specific course credit requirements in order for a student to participate in collegiate athletics. Therefore, if you aspire to play Division I athletics, you should be mindful of the NCAA course requirements below. Since these course requirements must be satisfied in the first four years of high school, Division I-minded students who have repeated a year of high school should be extra vigilant and review the information below. The College Office and dean of academic life will look through your transcripts, but please review your credits and courses before contacting us so that our discussions can be more focused and efficient. Most questions about eligibility are answered in the Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete.


In order to be eligible to compete in Division I College Athletics, a student must have over a 2.0 GPA in sixteen core courses and have the minimum SAT or ACT scores for that GPA (see the NCAA Eligibility Center website for the NCAA GPA/Testing Sliding Scale). Note that the initial-eligibility standards for NCAA Division I college-bound athletes are changing. Student-athletes entering a Division I college or university after August 1, 2016, must have over a 2.3 GPA (see New NCAA Division I Initial-Eligibility Standards). The sixteen core courses, however, will remain the same:

4 years of English
3 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher)
2 years of natural/physical science (one must be a lab science)
1 year of additional English, math or science
2 years of social studies
4 years of additional core courses (from any area listed above, or from foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy)

Note: students who will begin college in the fall of 2016 or later must satisfy 10 of the 16 core courses by the end of their 3rd year in high school.

N.B. Computer Science and Visual Arts/Performing Arts courses are not NCAA approved. Environmental Ethics and Robotics are not approved, but pending review.

Students arriving at Hotchkiss after ninth grade should consult with their coaches and the Academic and College Office.

* Reminder: These requirements do not apply to Division III athletics.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out which Hotchkiss courses count toward NCAA core requirements?

Students should go to the List of NCAA Courses, then type in Hotchkiss’s high school code (070335), or simply search for "Hotchkiss." They will then find a list of Hotchkiss courses approved by the NCAA. This list is updated annually. If an approved course that was offered when your child was a prep is no longer offered when your child is a senior, for example, then the NCAA may archive it, which means that it may not appear on the list of approved courses, even though it will still count. Please contact the Dean of Academic Life for further clarification.

How much time do I have to fulfill the requirements?

If you plan to go to an NCAA Division I school and play a sport, here are some guidelines:

• In order to qualify, a student must earn sixteen core-course credits and attain the required grade-point average in four years (eight semesters). The four years (eight semesters) are based on when you started grade nine (freshman year). For example, if you started your freshman year in the fall of 2009, the you would need to graduate in the spring of 2013 – i.e., in eight semesters – as illustrated below:
• 20010-11 (freshman year);
• 2011-12 (sophomore year);
• 2012-13 (junior year); and
• 2013-14 (senior year).

• If a student graduates "on time" in eight semesters and still need a core course, he or she may complete one core course in the year after graduation (summer or academic term). S/he may complete the core course at a location other than the high school from which she graduated. S/he may enroll full time at a Division I school at any time after completion of the core course. Graduation "on time" means that if his or her high school graduation takes place on June 1, s/he graduated June 1. If s/he doesn’t graduate on June 1 with the rest of his or her high school class, then s/he has not graduated "on time."

• If s/he doesn’t graduate "on time" in eight semesters, then any core courses taken after the eighth semester will not be counted toward his/her NCAA academic eligibility requirements.

• Students should follow an academic path that allows them to complete sixteen core courses in eight semesters. They should not rely on being able to take or use a post-graduation core course.

• If a student repeated a grade in high school, this rule still applies. The student will need to work with the Division I college or university s/he plans to attend to see if a waiver is possible. The college or university would file the waiver on his or her behalf. Waivers usually are for students who have had circumstances impact their ability to meet the requirements. The events surrounding the circumstances are beyond the student's control. For example, a student who couldn't attend high school for a long period of time because of an illness or hospitalization may be a candidate for a waiver.

• For new 11th graders from Quebec: please consult with the College Office, since you technically may have graduated from your previous school.

How is the core-course GPA calculated?

A student’s core-course GPA is the average of his/her best grades achieved for all required core courses. If s/he has taken extra core courses, then those courses will be used in his/her GPA, if they improve his/her GPA. The NCAA core-course GPA is calculated using only NCAA-approved core courses in the required number of core units. High school GPAs generally include the grades from most or all courses attempted in grades nine through twelve.

Will courses taken after my senior year count toward core requirements?

For Division I, maybe. Only courses completed in grades nine through twelve will qualify as core courses for Division I. If you graduate from high school on schedule (in eight semesters) with your incoming ninth grade class, then you may use one core course completed in the year after graduation (summer or academic year) prior to full-time collegiate enrollment. You may complete the core course at a location other than the high school from which you graduated and may initially enroll full time at a collegiate institution at any time after completion of the core course.

For Division II, yes. All core courses completed before your full-time enrollment at any college may be used by the Eligibility Center.

For students with diagnosed disabilities.

• For Division I only, beginning August 1, 2010, a student must graduate "on time" in order to use up to three (3) additional approved core courses taken before full-time enrollment in college.

• For Division II only, students may use any approved core courses taken before full-time enrollment in college.

• For Divisions I and II, students may use courses for students with education-impacting disabilities that are designated on the high school's List of NCAA Courses.

For more information regarding education-impacting disabilities, click here.

In summary...

  1. If a student starts at Hotchkiss as a ninth grader, he or she should be fine. Humanties accounts for 6 credits (2 English, 2 History and 2 Philosophy/Religion). If a student takes 4 years of Math, 2 of Science (at a minimum) and 3 of Languages (at a minimum), and a year of electives in science, history or religion/philosophy, then a student should be fine.
  2. Computer Science and Visual Arts/Performing Arts courses are not NCAA approved. Environmental Ethics and Robotics are not approved, but pending review.
  3. Math and Modern Languages: if a repeat student is placed “back” in these subjects, then contact the dean of academic life or College Office before classes begin. (Example: took algebra or pre-cal at previous school and Hotchkiss places them in these courses again; or the student took Spanish I or French II at previous school and Hotchkiss places the student in Spanish 150 or French 250). The NCAA does not count what it perceives at repeat courses. It may be to the students benefit to switch languages. There is not much we can do about math, but it may necessitate the student taking extra English).

Office Contact Info

Office phone:

(860) 435-3180

Office fax:

(860) 435-3157

Richard Hazelton
Director of College Advising

Katherine Boyd
Associate Director

Marc Dittmer
College Advisor 

Annie Hall
Senior Associate Director

Tom Peabody
Associate Director

Josh Smith
Senior Associate Director

JoAnne Lakin
Office Manager