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How to Send Your SAT Scores to the NCAA
The NCAA will only accept official SAT scores that come directly from the College Board. Here are the ways you can make sure the NCAA Eligibility Center gets your SAT score reports.
Becoming a student-athlete is a sweet way of getting a scholarship, and in some instances, you may even get a full ride. For some athletes, a college career in sports may even become a stepping step to turning pro. But before anything else, you need to meet the academic eligibility standards set forth by the NCAA, which is the most famous of all the college athletics association.
Why Do You Need to Send Your SAT Scores to the NCAA?
It’s easy to be cynical and assume that the NCAA is just a business opportunity for colleges and universities. Lots of NCAA sports, such as college football and basketball, generate millions in terms of TV rights and merchandising. Sports success for colleges serves as valuable advertisements, luring in more students to pay ever-increasing tuition fees.
But theoretically, the NCAA was meant to actually serve the needs of the student-athlete. That means the NCAA doesn’t lose sight of the fact that you’re not a hired mercenary or a semi-pro. You’re a student, and you have to prove it.
The NCAA actually wants you to take care of your student status so that you can get your diploma and start your chosen career. The fact is that most NCAA athletes don’t make it into the pros at all. The future of most of these athletes will be based on their diplomas, and not on the sports they played in college.
That’s why you need to take your studies seriously. The academic requirements force you to study so that you can develop the discipline needed for college-level subjects. If you can’t meet the minimum SAT standards (or the ACT equivalent), then you can’t be an NCAA college athlete. That’s just the way it is.
If you wish to take up NCAA sports in college, the first step is to first register to the NCAA Eligibility Center. You can be eligible if you meet the following requirements:
- You’ve graduated from high school.
- You’ve completed 4 years of English, 3 years of Math (Algebra I or higher), 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science, 1 extra year of English, Math, or Science, and 4 years of coursework in Foreign Language, Philosophy, Religion, or extra years for English, Math, or Science.
- You took 10 of these 16 core classes before your senior year of high school.
- Each SAT section score (for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math) must be at least 400.
- If you took the ACT instead of the SAT, your ACT score must be at least 37.
- Or, you qualified on the balanced test scores for both the SAT and ACT. That is, if you have a low score for one, it’s balanced by a high score in the other.
Sending Your Scores Before the SAT
When you register for the SAT, you can send up to 4 score reports for free, with the recipients the scholarship programs or colleges you picked. That means you can also pick the NCAA as one of these 4 recipients.
To do this, during the registration process, you can pick the NCAA from the menu list of colleges. You may also be asked to enter the code for the scholarship program or school. At this point, just enter “9999”, which is the code for the NCAA.
This means that the NCAA, as well as the other 3 schools or scholarship programs you picked, will receive the SAT scores about 10 days after the official release of your SAT scores.
Of course, you also have the option of sending more than 4 SAT score reports to additional recipients. But you will have to pay $12 for each extra recipient.
Sending Your Scores After the SAT
Of course, it’s possible that you’ve taken the SAT first, and then you decide to try for the NCAA. That’s still possible:
- Perhaps you didn’t pick 4 recipients when you first registered for the SAT. That’s okay. You still have 9 days to pick the recipients and send in those 4 score reports. Sign in to your College Board account. Select “send scores”, and put in the “999” code to identify the NCAA as one of the recipients.
- You can still send in a score report to the NCAA Eligibility Center even after 9 days have passed since you took the SAT exam. Follow the same steps: Sign-in, send scores and enter 999. You just have to pay the extra $12 fee. To pay for this, you’ll need a credit or debit card.
Planning for NCAA college sports takes a lot of foresight. You may want to ask for advice from your high school counselor on which subjects to take, even while you’re still a high school freshman. You may then register with the NCAA Eligibility Center when you’re in 10th Grade.
When you reach 11th Grade, you should constantly consult with your counselor to make sure you’re taking the required NCAA core courses and that you’ll graduate on time. You can then take the SAT (or the ACT), and have your counselor help you to make sure to send your SAT scores to the NCAA.
By your senior year of high school, you should be finishing up your NCAA core courses. You may still take the SAT or ACT again if your previous scores were not enough. Hopefully, this time you do better. Then you can have your high school counselor submit your official transcript and proof of your graduation to the NCAA.
Everything has to be done right. You have to do your job, and that doesn’t just mean doing well in high school athletics. It also means studying. You’ll be doing the same thing in college—you will play, but you will certainly study as well.