Question: Do Junior Colleges care about your GPA?

If you’re considering schools at any level, your academics matter. Although each college, division, or competition level may have unique academic requirements, keeping your GPA as high as possible is one of the most important things you can do throughout the college recruiting process. Not only will it help you get into schools, it may provide you scholarship opportunities as well.

Junior College

Many Junior Colleges and Community Colleges don’t necessarily require that you earn your high school diploma to enroll. Be sure to research each school to learn their requirements for not only enrolling, but participating on a sports team. Each team may have requirements when it comes to your GPA or academic standing, so keep your grades up no matter what. Also keep in mind that, typically, having a higher GPA will increase your chances of earning a scholarship.

NCAA DI / DII

At the NCAA DI and DII levels, you must meet the following minimum requirements to play a sport:

  • Graduate from high school
  • Complete a minimum of 16 core classes
  • Earn a minimum GPA in those core classes
  • Earn a minimum score on the SAT or ACT

While there’s a sliding scale for academic requirements at the DI level, you should look to maintain over a 2.3 GPA in core classes. If you dip below a 2.3 GPA, you must have higher SAT or ACT test scores to maintain your eligibility.

NCAA DIII

The NCAA does not set the academic requirements for DIII programs as each college or university maintains their own standards. However, most DIII schools have higher than normal academic requirements and don’t offer athletic scholarships, only academic ones.

NAIA

The academic requirements to compete at the NAIA level are similar to those at the NCAA DII level. You must meet two of the following three requirements:

  • Over a 2.0 GPA
  • Receive 18+ on ACT or 970+ on SAT
  • Graduate in the top half of your high school

When it comes to scholarships, each school can offer different academic and athletic scholarships, so be sure to do your research.

Keep in mind that these are all minimum requirements and do not guarantee admittance or scholarships. When it comes to standing out from other student-athletes in the college recruiting process, focus on your academics just as much, if not more, than your athletics. Having a great GPA and test scores can greatly increase your chances of not only getting into colleges, but earning a scholarship.