NCAA GPA Requirements for College Basketball Players - Here's What You Need to Know!

NCAA GPA Requirements for College Basketball Players – Here’s What You Need to Know!

Pursuing basketball and your education at an NCAA school will provide you with a unique opportunity to compete at a high level while working towards your college degree. This article will provide you with the information about your GPA requirements to enter a school and compete. The NCAA want to make sure that high school athletes can meet the standards that provide the best preparation to succeed in college.


Here you can access the most up-to-date college basketball openings from college coaches looking for players to fill roster spots


GPA stands for Grade Point Average. The NCAA Eligibility Center are the ones who calculate your core-course grade-point average. This is based on the grades you earn in core courses taken at high school. Remember, only your best grades from the required number of NCAA core courses will be used.

NOTE: Your core-course GPA is based on the grades you received in NCAA-approved core courses ONLY.

This means that the “cumulative GPA” listed on your high school transcript could be different than the NCAA core-course GPA used in your certification.


Your core-course GPA is calculated on a 4.000 scale. Your grades which are given in numbers are changed to letter grades such as A or B. As part of this calculation, each grade received is assigned whats called “quality points“. To determine your quality points you’ve earned for each course, you need to multiply the
quality points for the grade by the amount of credit earned. See below for an example to help you with this:

An A grade (4 points) for a trimester course (0.34 units): 4 points x 0.34 units = 1.36 total quality points
An A grade (4 points) for a semester course (0.50 units): 4 points x 0.50 units = 2.00 total quality points
An A grade (4 points) for a full-year course (1.00 units): 4 points x 1.00 units = 4.00 quality points

NOTE: The NCAA Eligibility Center does not use plus or minus grades when calculating your core-course GPA. Your grades of B+, B and B- will each be worth three quality points.

Quality Points for the different grades:

  • A = 4 points
  • B = 3 points
  • C = 2 points
  • D = 1 point

Units of Credit:

  • 1 quarter unit = 0.25 units
  • 1 trimester unit = 0.34 units
  • 1 semester unit = 0.50 units
  • 1 year unit = 1 unit

How do I work out my points if my course is marked as a Pass or Fail?

In a pass or fail grading situations the NCAA Eligibility Center will give you your high school’s lowest passing grade for a course. For the majority of high schools this is a D, so the Eligibility Center generally assigns a D as the passing grade.

How do I calculate my GPA?

Each grade you receive (numerical, letter-grade, percentage, pass grade) transfers over to a quality point like we just covered above. A quality point is almost always on a 4.0 scale. In the US, an A is typically the highest grade you can receive. An A is equal to 4 quality points. Once you have completed a few classes/courses these points are added up and then divided by the total amount of combined credits of all the courses you took. The number you get from doing this simple math is your Grade Point Average.

For example, if you took 3 courses in Biology (4 credits), Mathematics (4 credits), English (6 credits) your grades for these courses are:

  • Biology – B (B is 3.0 on the GPA scale) 3×4 = 12
  • Mathematics – C (C is 2.0 on the GPA scale) 2×4 = 8
  • English – A (A is 4.0 on the GPA scale) 4×6 = 24

If you multiply the grades by the number of credits for each course you get the following:

  • 12 grade points for Biology
  • 8 grade points for Mathematics
  • 24 grade points for English

This adds up to a total of: 44 grade points (12+8+24 = 44)

Now, to calculate your average GPA, you need to divide this number (44 grade points) by the total number of course credits (4+4+6=14). So, 44/14 = 3.14 GPA – this is how you calculate your GPA.

What is considered a good GPA?

Generally speaking a 2.0 for a student athlete is the lowest GPA acceptable to most schools. If you are player looking to play NCAA D1 or D2 basketball then you will have to do really well on your SAT or ACT to make up for the 2.0 on the sliding scale system. Whether your GPA is considered a good GPA really depends on the university or college you are looking to attend. The top academic schools could require their students to have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. NCAA D3 schools tend to be more academically focused and ask that their student athletes have a high GPA. How high this GPA is really depends on that particular schools as academic requirements. The academic and admission requirements vary from school to school. The best way to find out this information is to contact the admissions department of the school(s) you are interested in.

Why you should aim to keep a high GPA

You should really focus on getting a high GPA. You want to focus on maintaining that GPA. Once you start slipping down to a low GPA it can get very difficult to raise it back up as you get towards the end of your courses. Your GPA might vary over the years but keep striving to keep that GPA as high as you can. Having a high GPA will really help you when it comes to getting recruited to college. College coaches like players who take their studies seriously. It shows that they are determined, disciplined and committed. Having a high GPA will also open up more opportunities to you. These opportunities may come in the form of academic grants or scholarships, or certain schools that are only interested in players with a certain GPA like 3.5 or higher. The Ivy League D1 schools typically require this.


Remember, college basketball recruitment is highly competitive. If a coach is making a decision on a recruit, and both the recruits are at the same level physically and performance-wise, having a high GPA could mean the difference between the coach deciding to take you over another player, or not. Having a GPA that is just on the borderline of being eligible could cause coaches to be concerned about you being able to maintain your grades and continue to be eligible at the college level. Don’t leave your recruitment up to chance. You are directly in control of your GPA. Keep studying hard!


Here you can access the most up-to-date college basketball openings from college coaches looking for players to fill roster spots