Information That All Prospective Student-Athletes Should Know

  • UMass intercollegiate athletics guide to NCAA rules
  • Information that all alumni, fans and friends of UMass need to know
  • Information that all current student-athletes must know
  • Information for coaches and staff
  • Contact the UMass compliance office

    Below is a summary of important NCAA Division I rules and regulations that pertain to prospective student-athletes. It must be understood that the information below does not cover specific details regarding rules and regulations. Should you have any questions, please contact the UMass compliance office at (413) 545-1823/1950. With your eligibility at stake, it is safer to ask before acting. At the end of this page you will find additional links to NCAA compliance information.

    Complete Eligibility Requirements in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

    Initial Eligibility
    No matter which school you choose to attend you will have to meet two different standards of eligibility, the NCAA standard for eligibility to compete (initial eligibility) and the campus standard for admission. Current NCAA Standards for Initial Eligibility
    "Initial Eligibility" is the first time a student-athlete is certified as eligible to compete for a UMass athletic team. The following freshman initial eligibility requirements must be met:

    • Graduated from high school.

    • Successfully completed the required core curriculum in high school.

    • Earned the minimum required GPA in the core curriculum (See Table)

    • Earned the minimum required SAT or ACT test score. (See Table)

    The NCAA Clearinghouse determines whether an athlete has met the above requirements. The Clearinghouse determines whether each prospect is one of the following:

    • A qualifier (eligible to compete immediately at an NCAA school).

    • A nonqualifier (eligible to compete after an athlete has attended an NCAA school for one year)


    A qualifier is one who has met the following three requirements: 1. Graduated from high school (proof of graduation must be sent to the Clearinghouse). 2. Successfully completed core curriculum of at least 16 academic courses as listed below: Course 2008 Requirements English 4 years Mathematics (Algebra I or higher) 3 years Natural or Physical Science (including at least one laboratory course, if offered by the high school) 2 years Additional courses in English, mathematics, or natural or physical science 1 year Social science 2 years Additional Academic courses [in any of the above areas or foreign language, philosophy or nondoctrinal religion (e.g., comparative religion) courses] 4 years 3. Have the proper combination of GPA and Standardized Test score.

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    A nonqualifier is a prospective student-athlete (prospect) who has not graduated from high school, or does not meet the definition of a Qualifier. A nonqualifier who is an entering freshman is not eligible for regular season athletic competition or practice during their first academic year in residence. Clearinghouse Form
    A Prospective Student-Athlete (prospect) must be certified by the NCAA Initial Eligibility Center to participate for the University of Massachusetts as a Freshman Student-Athlete. The Clearinghouse ensures consistent interpretation of NCAA initial-eligibility requirements for all prospects at all member institutions. Your Responsibility
    • Meet with your Guidance Office to insure that your High School Form 48H has been updated and approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse in the past year. • Meet with your Guidance Office to insure that the courses you are currently enrolled in as well as past courses you have taken meet the definition of a "core course". • Meet with your Guidance Office to insure that you have enrolled in at least 16 core courses throughout your studies. • Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse. You may obtain the Clearinghouse material from your High School Guidance Office, or from the coach who is recruiting you from UMass. • Complete and Sign the Student-Release form. • Insure that all of your high school transcripts are sent to the Clearinghouse, to include all high schools you may have attended, and most important, your final high school transcript are sent to the Clearinghouse, to include all high schools you may have attended, and most important, your final high school transcript showing proof of graduation. • Insure that your SAT/ACT scores are sent to the Clearinghouse. Once all your materials have been submitted to the Clearinghouse the NCAA will determine whether you are eligible to compete at NCAA schools. The Clearinghouse will send you a written notice of your status. Do not assume that you are eligible. Follow up with the Clearinghouse to obtain the written notice of your final certification. For information on contacting the Clearinghouse and other eligibility issues visit • Complete and digitally sign the Amateurism Questionnaire. If you completed the questionnaire prior to April 1st of your senior year, you will need to sign in to the NCAA initial eligibility website and digitally sign the amateurism statement. Note: On the Clearinghouse form there is a checkbox for students with disabilities to receive a packet of information as well as forms to be used to take advantage of the accommodations provided for such students. Waiver Requirements
    Waivers of the initial-eligibility requirements may be granted based on evidence that demonstrates circumstances in which your overall academic record warrants a waiver. All requests for such waivers must be initiated through the NCAA school that officially has accepted you for enrollment as a regular student or if acceptance is contingent on a favorable subcommittee decision. You should contact the school recruiting you for more information about this waiver process. Students with learning disabilities may initiate the initial-eligibility waiver process on their own without the help of a member institution. You can contact the NCAA national office for more information. An exception also may be granted if you left high school after completion of your junior year or during you senior year to enter a Division I or II school under an early admissions program on the basis of outstanding academic performance and promise. To be granted this exception, you must have maintained an accumulative 3.500 G.P.A. and must have ranked in the top 20 percent of your class for the last four semesters completed in high school. In addition, all requirements of a qualifier (core curriculum and test scores) must be met except graduation from high school and a fourth year of English. Prospects with Education-Impacting Disabilities
    Prospective Student-Athletes with disabilities can take advantage of specific accommodations to attain initial eligibility at NCAA Division I Institutions. In order to do this Sacred Heart University must be provided with: • A copy of the most recent (within the last three years) signed, professional evaluation report of the prospect's disability, including diagnostic test results. • A copy of the prospects current individualized education plan (IEP), individual transition plan (ITP), 504 plan or other statement relating to accommodations received as a student with a disability. • Obtain a packet of information from NCAA by checking the appropriate box on the clearinghouse registration form or contacting the NCAA Disabilities services at the address below. Or Log onto, click "site index", and go to the section entitled "Students with Education-Impacting Disabilities". Nonstandard Test for Students With Disabilities
    Prospects with disabilities may use a nonstandard test score to meet the ACT or SAT requirements for Initial Eligibility. There are several requirements for the acceptance of a nonstandard test. • Prospects must register for nonstandard tests directly with the testing service. • Prospects must provide documentation to the testing service that a professional has diagnosed and properly documented the disability within the last three years. • The individual(s) administering the test may not be a member of the prospect's secondary school athletic department or an NCAA College or university athletics department, unless the test is taken at a national test site. Note: a prospect with a disability does not have to take the nonstandard test on a national testing date. Core Courses for Students with Disabilities
    All prospects, including prospects with disabilities, must show that they have met a certain GPA in 13 core courses in specific subjects to be certified for Initial Eligibility (see table above). Prospects who graduate with their high school class are allowed to complete three core courses subsequent to high school graduation to meet NCAA core course requirements. Acceptable NCAA Core Courses for Prospect with Disabilities Must Meet the Following
    • A course for a prospect with a disability must meet a graduation requirement in an academic subject to be accepted as an NCAA core course. • A course for a prospect with a disability must be substantially comparable, qualitatively and quantitatively, to a regular course offered in that academic area. • The comparable course must be listed on the high school's list of NCAA approved core courses as an approved core course. • Courses for students with disabilities that are approved for use in meeting core course requirements will be listed on the high school's list of approved core courses from the clearinghouse. • A prospect with a disability may use up to three courses taken after graduating from high school (summer courses as well as prep-school courses) prior to full-time enrollment. Waiver Procedures for Prospects with a Disability
    If a prospect with a disability is not considered a qualifier, he or she may be able to get a waiver of Initial Eligibility Standards. The prospect should ask the school to which they plan to attend to file a waiver request on their behalf. You will need to forward the following to the institution: • A written copy of the high school's policy and curriculum guide for students with disabilities and documentation listing all accommodations available at the high school, plus a list of which accommodations were used by the prospect. • A completed documentation of the prospect disability if the prospect has not already documented such with the NCAA including: • Written diagnosis, including IEP, ITP, 504 Plan or other statement relating to accommodations received as a student with a disability. (Diagnosis should indicate the specific measure and application of the diagnosis). • Name and location of the person issuing the diagnosis, his or her professional credentials and, if applicable, relationship to the athletics department at the college or university submitting the waiver. • The date (s) of the diagnosis. (Not more than 3 years old) • Copy of the prospect's final high school transcript(s) from all high schools attended by the prospect. • Copy of the final 48-C from the Clearinghouse. • If a core-course waiver is requested, additional information may be requested.