In the wake of the pandemic and the havoc it has wreaked on the availability of ACT and SAT tests, the NCAA has waived the test requirements for the Class of 2021 athletes at Division I and Division II schools. Instead, D1 athletes will be required to maintain a 2.3 GPA over their freshmen year in 16 NCAA-approved courses. D2 athletes will be required to maintain a 2.2 GPA in those same 16 courses.
From the athletes’ and fans’ viewpoints, this will likely allow more top athletes to go straight to D1 and D2 schools and bypass the junior colleges that have traditionally been the destinations of stellar athletes with very low standardized test scores. How much it may affect your favorite college teams is likely largely dependent on who they were recruiting and how many recruits they lose historically to academic issues.
For the vast majority of college applicants who will not be playing varsity sports on athletic scholarships, it’s still a bit early to see if the trend toward test-optional admissions, which received a significant boost due to the pandemic, is here to stay.