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New Legislation: ACT/SAT

At the 2018 NAIA National Convention our membership voted on new legislation. Legislative Services is going to break down some of the more substantial changes in our legislative briefs over the next few months. This is the sixth brief in the new legislation line and links to the previous briefs are below. This week we are discussing changes to our initial eligibility test score requirements. As you may know, the SAT changed their scoring a few years ago that necessitated our membership to add an exception to Article V, Section C, Item 2a.  After several years of testing under this new scoring, the ACT and College Board have come out with concordance tables that allow us to understand how ACT and SAT scores match up. We issued a press release on this topic which can be found here.

New Legislation Briefs:

Below is what was voted on at the convention in April. Please note that the final version to be released on August 1, 2018, might be slightly different than what is below. Again the underlined portion indicates the new language.  

Article V, Section C, Item 2a.

For a student to be eligible for any NAIA recognized intercollegiate competition, a member institution must ensure that the student conforms to the following regulations.

. . .

2.  An entering freshman student must meet two of the three entry-level requirements below. Students not meeting at least two of the three standards shall be denied athletics participation at a member institution for the first full year of attendance (two semesters, three quarters, or the equivalent) that such a student is identified with any institution(s). The three entry-level requirements are as follows:

a. A minimum score of 18 on the ACT or 970 on the SAT (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math) for tests taken beginning May 2019. EFFECTIVE DATE May 1, 2019 (for tests taken beginning May 1, 2019);

EXCEPTION: For ACT tests taken beginning March 2016 through April 30, 2019, a minimum score of 16 will satisfy this requirement. This exception will apply to tests taken through April 30, 2019, after which point the exception no longer applies.

NOTE: The test score must be achieved at a single test sitting administered by a certified tester on a National, International or official state assessment testing date to apply to this requirement. A test taken under any conditions other than those listed is considered by both testing agencies to be a residual test and cannot be used for certification purposes. The ACT/SAT must be taken prior to the beginning of the term in which the student initially participates.

Key points of this legislation:

  • Effective May 1, 2019, for tests taken beginning of May 1, 2019.
  • The date the test is/was taken is the date used to determine the qualifying score.
  • Below you will find the date ranges and the corresponding minimum score for each test. 

Date test was taken

  • Before March 1, 2016
    • ACT=18
    • SAT=860
  • Between March 1, 2016, and May 1, 2019
    • ACT=16
    • SAT=860
  • After May 1, 2019
    • ACT=18
    • SAT=970

Case Studies

*Assume all schools are NAIA institutions unless otherwise noted.

Scenario 1:

Myrtle took the ACT on January 15, 2016, and received a 17. Myrtle took the test again on July 15, 2018, and received a 16. Has Myrtle earned a qualifying test score?

Answer 1:

Myrtle has earned a qualifying test score. In her second attempt she earned a 16 which, based on the date it was taken, would meet the minimum score for that time period. Her first attempt was taken at a time that required an 18 and thus a 17 would not suffice.

Scenario 2:

Sam takes the ACT on February 22, 2019, and earned a 17, however the ACT cancelled that specific test and Sam’s test score is no longer valid. Sam takes the ACT again on May 22, 2019, and gets a 17 again. Will Sam meet the ACT requirement?

Answer 2:

No. Sam had to have earned an 18 based on the date of his second test. Since he received a 17, he is just short. Also, once a test score is cancelled it cannot be used for eligibility meaning his first score could not be used.

Scenario 3:

Whit takes the SAT on June 1, 2018, and the ACT on June 1, 2019. What scores will he have to earn in order to meet the test score requirement?

Answer 3:

Whit would have to get an 860 on the SAT and an 18 on the ACT.


Please join us at noon central on Tuesday for Facebook live, where Legislative Services will discuss this topic in more detail.