The NCAA Division I board of directors said the new standards mandate that, to be eligible for intercollegiate sports, students must have graduated high school with 16 core courses passed, 10 of which much be completed before the prospective student's senior year in high school, and have a minimum grade point average of 2.3.
The GPA would be compared to a sliding scale of ACT or SAT scores to determine the minimum needed on the standardized tests for eligibility.
The association had planned on tightening standards effective 2015 but held off to give high schools and students time to become familiar with the new requirements. The new standards mark an increase in the required GPA from 2.0 to 2.3, for instance.
"We want to give young people a fair chance to meet the new standards by taking core academic courses early in their high school education," South Florida President Board Chair Judy Genshaft, the board chairwoman, said on NCAA.com.
"The presidents have every confidence that future student-athletes will do the work necessary to be academically successful in college."