Which States Have the Most Students Sending Test Scores to the NCAA?

test answer sheetIf you’re trying for an NCAA D1 or D2 athletic scholarship, you’re going to have to send your SAT or ACT scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center.  Both the ACT and SAT have state reports that list the top destinations for score reports for each state. In general, these destinations are colleges but also includes some scholarship programs such as the National Merit Scholarship and services like the NCAA Eligibility Center. In other words, you can see how many students in a state sent their scores to the NCAA and where it ranked compared to other schools.

Now when you’re looking at this data, you have to realize that it doesn’t include all destinations. For the SAT, it only includes the top 42 and the ACT the top 30. So if the NCAA didn’t make it to the top of the list, it doesn’t show up in the rankings. Depending on the size of the state and the popularity of the test, this could mean the actual number is pretty small or bigger than you thought. There’s just no way of knowing.

But it’s still interesting to look at what is available.

If you combine the available totals from the SAT and ACT, California is way ahead the rest of the country in the number of wanna-be college athletes. The total for seniors in 2011 for 9,918. Must be all the good weather. The next closest was Texas at 6,952 followed by New York with 5,660. Pennsylvania and Florida rounded out the top five with 5,596 and 4,418 respectively.

However, in Pennsylvania, the NCAA ranked 9th among destinations compared to 22nd to California. More seniors in Pennsylvania sent their SAT scores to the NCAA than to the University of Pennsylvania. Stanford did beat out the NCAA in California but it does actually give out athletic scholarships.

The NCAA ranked highest among SAT takers in Nevada coming in third after the University of Nevada Reno and the University of Nevada Las Vegas. SAT takers in Alaska and Arizona made the NCAA the fourth most popular destination while it ranked fourth in Hawaii among ACT testers.

In states where the majority of students sent SAT scores to the NCAA rather than ACT scores, Hawaii (11), Nevada (9), Washington DC (8), Pennsylvania (8), Alaska (8), and Arizona (8) had the highest percentage of students sending scores.

The states with the lowest percentage were Wisconsin and Minnesota at 3 percent followed by Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oregon. This is probably somewhat misleading since Wisconsin and Minnesota are two states where the NCAA didn’t rate high enough to show up in the ACT top 30 and these are both states where the ACT is the most common test. Still, Northwestern made the list which means it received more ACT score reports than the NCAA.

Over 100,000 students sent their scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center. According to the NCAA’s latest statistics, there 260,599 students playing D1 and D2 athletics, the divisions that require test scores for eligibility. The mismatch looks to me like the tip of the iceberg of the unrealistic expectations of many high school athletes and their families. Of course, over 16 times as many students applied to Harvard as there are spots in the freshman class so it’s not a characteristic of athletes only.

The following tables shows the test scores sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center by state. The SAT Percentage column is the percentage of students who sent their scores for the SAT test alone as reported by the SAT. This does not include ACT test scores.

College Test Scores Sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center

State
Total
Students
ACT
Total
ACT
Rank
SAT
Total
SAT
Rank
SAT
Percentage
AK242561218648.0
AL10529622090244.0
AR6616381823443.0
AZ176967816109148.0
CA114311513279918226.0
CO243420151041977.0
CT2129114162015137.0
DC23421821358.0
DE36335932887.0
FL65302112144418116.0
GA43501072183278136.0
HI7451514594511.0
IA3713452726393.0
ID32619020136106.0
IL2976297617
IN270159111211097.0
KS7046341170185.0
KY9919282563393.0
LA9939322061433.0
MA2378125282253285.0
MD2821297102524107.0
ME2961621280125.0
MI3397323816159354.0
MN9797403.0
MO131712291488384.0
MT212119159395.0
NC3897480163417117.0
ND69592910166.0
NE5014781623383.0
NH646688578126.0
NJ4502355124147166.0
NM2892141975135.0
NV779206957339.0
NY6280620165660225.0
OH35372484121053146.0
OK8928441648343.0
OR701701125.0
PA621361711559698.0
RI3252314302175.0
SC2178682151496137.0
SD126118208354.0
TN1565137919186255.0
TX94792527186952156.0
UT6745881386156.0
VA3588497143091127.0
VT1922123171165.0
WA1870236181634146.0
WI6565373.0
WV4422911815158.0
WY81702811126.0

 

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