The NCAA Eligibility Center is the arm of the NCAA responsible for determining the academic eligibility and amateurism status for all DI and DII student-athletes. In addition, it also sets the recruiting rules via the NCAA Recruiting Calendars. Previously, this part of the NCAA was called the NCAA Clearinghouse, but now, the NCAA Clearinghouse and NCAA Eligibility Center are the same process.
The most important thing to understand as a prospective student-athlete is that the NCAA is there to determine your eligibility, not to provide guidance on how to get or maintain your college eligibility. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete to understand the academic and amateurism requirements and make sure they are on track to meet those requirements with the help of their high school guidance counselor and school administrators.
If you are actively being recruited at the NCAA DI or DII level, or you are very confident you will be competing at that level out of high school, you should register with the NCAA and create a Certification Account. If you aren’t sure of your division level, you should create an NCAA Profile page so you can easily transition to a Certification Account if needed.
For prospective college student-athletes, the NCAA Eligibility Center is the part of the NCAA that will ensure you meet the minimum academic requirements and are considered an amateur athlete. It does this by reviewing your high school transcripts (official copies only), SAT/ACT test scores and reviewing the answers to your amateurism questionnaire. In rare situations, the NCAA will require additional information surrounding your high school classes or athletic competition, but most athletes pass through the NCAA Eligibility Center without incident.
The NCAA has a very user-friendly website at the NCAA Eligibility Center. Give yourself at least 15-30 minutes to complete the initial registration. Before your register with the NCAA, make sure you have a valid email address you will have access to after high school. If you are creating a Certification Account, you will need a method of payment for the account.
Insider Tip: After creating your account, you will need to have official copies of your high school transcripts (from all schools you attended) and copies of your SAT and/or ACT scores sent to the NCAA.
Go to the NCAA Eligibility Center website and create either a Certification Account or Profile page and complete the initial registration process. Allow at least 15-20 minutes to complete the initial registration.
You are not officially done with the NCAA Eligibility Center process until you are done with high school and officially declared eligible at your DI or DII institution. There are three phases to the NCAA Eligibility Center process you will need to check in to make sure you are on track:
Insider Tip: If you are enrolling early (common for elite level DI athletes playing in the fall) or have a unique situation coming out of junior college, your process could be slightly different than the one detailed above. In both of these scenarios, the college recruiting you will likely be in touch and providing assistance. The most important thing is that you have a Certification Account, it is up to date and all of your most recent academic records on are file with the NCAA.