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NCAA Eligibility Center: Five Things Every High School Athlete Should Know

ByScotty Jenkins

4 min read

NCAA Eligibility Center: Five Things Every High School Athlete Should Know

First things first, here's a couple vocabulary lessons The NCAA Clearinghouse is a not-for-profit corporation that certifies the academic eligibility of student-athletes. The NCAA member schools use the eligibility certification program, completed by the NCAA Clearinghouse to determine if potential student-athletes are eligible for collegiate competition.

What that means is you can't play college sports until you create a profile and clear your name with NCAA.

But, this shouldn't be an intimidating or scary process. If you are a decent student and excited about becoming a college athlete, there are tons of people out there to help you get on the right track.

The NCAA Clearinghouse may not be the most familiar name to student athletes, in part because it is a small part of the NCAA Eligibility Center. While the NCAA Eligibility Center shows student-athletes the checklist of what they need to be eligible and their opportunities for financial aid, the Clearinghouse is responsible for reviewing transcripts and participation for each prospective athlete.

And with billions of dollars of scholarship money divided out between almost 500,000 athletes in the three NCAA divisions, the NCAA Clearinghouse takes their job seriously. Which is why it is so important for athlete and parents to do as much research as possible.

And the sooner you get started, the better. As soon as you start having realistic plans to become a college athlete - as early your freshman or sophomore season in high school- you should be doing your research into how to ensure you are eligible as an NCAA athlete (And, don't forget, do research even earlier into the colleges you want to play for and their requirements. This will help you get an idea for how you need to perform in the classroom and in your extracarriculars to be accepted.)

So, to help prospective athletes and their parents get ahead of the curve, here are the 5 things student-athletes should know about the NCAA Clearinghouse before they start college.


Create an account with the NCAA Eligibility Center during your junior year of high school - no later!

By the time you are a junior in high school, you should know if you are ready for college sports. Whether you lead your team in points or had a huge growth spurt, this is the year to decide whether you are going to pursue sports or not.

Remember that each year, there are almost 200,000 athletes that the NCAA Clearinghouse receives eligibility request from. That means, you need to make sure you request your eligibility review early in order to avoid the backlog the NCAA has each year.

If you do believe you are going to make it to the next level, then your next step is to ensure you are eligible to make your dream a reality. So, BEFORE YOUR JUNIOR SEASON ENDS, head to their website to create an account and make a plan to upload your test scores and transcripts.

  • If you plan to play sports in Division I or II, click HERE to set up an account.
  • If you plan to play sports in Division III or haven't decided yet, click HERE to set up an account.

After you set up an account, you'll be able to upload High School Transcripts and your ACT/SAT scores. Once those are reviewed by the NCAA Clearinghouse, you can request your Amateurism Certification, which will become available in your senior year of high school.


Receiving your eligibility certificate from the NCAA costs money!

You should contact the NCAA Eligibility Center if you're a prospective or currently enrolled student athlete who is interested in applying for initial eligibility, requesting a transfer evaluation, changing schools, or clearing your name...

Doing extra research will help you at tough points in your college career


NCAA Eligibility Center helps you plan for your education

What are the minimum requirements to play intercollegiate athletics?

The NCAA is the governing body for college athletics and sets eligibility requirements for universities to participate in NCAA events. There are four key factors that are considered when determining a student-athlete's eligibility to participate: academic, amateurism, financial aid and athletics participation.

Scholarships are given to a variety of Division I sports at the NCAA level, such as football, basketball, and hockey. There are different eligibility requirements for scholarship programs. In order to be eligible for an NCAA scholarship, the student must be pursuing a degree in an academic field related to the sport they are interested in playing. The player must also meet academic eligibility requirements set by their university's standards for athletic scholarships.

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