NCAA Eligibility Center? //
What is the NCAA Eligibility Center?
As high school athletes look to play sports at the next level, confusion easily arises regarding the
NCAA Eligibility Center. It is essential though that all prospective athletes understand the process
in order to be deemed eligible to participate. Registration with the Eligibility Center is required
for those wishing to play at the Division I and II level.
What does being eligible mean? Upon graduation, an athlete that has completed the required core
courses, obtained the minimum grade point average, and achieved the necessary standardized
tests scores will be declared eligible. Thereby, the athlete will be permitted to participate in DI and DII
athletics beginning in their freshman year. Athletes who wish to play at the Division III level are
not required to register with the Eligibility Center but must be sure to meet the eligibility
requirements set by the specific institution and its athletic conference. To find out these
eligibility requirements contact the admissions office at each individual school.
The NCAA Eligibility Center is an organization outside of the NCAA which performs academic record evaluations to determine if a prospective student-athlete is eligible to participate at an NCAA Division I or II college as a freshman student-athlete. Please see Initial Eligibility Requirements at the link below for a breakdown of those minimum academic requirements at the Division I and II levels.
Who needs to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center?
All freshman and two-year college transfers who do not have an associate degree and would like to participate in any sport at an NCAA member institution (Division I or II) must register for the academic portion of the Eligibility Center.
Why do I need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center if I'm going to attend a junior college?
Dependent upon your NCAA Eligibility Center qualification status (qualifier or non-qualifier), there are different 2-year school transfer rules to be immediately eligible at the 4-year institution you transfer to. Please see Junior College Transfer Requirements for more information.
If I have never registered and/or never been certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center what is my NCAA qualification status?
If you have never registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center or never certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center, you are considered to be a non-qualifier and must meet non-qualifier transfer requirements should you decide to attend a junior college.
When do I register with the NCAA Eligibility Center?
Athletes are advised to begin the process in the beginning of their junior year. At that time, athletes must arrange to meet with a guidance counselor at your high school in order to review the process. If you are a senior and have not already begun the process, don’t panic, there is still time. Set up to meet with your guidance counselor and get started with the eligibility process.
How do I register with the NCAA Eligibility Center?
The registration process is completed online by visiting the NCAA Eligibility Center website. After your junior year, visit the website and pay the registration fee. Please visit the website for payment instructions.
How can I find out if I am enrolled in approved core-courses which will meet NCAA eligibility requirements?
You may view the NCAA-approved core courses by visiting the Eligibility Center and selecting List of Approved Core Courses on the General Information page or by asking your high school counselor for the list.
How can I arrange for my test scores to be sent directly from the SAT or ACT testing agency to the NCAA Eligibility Center?
When you register to take the ACT or SAT, mark code 9999 so that the testing agency will send your scores to the Eligibility Center. Test scores must be reported to the Eligibility Center directly from SAT or ACT. The Eligibility Center will not accept test scores reported on high school transcripts.
Once certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center, what is the difference between a qualifier and a non-qualifier?
Eligible for athletically related financial aid, practice and competition during your first year of enrollment at a NCAA member institution. You have 5 years to play 4 seasons in your sport if you maintain your eligibility from year to year.
Ineligible for athletically-related financial aid, practice and competition during your first year at a NCAA member institution. You have 4 years to play 3 seasons in your sport if you maintain your eligibility from year to year. Non-qualifiers have the ability to gain back a year of eligibility if they complete at least 80 percent of their degree prior to the beginning of their fifth year of college.
I am registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center, now what?
Parents and players must take an active role in following up with your guidance counselor in order to be certain that all updated, relevant information is sent to the Eligibility Center. Remember, that athletes will not be cleared or eligible to play at the collegiate level until they have graduated.
You can obtain a copy of the "NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete" which contains more detailed instructions of the Eligibility Center process by clicking here.