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When Should I Register With the NCAA Clearing house / Eligibility Center?

Q:  When it is appropriate for me to join or register with the NCAA Clearing house / Eligibility Center?

A:  The NCAA Eligibility Center, which used to be referred to as the Clearinghouse, determines if a student-athlete is eligible to compete as a freshman at the DI, DI-AA and DII level, by the core courses you take in high school, your core GPA and your test scores (ACT, SAT). A prospective student-athlete is someone who is looking to participate in intercollegiate athletics at an NCAA Division I or Division II institution in the future.

It is also important to have registered before you take your first official visit–which you can’t take until opening day of classes your senior year of high school. We recommend that your registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center be completed the summer after Junior year. If you complete it before that time, your high school guidance counselor may wait to send your information until completion of your Junior year. You may complete the application by visiting here and follow the directions. There is a $60 fee to process.

Your clearance is not actually complete until all required high school courses are taken. The high school will need to send transcripts into the Eligibility Center. By registering you are completing the student release form and sending it to the Eligibility Center. You also print off the, transcript release form, (sign it) and give copies 1 & 2 directly to your high school counselor. This will authorize the Eligibility Center to request a transcript from the school. It also authorizes the Eligibility Center to send academic information to all colleges that request eligibility status. If no college requests status, the information will not be distributed.

Official test scores must be sent from the testing agency. Test scores that appear on a high school transcript will not be accepted. Please use code “9999” when requesting test scores from ACT or SAT. This authorizes your scores to be sent directly to the Eligibility Center. It is required that these test scores come directly from the testing agency. A high school may NOT send test score to the Eligibility Center.

Those graduating in or after 2008 that plan to attend an NCAA Division I institution must have 16 core courses. Not all classes you take in high school meet core course requirements! Check your high schools list of approved core courses at the NCAA Eligibility website or ask your high school counselor. You also must meet a sliding scale minimum for GPA & SAT/ACT. This is outlined in the, Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete, handbook found on the NCAA website, as well as, your Recruiting Toolbox under NCAA Info. Please remember that meeting the NCAA academic rules does not guarantee your admission into a college. You must still apply and be accepted to the institution you want to attend.

You will also need to request final amateur certification by signing the 10.1 statement. Remember to log back in to your account and finalize your amateurism questionnaire before you enroll in college. If you are beginning school in the fall semester (August), you will need to complete the amateurism questionnaire and sign the final authorization signature on or after April 1 prior to enrollment. If you are beginning school in the spring semester (January), you will need to complete the amateurism questionnaire and sign the final authorization signature on or after October 1 of the year prior to enrollment.

The College Board has information about the SAT on its Web site and ACT has information here.

About the author
Aaron Sorenson