Student athletes must register with the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse to be eligible to play NCAA Division I or Division II sports in college. (Athletes playing in NCAA Division III do not have to register.)
What is the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse?
The NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse is the organization that determines whether prospective college athletes are eligible to play sports at NCAA Division I or Division II institutions. It does this by reviewing the student athlete’s academic record, SAT or ACT scores, and amateur status to ensure conformity with NCAA rules.
What are NCAA Divisions I, II, and III?
The NCAA is the governing body of many intercollegiate sports. Each college and university regulated by the NCAA has established rules on eligibility, recruiting, and financial aid, and falls into one of the three membership divisions (Divisions I, II, and III). Divisions are based on school size and the scope of their athletic programs and scholarships.
When should students register with the clearinghouse?
The NCAA recommends that student athletes register with the clearinghouse at the beginning of their junior year in high school, but many students register after their junior year. There is no registration deadline, but students must be cleared by the clearinghouse before they receive athletic scholarships or compete at a Division I or Division II institution.
How do students register with the clearinghouse?
Students can register online at the NCAA Clearinghouse website. They will have to enter personal information, answer questions about their athletic participation, and pay a registration fee. The website will then prompt them to have their high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores sent to the clearinghouse.
What records does the clearinghouse require?
Students should arrange to have you send their high school transcript to the clearinghouse as soon as they have completed at least six semesters of high school. The transcript must be mailed directly from their high school. They must also arrange to have their ACT or SAT test scores reported directly by the testing company to the clearinghouse. Students can arrange this when they register for the ACT or SAT.
You are responsible for sending in students’ final transcripts and proof of graduation at the end of their senior year.
How often can students update their athletics participation information?
Students can update the information on the athletics participation section online as often as they want (and should update it regularly), up to the time when they request a final certification of their status. At that point (usually three to four months before enrolling in college), students must finalize their information.
Keep in mind
The best way for students to prepare for a future in college athletics is to complete the approved core courses and earn appropriate grades in them. Indeed, more students fail to qualify to play NCAA sports because of lack of appropriate course work than for low test scores.