Student athletes must register with the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Center 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. The NCAA publishes an annual Guide for the College-Bound Student Athlete. This guide describes NCAA regulations about playing sports in college including: contacting coaches, recruiting and letters of intent.
What is the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Center?
The NCAA Initial-Eligibility Center 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.
When should students register with the Eligibility Center?
The NCAA recommends that student athletes register with the Eligibility Center 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 Eligibility Center before they receive athletic scholarships or compete at a Division I or Division II institution.
How do students register with the Eligibility Center?
Students can register online at the NCAA Eligibility Center 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 Eligibility Center.
What are the NCAA academic eligibility requirements?
To play sports at an NCAA Division I or Division II institution, the student must:
- Complete a certain number of high school core courses (defined below)
- Earn a certain minimum grade point average in these core courses
- Earn a certain minimum score on the SAT or ACT (for Division I, this is scaled according to the student’s core-course GPA)
- Graduate from high school