NCAA Eligibility Center: FAQ

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In order to be eligible to play NCAA Division I or II sports during college students must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. This requirement is only for Division I or II sports. Students involved in Division III athletics are not required to register.

What is the NCAA Eligibility Center?

The NCAA Eligibility Center is responsible for ensuring that college athletes meet all requirements to play sports at NCAA Division I or II schools. The NCAA reviews student-athlete’s SAT or ACT scores, academic record, and checks to verify their amateur status.

What are Divisions I, II and III

NCAA divisions are determined according to a college’s size, scope of their athletic programs and scholarships. All colleges regulated by the NCAA must follow stringent eligibility, recruiting and financial aid guidelines for their specific division.

How do students register with the NCAA?

Student-athletes must register with the NCAA at their online NCAA Eligibility Center. The registration process requires that students provide personal, academic and athletic information. There is a $65 registration fee. The fee can be waive for students who also received a waiver for the SAT or ACT tests. A student’s high school counselor must submit confirmation of the student’s test fee waiver on behalf of the student.

When should students register with NCAA?

The general recommendation is that students register at the beginning of their junior year in high school. However, their is no registration deadline and many students register after their junior year. Registration must be completed before students can be involved in Division I or II sports.

What records are required for registration?

A student’s high school transcript should be submitted to the NCAA Eligibility Center as soon as at least six semesters of high school have been completed. The transcript must come directly from the high school. All test scores, including ACT or SAT, must be reported to the Eligibility Center directly by the testing company. Final transcripts and proof of graduation must be submitted at the end of a student’s senior year in high school.

How often can students update their athletic participation information?

The simply answers is, as often as the want. All students need to do is log in to their account online and update the athletics participation section. Students should update this information regularly until they request a final certification of their status.

What are the NCAA academic eligibility requirements?

NCAA Division I or II academic eligibility requirements include the following:

  • Complete a specified number of core courses in high schools. For Division I students, must complete 16 core courses. For Division II, students must complete 14 core courses. For Division I eligibility, students must complete 4 years of English, 3 years of math (algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of natural or physical science, 1 extra year of English, math or science, 2 years of social science, and 4 years of addtional core courses (from any category above, or in philosophy, religion or foreign language.) For Division II eligibility, students must complete 2 years of math (algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of natural of physical science, 2 extra years of English, math or science (or 3 extra years if enrolling on or after Aug 1), 2 years of social science, and 3 years of additional core courses (from any category above, or in nondoctrinal religion, philosophy, or foreign language) or 4 years if enrolling on or after August 1.
  • Have a minimum grade point average (usually a 2.0). Minimum eligibility GPA and test scores can be found in the NCAA’s Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete (.pdf/57K). Requires the latest version of Adobe Reader.
  • Earn a minimum adjusted SAT or ACT score. (See previous bullet for detailed information.)
  • Graduate from high school.

How can I verify that my school offers qualifying core courses?

Each year most high shools submit a list of the courses they offer students that meet NCAA core-course criteria. When these courses are approved, they’re added to the NCAA Eligibility Center database. You can view a list of approved core courses offered at your high school by visiting the NCAA Eligibility Center High School Portal. If you’re unable to find core courses offered by your high school, you’ll want to speak with one of your college guidance counselors.

What is the NCAA amateur eligibility requirement?

Students who wish to participate in NCAA Division I or II college athletics must following NCAA amateurism rules about receiving a salary or monetary compensation for athletic participation, playing with a professional team, etc.

Things to Consider

The number one reason student-athletes don’t qualify for NCAA Division I or II athletics is because they fail to complete the approved core high school courses and earn an acceptable GPA. Make sure if you’re a student-athlete you enroll in all the correct core courses and earn the appropriate grades. If you’re a guidance counselor, sit down with your student-athletes and review all the eligibility requirements for playing NCAA Division I or II sports at the college level. Being a good athlete is not enough to play with the NCAA, you must also be a good student.

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