When Should You Register With The NCAA Eligibility Center?
If you are planning to compete in Division I or II, you’ve likely heard about registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Registering is an essential step in declaring your athletic eligibility. But when is the best time to register?
The NCAA recommends that student-athletes register for eligibility at the beginning of the sophomore year in high school. It’s important to make sure you want to compete in Division I or II before registering to avoid wasting money on the eligibility fee. Division III student-athletes aren’t required to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to compete in college athletics.
You can wait until the beginning of your junior year to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, but keep in mind that there are a few disadvantages to waiting. You must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center before going on an official visit and receiving an official scholarship offer. College coaches will check to verify that their top recruits are academically eligible, so confirming your eligibility earlier ensures you stay on their radar.
The latest you should register for NCAA eligibility is July 1 after your junior year in high school. At this time, Division I and II college coaches know who they’re interested in having on their roster and are shifting to checking eligibility and other requirements. The more competitive your sport is, the more critical it is to register with the NCAA eligibility center early. As college recruiting shifts earlier and earlier, it’s better to get it taken care of ahead of time.
Why Should You Register With The NCAA Eligibility Center?
The NCAA Eligibility Center functions as a regulatory agency for the NCAA that verifies student-athletes are academically eligible to play college sports. They will cross check your academic records to ensure they are accurate and that you’ve taken the right classes.
Eligibility Requirements: To be considered eligible to compete in NCAA athletics, players need to finish a few academic requirements. Players must complete 16 fundamental courses, maintain a 2.3 GPA and score a specific number on the SAT or ACT (this score requirement varies depending on your GPA).
College Coaches Check Eligibility: Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center won’t improve your chances of being recruited if you’re not actively contacting college coaches. College coaches will check your academic and amateur eligibility in the NCAA Eligibility Center after they’ve identified you as a potential recruit. For this reason, it’s necessary to complete all the steps required to prove your NCAA eligibility.
Verify Your Academics: Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center requires student-athletes to send in several academic records, including official high school transcripts and test scores. It can help to sit down with a school counselor in your freshman year of high school to determine the academic requirements needed for a university to admit you. Going through the eligibility process may reveal educational gaps in classes taken that you can fulfill before you graduate.
Verify Your Amateur Status: To compete in college sports with the NCAA, potential student-athletes need to verify their status as an amateur. Amateurism ensures that all players are competing on the same level, and no student-athlete has an unfair advantage. After registering with the NCAA eligibility center, the next step is to receive an NCAA ID number. This number is required for college coaches to offer an official scholarship.
Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center is required for student-athletes who want to compete in Division I or II. Besides simply completing a requirement, it can be an advantage to register for eligibility early in high school. Confirming NCAA eligibility lets college coaches know that you are serious about competing in college and have completed all the necessary academic requirements.
How Do I Register With The NCAA Eligibility Center?
There are several steps to registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just filling out a profile or creating an account. There are a couple of additional steps that potential student-athletes need to take before they are considered eligible to compete at NCAA schools.
Certification Account: You will need to start by creating a Certification Account within the NCAA Eligibility Center. This account requires primary academic and athletic information that will help verify your educational requirements, as well as your amateur status. Even if you create this account in your sophomore year, the NCAA won’t consider you eligible yet. You’ll still need to take either the ACT or SAT and send those test scores to the NCAA in your junior year of high school.
Release Your Transcript: Your high school must send your official high school transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center. You’ll need to request that your high school counselor uploads your transcript at the start of your junior year.
Send Test Scores: When you take the ACT and/or SAT, send your test scores to the NCAA by using the code 9999. Once the NCAA has your test scores, they can verify that the score meets eligibility requirements. These requirements vary depending on your GPA. Even if you complete
Make Payment: There is a registration fee for student-athletes to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. There is a fee waiver available for student-athletes who qualify for it. Be sure you want to compete in college athletics before completing the eligibility process and paying the registration fee, as it’s is nonrefundable.
Verify Amateur Status: In your senior year of high school, you’ll need to fill out the amateurism form in your Certification Account. This form verifies that you haven’t received money for athletic participation or have received benefits from an agent.
Review Requirements: You should request a review for any of these steps if you aren’t sure if the NCAA has received the necessary information. Registering for eligibility early gives you time to make sure all the required paperwork is accepted well before college coaches verify your eligibility.
After completing these steps, the NCAA will review your eligibility if a Division I or II college requests it. There are several statuses you could receive after sending the required information to the NCAA, depending on the division you want to compete with. Be sure to check your account to see if there are additional steps you need to take.
How To Prepare For Registering With The NCAA Eligibility Center?
If you are starting high school, it may not be the right time to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. There are some steps you can take to prepare if you aren’t ready to confirm your eligibility.
Review Courses: At the beginning of your freshman year, sit down with your high school guidance counselor, and plan out the classes you need to take to meet NCAA academic requirements. There are several basic courses you need to take to receive academic eligibility. By checking these requirements, you avoid scrambling to take classes you didn’t know you needed.
Create A Free Profile: There is an option to create a free profile page within the NCAA Eligibility Center. Generating this page allows you to receive an NCAA ID number and notifies you of important deadlines during high school. You can upgrade to a Certification Account when you’re confident that you want to compete in NCAA athletics.
Contact College Coaches: Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center won’t put you on a college coach’s radar. You’ll want to have some interest from Division I or II college coaches before going through the eligibility process. Start by emailing college coaches, introducing yourself and providing clips of your highlight film. Promoting yourself will help you gauge whether or not there is interest from Division I or II programs before paying for the NCAA eligibility registration fee.
By completing some of these tasks before you’ve made a final decision about college athletics, you set yourself up for success. You have the freedom to decide not to participate in college athletics without wasting too much time or any money.
Things To Keep In Mind
Division III: While Division III athletes don’t need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, there is an option to create a profile page within the NCAA Eligibility Center. This profile will grant you an NCAA ID number and provides some extra information about important deadlines during high school.
Unofficial Visits: You can take as many unofficial visits as you want to a school without first registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center. You must pay for all your expenses on an unofficial visit, but it’s an excellent way to get a sense of the university. If you aren’t sure if you want to compete in college athletics yet, it can be a good idea to wait to register for eligibility until after you visit your first college.