NCAA Eligibility Center: Formerly NCAA Clearinghouse

How to Determine Your NCAA Eligibility

Play Division I Sports

If you want to compete in NCAA sports at a Division I school, you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to make sure you stay on track to meet initial-eligibility standards.

If you have questions about your eligibility or the registration process, call us toll-free at 1-877-262-1492. International students should call 317-917-6222.

NCAA ELIGIBILITY CENTER LOGIN - Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center

NCAA ELIGIBILITY CENTER ADDRESS

How do I contact the NCAA Eligibility Center?

Transcript/Document Mailing Address

  • NCAA Eligibility Center
  • Certification Processing
  • P.O. Box 7136
  • Indianapolis, IN 46207

Overnight/Express Mailing Address

  • NCAA Eligibility Center
  • Certification Processing
  • 1802 Alonzo Watford Sr. Drive
  • Indianapolis, IN 46202

Customer Service Hours

  • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time
  • Monday through Friday
  • Fax number: 317-968-5100
  • Toll-free phone number (U.S. callers and Canada except for Quebec): 877-262-1492

NCAA ELIGIBILITY CENTER PHONE NUMBER

  • Customer Service Hours

  • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time

  • Monday through Friday

  • Fax number: 317-968-5100

  • Toll-free phone number (U.S. callers and Canada except for Quebec): 877-262-1492

  • For students and parents with eligibility questions:

  • 877-262-1492 (toll-free)

  • 317-917-6222

International Students

Get Ready. Get Set. Go!

Grade 9

  • Ask your counselor for a list of your high school’s NCAA core courses to make sure you take the right classes.

Grade 10

Grade 11

  • Check with your counselor to make sure you will graduate on time with the required number of NCAA core courses.
  • Take the ACT or SAT and submit your scores to the NCAA using code 9999.
  • At the end of the year, ask your counselor to upload your official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Grade 12

  • Finish your last NCAA core courses.
  • Take the ACT or SAT again, if necessary, and submit your scores to the NCAA using code 9999.
  • Complete all academic and amateurism questions in your NCAA Eligibility Center account at eligibilitycenter.org.
  • After you graduate, ask your counselor to submit your final official transcript with proof of graduation to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Division I academic eligibility

To be eligible to compete in NCAA sports during your first year at a Division I school, you must graduate high school and meet ALL the following requirements:

  • Complete 16 core courses:
    • Four years of English
    • Three years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)
    • Two years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it)
    • One additional year of English, math or natural/physical science
    • Two years of social science
    • Four additional years of English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy
  • Complete 10 core courses, including seven in English, math or natural/physical science, before your seventh semester. Once you begin your seventh semester, you may not repeat or replace any of those 10 courses to improve your core-course GPA.
  • Earn at least a 2.3 GPA in your core courses.
  • Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA on Division I sliding scale, which balances your test score and core-course GPA. If you have a low test score, you need a higher core-course GPA to be eligible. If you have a low core-course GPA, you need a higher test score to be eligible.

What if I don’t meet the requirements?

If you have not met all the Division I academic requirements, you may not compete in your first year at college. However, if you qualify as an academic redshirt you may practice during your first term in college and receive an athletics scholarship for the entire year.

To qualify as an academic redshirt, you must graduate high school and meet ALL the following academic requirements:

  • Complete 16 core courses:
    • Four years of English
    • Three years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)
    • Two years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it)
    • One additional year of English, math or natural/physical science
    • Two years of social science
    • Four additional years of English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy
  • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA in your core courses.
  • Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA on Division I sliding scale.

If you are concerned you may not meet the Division I academic requirements, consider taking the following actions:

  • Ask for advice and accountability from your high school counselor. Check-in with the admissions or compliance office at the college you hope to attend.
  • Get tutoring or other study help.
  • Graduate on time. Division I schools allow college-bound student-athletes who graduate on-time to take one core course during the year after they graduate high school.
  • Avoid quick fixes through credit recovery programs. These courses may not be accepted by the NCAA.
  • Keep your coursework. If the NCAA Eligibility Center needs to review your record due to irregularities, you may be asked to provide your coursework.
  • Follow your high school's policies. The best thing to do is to work within the rules.

Amateurism

The NCAA promotes amateurism to create a level playing field for all student-athletes. The young men and women who compete in college sports are students first, athletes second. If you want to compete in NCAA sports at a Division I school you must be an amateur athlete. 

 

 

The NCAA Eligibility Center is the arm of the NCAA responsible for determining the academic eligibility and amateurism status for all DI and DII student-athletes. Previously, this part of the NCAA was called the NCAA Clearinghouse, but now, the NCAA Clearinghouse and NCAA Eligibility Center are the same processes. 

The most important thing to understand as a prospective student-athlete is that the NCAA is there to determine your eligibility, not to provide guidance on how to get or maintain your college eligibility. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete to understand the academic and amateurism requirements and make sure they are on track to meet those requirements with the help of their high school guidance counselor and school administrators. 

NCAA Certification Account or Profile page: What type of NCAA account is right for you?

If you are actively being recruited at the NCAA DI or DII level, or you are very confident you will be competing at that level out of high school, you should register with the NCAA and create a Certification Account. If you aren’t sure of your division level, you should create an NCAA Profile page so you can easily transition to a Certification Account if needed.

 

What is the purpose of the NCAA Eligibility Center?

For prospective college student-athletes, the NCAA Eligibility Center is the part of the NCAA that will ensure you meet the minimum academic requirements and are considered an amateur athlete. It does this by reviewing your high school transcripts (official copies only), SAT/ACT test scores and reviewing the answers to your amateurism questionnaire. In rare situations, the NCAA will require additional information surrounding your high school classes or athletic competition, but most athletes pass through the NCAA Eligibility Center without incident. 

How do I register for the NCAA Eligibility Center?

The NCAA has a very user-friendly website at the NCAA Eligibility Center. Give yourself at least 15-30 minutes to complete the initial registration. Before you register with the NCAA, make sure you have a valid email address you will have access to after high school. If you are creating a Certification Account, you will need a method of payment for the account.

Insider Tip: After creating your account, you will need to have official copies of your high school transcripts (from all schools you attended) and copies of your SAT and/or ACT scores sent to the NCAA.

How do you get an NCAA number?

Go to the NCAA Eligibility Center website and create either a Certification Account or Profile page and complete the initial registration process. Allow at least 15-20 minutes to complete the initial registration.

 

NCAA Eligibility requirements

  •  Academic Requirements – Complete 16 core courses, have a minimum GPA of 2.3 (for DI) or 2.2 (for DII) in those core courses and meet the minimums of the sliding scale in your combination of core course GPA and SAT/ACT test scores.
  •  Amateurism Requirements – Athletes cannot obtain amateurism status if they have received compensation that exceeds actual and necessary expenses. Athletes also cannot accept payment for media appearances based on their athletic ability, endorsing commercial products or accept prize money beyond actual/necessary expenses. Learn more about 

How long does the NCAA Eligibility Center take?

You are not officially done with the NCAA Eligibility Center process until you are done with high school and officially declared eligible at your DI or DII institution. There are three phases to the NCAA Eligibility Center process you will need to check in to make sure you are on track:

  1. Creating a Certification Account – This should happen in your freshman or sophomore year of high school.
  2. Having up-to-date transcripts after your junior year – The NCAA requires prospective DI athletes to complete 10 core courses before the start of your final semester of high school. 7 of these courses need to be in English, math and natural or physical science. Additionally, your core-course GPA will be “locked-in” at this time – you won’t be allowed to retake these classes to improve your grades.
  3. Sending in final transcripts and requesting final amateurism certification – After you have completed high school, you will send your final transcripts and request your final amateurism certification.

Insider Tip: If you are enrolling early (common for elite level DI athletes playing in the fall) or have a unique situation coming out of junior college, your process could be slightly different than the one detailed above. In both of these scenarios, the college that is recruiting you will likely be in touch and providing assistance. The most important thing is that you have a Certification Account, keep it up to date and all of your most recent academic records are on file with the NCAA.

NCAA amateurism rules

The NCAA rules in this area are not easy to interpret. However, more than 95 percent of recruits will not have a problem meeting the NCAA requirements. For athletes who have a nontraditional athletic history, here are the main points to look out for concerning your eligibility.

  • Receiving compensation that exceeds actual and necessary expenses – The NCAA does allow athletes to receive some compensation as an amateur athlete, as long as the amounts do not exceed what is deemed actual and necessary expenses. Some athletes are asked to join travel teams in which their cost is covered by the team (this would be allowed). However, if an athlete is paid more than the travel costs, they could get into trouble.
  • Receiving compensation for media appearances based on your athletic ability or fame – The obvious rules violation is being paid appearance fees, but this can also include things like athletes with large YouTube followings where they are profiting from advertising dollars.
  • Endorsing (expressly or implicitly) commercial products or services – This is one of the more difficult areas to interpret. If the athlete is being paid in any way to wear a specific brand or promote a product, it would be considered a violation.
  • Accepting prize money beyond the actual/necessary expenses – It is not illegal for a potential NCAA athlete to have competed in professional competition. However, if they are eligible to win prize money, it cannot exceed the amount more than the necessary expenses. **There is an exception for tennis players, who are allowed to accept up to $10,000/year and still maintain eligibility.

WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LEGALITY OF SOMETHING: The NCAA does not provide guidance on what is and is not permissible. Informed Athlete, run by Rick Allen, is one of the few sources where you can get a detailed review and explanation of your NCAA rules questions. Contact him if you have questions about any of the above points.

LEGAL issues regarding NCAA Eligibility - NCAA Does not give guidance but endorses Informed Athlete Here is their number and we have also provided their MISSION STATEMENT - Informed Athlete helps student-athletes navigate the complex NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, and CCCAA rules on issues related to Transfers, Waivers & Appeals, Eligibility Issues, Scholarship Strategies, and Recruiting Rules. 

What does ‘preliminary certified’ mean?

This status means you are cleared as an amateur athlete (at this time) and no further review is scheduled. In other words, you are cleared and pending your academic status, you are an NCAA-eligible athlete.

What is on the amateurism questionnaire?

The following are a list of questions that are currently part of the NCAA amateurism questionnaire:

  • Education Background – You will need to list the date of attendance, name, country, cost of attendance (U.S. high schools are free), graduation date and where you lived while you attended.
  • Athletic Participation – This section requires athletes fill in the following for each team you’ve been part of: team name, contact info for the team/organization, league affiliation, dates of participation, number of contests played and a list of the expenses you received.
  • Did you receive any money beyond actual and necessary expenses as part of your participation with the listed organizations? – The majority of athletes answer “no” here. If you did receive any compensation beyond the cost associated with participating in or traveling to an event, list it here.
  • Did any of your team members receive money beyond expenses? – The majority of athletes answer “no” here, but if you did play on a professional organization, list it here.
  • Did you sign any type of agreement to participate on any of your teams? – Many travel teams have team agreements; you should list those here. This is also meant to catch any athletes who may have signed professional contracts. Be prepared to show a copy of the agreement.
  • Did any of the teams call themselves professional? – If you played for an organization that had professional teams in the upper ranks, but your team was considered amateur, you should list them here. Most athletes answer “no” to this question.
  • Did/do you have a written or verbal agreement with an agent or agency? – Not all contracts with agents are illegal, but you should be extremely wary of signing an agreement and seek the advice of an NCAA expert before signing.
  • Have you or your family ever accepted any money from an agent or agency? – This is almost always a clear violation. You may be allowed to give the benefits back and be eligible but, to be safe, always avoid taking anything from an agent.
  • Have you ever been involved in an advertisement or promotion? – This rule can be difficult to interpret and you should consult an NCAA expert before agreeing to any promotions or advertisements.
  • Have you ever accepted prize money based on your place or finish? If so, how much? – If you are a tennis player you can accept up to $10k/year. For any other sport, you are not allowed to accept any money beyond the cost of participating (including travel).

The following questions are specifically related to your recruiting process:

  • How did you learn about the school(s) recruiting you? – Popular answers to this question include email, text, call, and my coach or I contacted them first.
  • Who contacted you and encouraged you to attend this university? – It is illegal for boosters to try to persuade recruits to attend a school. Here is more on boosters' rules. Most athletes list things like the college coach, my family, my high school/club coach or no one (you chose the university on your own).
  • Please list all official visits taken – If you have taken any official visits, list them here.
  • Did you or someone representing you ever use a recruiting service or another individual to help you find an institution or aid in finding an athletic scholarship? – As long as you are using an NCAA-compliant recruiting service, you will have no issues. Next College Student Athlete is an NCAA-compliant recruiting service. If you have any questions about whether a recruiting service is certified, always ask for proof of certification before you get involved with them.

 

 

Amateurism certification status definitions

  • Final certified: This status means the NCAA has made a final decision, declaring you eligible pending an academic review.
  • Final certified with conditions: Before you are eligible to compete, you will need to meet specific requirements laid out by the amateurism committee. This is a best-case scenario for athletes with rules violations.
  • Final not certified: You are not considered an amateur athlete and are not eligible to compete or receive a scholarship at the NCAA level.
  • Incomplete web entry: The NCAA is not able to determine your status because you have not completed the questionnaire.
  • Not applicable: If you are competing at the DIII level or for certain sports, you will not have your amateurism reviewed.
  • Pending review: If something in your questionnaire raised questions, the amateurism committee will take a deeper look. You will see this status while they review your case.
  • Preliminary certified: If your account has been reviewed and cleared, but you haven’t requested final amateurism certification, this is your status. This means you are on your way to being eligible and will simply need to wait until the end of your high school career.
  • Preliminary certified with conditions: You will be eligible after you complete certain tasks laid out by the committee.
  • Preliminary not certified: You will not be eligible.
  • Suspended review: If you were in the process of being reviewed, but the school requesting your amateur status has dropped you as a recruit, the NCAA will stop reviewing your case. In this scenario, contact the coach or school that was recruiting you and find out what happened.

Role of Boosters

Boosters play a role in providing student-athletes with a positive experience through their enthusiastic efforts. They can support teams and athletics departments through donations of time and financial resources which help student-athletes succeed on and off the playing field.

Boosters, referred to by the NCAA as “representatives of the institution’s athletic interests,” include anyone who has:

  • Provided a donation in order to obtain season tickets for any sport at the university.
  • Participated in or has been a member of an organization promoting the university’s athletics programs.
  • Made financial contributions to the athletic department or to a university booster organization.
  • Arranged for or provided employment for enrolled student-athletes.
  • Assisted or has been requested by university staff to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes.
  • Assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student athletes or their families.
  • Been involved otherwise in promoting university athletics.

Once an individual is identified as a “representative of the institution’s athletics interests,” the person retains that identity forever.

Only institutional staff members are permitted to recruit prospective student-athletes. Generally, NCAA rules prohibit anyone else from contacting (calling, writing or in-person contact) prospects or the prospect’s relatives or guardian for recruiting purposes.

Students are still considered prospects even if they have signed a National Letter of Intent or any other financial aid agreement with a university.

Boosters are not precluded from continuing established friendships with families who have prospective student-athletes. However, boosters may not encourage a prospect’s participation in university athletics or provide benefits to prospects that were not previously provided.

If a violation occurs, it may jeopardize a student-athlete’s eligibility for intercollegiate competition, jeopardize a school’s membership status with the NCAA or cause a booster to lose access to all booster benefits.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the examples of impermissible recruiting activities?

As a booster, you may not:

  • Contact a prospect in-person on-campus or off-campus.
  • Contact a prospect by telephone, email, Internet or letter.
  • Provide gifts or free or reduced-cost services to a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian.
  • Employ relatives, guardians or friends of a prospect as an inducement for the prospect’s enrollment and athletics participation at a university.
  • Become directly or indirectly involved in making arrangements for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian to receive money or financial aid of any kind.
  • Provide transportation for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardians.
  • Provide free or reduced-cost tickets for a prospect or the prospect’s relatives or guardian to attend an athletic event.
  • Provide any material benefit (e.g., meals, cash) to the coach of a prospect, including high school, two-year college, AAU and summer team coaches.

What are the examples of permissible activities?

Even though there are many rules prohibiting your involvement with prospects and the recruiting process, as a booster, you may:

  • Notify university coaching staff members about noteworthy prospects in the area.
  • Attend high school or two-year college athletic contests or other events where prospects may compete, provided no contact occurs.
  • Continue existing friendships.

What are examples of impermissible extra benefits for enrolled student-athletes?

As a booster, you may not provide a student-athlete or a student-athlete’s friends, relatives or guardians:

  • Tickets to college or professional sporting events.
  • A special discount, payment arrangement or credit on a purchase or service.
  • Cash or loan or signing or co-signing of a loan.
  • Transportation, payment of expense or loan of any automobile.
  • Benefits or gifts based upon the student-athlete’s athletic performance.
  • Free or reduced rent or housing.

An honorarium to a student-athlete for a speaking engagement.

What are examples of permissible benefits for enrolled student-athletes?

With the various NCAA rules and regulations regarding benefits to student-athletes, it may seem difficult to be a part of a university’s athletic programs. However, you can show your support as a booster in other ways. Boosters may:

  • Make contributions to university programs and other gift-in-kind arrangements.
  • Attend university athletic events and show student-athletes you support their hard work and dedication to the university.

What is institutional control?

Institutional control of athletics is a fundamental requirement of NCAA legislation. Specifically, the NCAA constitution states that the university must:

  • Control its intercollegiate athletic programs in compliance with the rules and regulations of the NCAA.
  • Monitor its program to insure compliance.
  • Identify and report to the NCAA instances in which compliance has not been achieved and take corrective actions.
  • Insure those members of university staff, student-athletes and other individuals or groups representing the university’s athletic interests comply with NCAA rules and regulations. As a member of the NCAA, the university is responsible for the actions of its alumni, supporters, and fans.

Are there any rules for the employment of enrolled student-athletes by boosters?

Student-athletes may only be compensated for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate. Compensation may not include remuneration for the value that the student-athlete may have for the employer due to the student-athletes athletics status. Transportation may not be provided to student-athletes unless it is a benefit provided to all employees.

What are the core courses?

Not all high school classes count as NCAA core courses. Only classes in English, math (Algebra 1 or higher), natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy may be approved as NCAA core courses. Remedial classes and classes completed through credit-by-exam are not considered NCAA core courses.

Classes that are NCAA core courses include:

  • English: English 1-4, American Literature, creative writing
  • Math: Algebra 1-3, Geometry, statistics
  • Natural of physical science: biology, chemistry, physics
  • Social science: American History, civics, government
  • Additional: comparative religion, Spanish 1-4

Classes that are not NCAA core courses include:

  • Classes in non-core areas, fine arts or vocations such as driver education, typing, art, music, physical education or welding.
  • Personal skill classes such as personal finance or consumer education.
  • Classes taught below grade level, at a slower pace or with less rigor or depth. These classes are often titled basic, essential, fundamental or foundational.
  • Classes that are not academic in nature such as film appreciation, video editing or greenhouse management.

If you take a high school class such as Algebra 1 or Spanish 1 before you start ninth grade, the class may count for your 16 core courses if it is on your high school’s list of approved core courses and is shown on your high school transcript with a grade and a credit.

Credit

You can earn credit for a core course only once. If you take a course that repeats the content of another core course, you earn credit for only one of these courses and the higher grade counts toward your core-course GPA.

Generally, you receive the same number of credits from the NCAA for a core course that you receive from your high school for the class. One academic semester of a class counts for .5 of a core course credit. One academic trimester of a class counts for .34 of a core-course credit. One academic quarter of a class counts for .25 of a core-course credit. A one-year class taken over a longer period of time is considered one core course and is not awarded more than one credit.

Calculate your core-course credits and GPA

Division I additional core course

Division I schools allow you to complete one additional core-course unit after you graduate high school, as long as you graduate in eight semesters after you begin ninth grade. The additional core-course unit must be completed within one year after your high school graduation and must be completed before you enroll in college.

The additional core course unit may be taken at a different school than the high school from which you graduated as long as the class is on the new school's list of approved NCAA core courses. If you take the additional core course at a school other than the school from which you graduated, you must provide the NCAA Eligibility Center with an official transcript from the new school showing the additional core-course grade and credit.

If you take the additional core course through a program that does not award credit, the course must be awarded credit by a credit-awarding high school.


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