Being able to classify yourself as a student-athlete isn’t as easy as playing a middle or high school sport. There’s a procedure and checklist to qualify for the collegiate level. This process is known as the NCAA Clearinghouse. All high school athletes must meet all requirements in order to compete at the next level.
Now, you’re wondering where you begin. This blog series will give you a layout to follow to ensure that you are prepared for college play.
The NCAA Clearinghouse
This organization evaluates a student’s academic credentials to determine whether or not a student-athlete is eligible to play at a NCAA Division 1 or 2 college beginning their freshman year as an athlete.
Registration for the NCAA Clearinghouse occurs during your freshman year of high school by visiting their website www.eligibilitycenter.org. This early start creates awareness for the athlete. Once your academic background has been received, and a NCAA institution has requested your status. Then, there are four steps that must be taken:
- Complete Online Registration
- Fee Payment
- SAT or ACT test scores on file
- Transcripts from all schools attended
Sensitive Time Period
You must go visit the Eligibility website to familiarize yourself with the NCAA requirements. Parents/guardians should meet with the guidance counselor beginning in August of freshman year to ensure their child will be eligible by the NCAA Clearing House Requirements. This period is extremely important because you can’t wait until their Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year to discover the requirements. The NCAA gives no leeway for academic slip-ups. You CAN NOT wait until their Junior or Senior year to register. To stay ahead of the curve, we recommend that you began in the final year of middle school.
A requirement for post-secondary education is to take either the ACT or SAT. As a student-athlete, please be sure to enter code “9999”when registering. This allows for the NCAA Eligibility Center to receive test scores directly. The scores recorded on a high school transcript WILL NOT be used.
Starting freshman and sophomore year of high school, you should enroll in college preparatory courses such as: English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and a Foreign Language. To ensure you’re on the right path, simply compare the courses taken at your high school to the NCAA approved courses. As you enter your junior year, continue to take college prep courses. The student should began testing for the ACT/SAT and utilizing the code “9999”. Once your sixth semester is completed, your guidance counselor should be advised to send your transcripts to the Eligibility Center.
Senior year is nothing but a duplicate of junior year. Stay attentive and remain consistent with the courses approved by the NCAA. As a reminder, on or after April 1, update your information on their Clearinghouse account and request a final amateurism certification. Lastly upon graduation, your guidance counselor should send your final transcript to the Eligibility Center. This transcript should indicate the graduation date.
This in an overview of the process taken to become a NCAA Division 1 or 2 student-athlete. Next week’s segment will include the new summary of changes as well as the NCAA Qualifiers.