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How to ensure you're eligible for the NCAA

ncaa eligible center

The NCAA Eligibility Centre and Application Process

Having worked with hundreds of student athletes other the past 6 years one of the first questions I ask every student is where do they see themselves when they’re 20?  MattyThis gives me perspective in to what direction players want to go.  No matter whether a student is in grade 7 or grade 12, one of the most common answers to that question is “I want to go south and play in the NCAA”.  Just like I was at that age, they know where they are now and where they want to go, but they have no idea what is in-between.  More often than not it’s not only the student, but also their families who want their son or daughter to play the sport they love while getting a post secondary education.  The purpose of this article is to shed some light on part of the journey to the NCAA, and more specifically the role of the NCAA Eligibly Centre.

In the early 1990’s, the “Clearinghouse” was established by the NCAA as a way for schools to receive an unbiased assessment of the students they could recruit.  This provided a list of all the players who would be eligible to receive athletic aid, who could practice, and who could compete in their freshman year.  To achieve this, freshman students have to meet a certain basic level of academic ability that is calculated through a combination of their GPA in High School classes, and their SAT or ACT score.  In 2007, the Clearinghouse was renamed to the NCAA Eligibility Centre, but its purpose still remains to certify players as eligible.

At this time I am going to provide a link to their website, but encourage you to keep reading to gather further information on where this link is going to take you.

This website is a fantastic tool not only to register, but also to gather information about the NCAA and provide a road map to the courses and check points that need to be met in order to be eligible.  I strongly suggest going through the Resources Section to gather more information about academic standards, courses that are accepted, how and when you can be recruited, and more in-depth NCAA information.  All of this can be found by downloading the PDF of the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.

Along with the information on this website you can also register to be reviewed for the NCAA.  This is done by clicking on the mobile phone on the home page.  To register it is recommended you allow at least 45 minutes to complete the registration.  However, if you do have to exit and return, you can certainly do so once you have provided a valid email address.  This address should be something you check frequently because they will continue to send you information throughout the application process.  To provide a good first impression it’s recommended you provide a professional email address.

Once you have completed the “About Me” section, you will be asked about “My Coursework”.  It’s important to enter all classes that were completed after the beginning of grade 9, including summer classes or online courses.  The final piece of information they require is what sport you plan on participating in.  After all of this has been completed and the payment of $75 has been paid the application will be eligible for processing.
There are three outcomes that can come from this application:  Qualifier, Academic Red Shirt, and Non-qualifier.  Qualifiers are those who may practice, compete and receive athletic scholarships for the first year of enrolment.  An Academic Red Shirt are those who may practice, receive athletic scholarships, but may NOT complete in their first term.  These students must pass eight or nine semester hours in their first term in order to be eligible to compete in the second term.  Non-qualifiers may not practice, compete or receive any athletic scholarships during their first year of enrolment at an NCAA school.

Hamilton Vermont
I hope this article was able to shed some light into the process of reaching your NCAA dreams.  The best way to achieve your dream is to focus on your goal and surround yourself with people who are likeminded and push you every day to be better.  For our Global student athletes, they are fortunate to have the coaches, friends and a support system they need to help them along this path.  For more information about the school programs we offer please follow this link:


David Addison