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NCAA Eligibility Center FAQs


The following is a list of the top questions that most student athletes and parents have during the recruiting process when it comes to the Eligibility Center.

ncaa eligible center

What is the NCAA Eligibility Center?

The NCAA Eligibility Clearinghouse is the governing organization that officially certifies student -athletes as academically eligible to compete in NCAA Division I or Division II athletics.

Why do I have to register?

If you want to compete in NCAA Division I or Division II athletics, you must fulfill certain academic requirements, which include coursework, grade point average, and test scores. The Clearinghouse checks whether you meet these requirements and certifies your eligibility to play for any college or university that may be interested in recruiting you.

Do I have to register with the NCAA eligibility center?

Yes, if you plan and want to compete in Division I or II athletics in your first year of college, you must register with and be certified academically and as an amateur by the eligibility center.

When do I have to register with the Eligibility Center?

You may register as early as your freshmen year in high school.  It is suggested to register in your sophomore year, but no later than the beginning of your junior year of high school.  This will allow college coaches to have the most up-to-date information about you.

When can I register?

You need to have your high school send your transcripts to the eligibility center after you have completed your junior year (or six semesters).

What is involved with the registration process?

There are a series of steps to follow when completing the registration. The eligibility center does an excellent job walking you through the process. Some information you will need to have is:

  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Sports you plan on participating in
  • Your high school address
  • High school code number (get your code number from your counselor)
  • High School transcripts and SAT & ACT scores

Do I send them my ACT and SAT scores?

All SAT and ACT test scores must be reported directly from the testing agency. When you register for the SAT or ACT put the code of “9999” to ensure your test scores get sent to the eligibility center. ACT and SAT scores are not accepted by the eligibility center if sent on your high school transcripts.

How much does it cost?

There is a processing fee of $80 ($135 for international students). There is a possibility for a waiver in which you don’t have to pay the processing fee. In order to be eligible to waive the registration fee, you must have been granted a waiver for the ACT or SAT fee. If you weren’t then you can’t apply to have your eligibility registration fee waived.

What are the core courses that I need to become eligible?

Core courses are a designated set of high school classes that must be completed to become eligible. They include the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Natural/Physical Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, non-doctrinal Religion or Philosophy. These courses have to meet your high schools standard academic level, and have to be completed no later than your high school graduation date. You can get a list of courses from your high school counselor or from our list below.

Can I use a core course taken after I graduated?

If you are enrolled in the NCAA Division I you can use only those courses completed in grades 9 through 12. An exception to the rule is when a student-athlete graduates on time (in eight semesters), they can use one core course completed in the summer or academic year after graduation. The course cannot be completed later than that academic year following the student-athlete’s graduation date. The course can be completed at a location other than your high school. If you are enrolling in Division II you can use any courses that you complete prior to the start of your college career.

How is my GPA figured to determine my eligibility status?

Core course GPA is calculated differently than your high school GPA. The scale is on an A, B, C, D evaluation with an A worth 4.00, a B worth 3.00, a C worth 2.00, and a D worth 1.00. The eligibility center does not use plus or minuses (+, -) and the lowest grade you can earn is a D. The eligibility center uses a scale to measure the length of a class, and its value to your overall GPA. A trimester course is worth .33 units, a semester course is worth .5 units, and a year-long course is worth 1.0 units. Only your best grades from the core courses will be used. You can include other core course scores if they improve your overall GPA. Here is an example for you to calculate your GPA:

An “A” in a semester course: 4 x .5 = 2 quality points and .5 credits earned
A “B” in a year course: 3 x 1 = 3 quality point and 1 credits earned
A “C” in a trimester course: 2 x .33 = .66 quality points and .33 credits earned
A “B” in a semester course: 3 x .5 = 1.5 quality points and .5 credits earned

The next step is to calculate your grade point average. Add up your quality points and divide them by the amount of credits you have earned. For this example it would be:
7.16 quality points (.5+3+.66+1.5) divided by 2.33 credits earn (.5+1+.33+.5) for a GPA of 3.07

What are the core courses that I need to take to become eligible for Division I and Division II?

Division One Core Courses
Division Two Core Courses

Core Course RULE CHANGE!

Starting on August 1st, 2018 – Division I will require 10 core courses to be completed prior to the seventh semester. Seven of the ten must be a combination of Mathematics, English, or Natural or Physical Science that meet the distribution list below. These ten courses get “locked in” at the start of the seventh semester and cannot be retaken for grade improvement.

What is the sliding scale that Division I uses?

It is a scale that allows for you to have lower test scores but a higher GPA and vice versa to qualify for your academic eligibility. If your GPA is very high than your ACT and SAT test scores can be relatively low and you can still be eligible. You need to make sure you fall within this scale provided by the NCAA.

NCAA Division One Sliding Scale – Click Here

What is the sum score that is mentioned when determining my ACT or SAT scores?

You are allowed to take both tests more than once. The NCAA will let you take the best scores from each test and combine them to make the best possible sum of scores. For example: if you took the SAT in January and got 420 Math and 380 Verbal that gives you a total of 800. The next time you take the test in May you get a 350 Math and a 490 Verbal than your score is 840. However, with the sum score formula you can combine the best scores from both tests to get a 420 Math and a 490 Verbal for a sum score of 910.

How come there is no talk about Division III and the Eligibility Center?

NCAA Division III does not use the Eligibility Center. Any questions on academic requirements need to be directed to that college institution.

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