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New to the NCAA?

You have probably reached this page because you are either a new counselor or you have been given the responsibility of all things related to the NCAA. Welcome! On NCAA.org you’ll find a wealth of information about who the NCAA is and what we do. In short: student-athlete success on the field, in the classroom and in life is at the heart of our mission. The NCAA Eligibility Center works with you and your high school students to ensure they are prepared to succeed in the college classroom.

Download the Guide for the High School Counselor

How to navigate the eligibility process

What is and is not your responsibility

School counselors are pulled in hundreds of directions every day. If you’re in charge of the NCAA process for your school, it may be helpful to know what you should do to help your college-bound student-athletes and what should be delegated to others.

There are three important ways you can help your students navigate the NCAA eligibility process:

Other elements of the NCAA eligibility process are the responsibility of other individuals:

  • Who should and should not register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
    • Coaches should provide advice on how likely it is that the student will play NCAA sports.
    • The student’s family should make the final decision on whether or not to register.
  • How students are noticed or recruited for college sports.
    • Coaches should advise and assist during the recruiting process.
    • The student’s family should send out sports resumes or materials to colleges.
  • Helping the student and their family understand recruiting rules.
    • The NCAA school or schools which are recruiting the student should ensure the recruiting rules are followed as the rules differ by sport and division.
  • How a student can become eligible before they graduate.
    • It’s important for everyone involved in the process to remember that there are no quick fixes for poor academic performance. Eligibility is a four-year process and every semester counts.
    • Ultimately, the student owns their academic decisions, progress and performance.

Student-athlete high school timeline:

Grade 9

  • Provide your student-athletes with the list of your high school’s NCAA core courses to make sure they take the right classes.

Grade 10

Grade 11

  • Make sure your student-athletes know whether or not they are on track to graduate on time with the required number of NCAA core courses.
  • Encourage your student-athletes to take the ACT or SAT and submit their scores to the NCAA using code 9999.
  • At the end of a student-athlete’s sixth semester, submit his or her official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Grade 12