Future Student-Athlete

School Presentation Resources

When discussing options for students after high school graduation, many schools incorporate informational meetings about playing college sports during their school’s “College Nights” or other events throughout the year. These educational sessions help students and parents learn about athletic opportunities beyond high school and how to keep students on track. The NCAA Eligibility Center has prepared a packet of resources to assist with these events and empower high school counselors, coaches and other administrators, to give a detailed presentation about meeting academic and amateurism requirements to help prepare students to be successful in college.

Below are presentation resources we suggest you utilize in your presentation or for preparation: 

Some schools also invite speakers who are experts in college sports eligibility to assist with these presentations. Due to the volume and range of speaking requests received, the NCAA is unable to send staff members to most events. However, if counselors are not comfortable giving their own presentation we will do our best to connect you with an NCAA member school in your area that has a compliance officer available to present at your event. If a staff member at a local school is unavailable, we will work with you to ensure you have access to the available materials and assistance to put together a presentation for your audience. 

To submit a speaker request, please complete our online Presentation Inquiry Form below with as much detail as possible. We will respond to your request within five to 10 business days with next steps. 

Initial-eligibility status terms

Below you will find the definitions of academic and amateur statuses that the NCAA Eligibility Center uses in the certification process.

Academic terms

Automatic waiver approved: You are immediately eligible to receive an athletics scholarship, and practice and compete with your team during your first year of full-time college enrollment. Contact your college’s compliance department for details.

Early academic qualifier: You are immediately eligible to receive an athletics scholarship and practice and compete with your team during your first year of full-time college enrollment. Contact your college’s compliance department for details.

Final nonqualifier: You may not practice or compete with your team or receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of full-time college enrollment.

Final partial qualifier: For student-athletes at Division II schools. You may practice with your team at its home facility and receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of full-time college enrollment but you may not compete.

Final Qualifier: You are academically eligible to practice, compete and receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of full-time college enrollment.

HS decision pending: The NCAA Eligibility Center is reviewing an issue related to your high school.

In process: The NCAA Eligibility Center is reviewing your case. Usually, cases remain in process for no more than two business days.

Preliminary: Anything that does not have a final academic certification.

Academic redshirt: For student-athletes who enroll at a Division I school after Aug. 1, 2016. You may practice with your team during your first semester of full-time college enrollment and receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of full-time college enrollment but you may not compete during your first year of full-time college enrollment.

Secondary review: The NCAA Eligibility Center is reviewing specific situations related to your case. Cases usually remain in secondary review for no more than five business days.

Under review: The NCAA Eligibility Center is reviewing a unique academic situation related to your case.

Waiver approved: The NCAA Eligibility Center has approved an initial-eligibility waiver submitted on your behalf. Contact your college’s compliance department for details.

Waiver denied: The NCAA Eligibility Center has denied an initial-eligibility waiver submitted on your behalf. Contact your college’s compliance department for details.

Waiver partially approved (athletics aid only): The NCAA Eligibility Center has partially approved an initial-eligibility waiver submitted on your behalf so that you may receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of full-time college enrollment. Contact your college’s compliance department for details.

Waiver partially approved (aid and practice): The NCAA Eligibility Center has partially approved an initial-eligibility waiver submitted on your behalf so you may receive an athletics scholarship and practice with your team during your first year of full-time college enrollment. You may not compete during your first year of full-time college enrollment Contact your college’s compliance department for details.

Amateurism terms

Final certified: The NCAA Eligibility Center has decided you meet amateurism standards. Your case may need to be reviewed for academic issues before you are eligible to practice, compete or receive an athletics scholarship.

Final certified with conditions: You must fulfill certain conditions to be eligible to compete.

Final not certified: You may not practice, compete or receive an athletics scholarship in the division to which the school you applied belongs.

Incomplete web entry: You did not complete your registration. Return to My Planner to see which pages need to be completed.

Not applicable: An amateurism certification is not required for this sport for this division.

Preliminary reviewed: Thank you for submitting your sports participation information, which should be updated as necessary before requesting final amateurism certification. Once you have requested final amateurism certification, the Eligibility Center will either complete your review or request additional information.

Pending review: Your status requires further review by the amateurism staff.

Preliminary reviewed: A preliminary review of your amateurism status has been conducted as of [PREVIOUS TASK ASSIGNMENT DATE]. Your amateurism status review is ongoing and you are required to update your Eligibility Center Certification account with any future additional sports participation or information not initially entered into your account prior to requesting final amateurism certification. 

Please note, if more information is available on your amateurism status it will be in your account.

Suspended review: Your case is no longer being reviewed because you are not currently being recruited by a Division I or II school.

How to Register

If you want to play NCAA sports at a Division I or II school, you need to register for a Certification Account with the NCAA Eligibility Center. College-bound student-athletes in Division III can also create a Profile Page to receive important updates about being a student-athlete and preparing for college. Students who are not sure which division they want to compete in can create a Profile Page and transition to a Certification Account if they decide to play Division I or II sports.

The NCAA Eligibility Center works with you and your high school to help you prepare for life as a student-athlete. If you have questions about your eligibility or the registration process, please review our resources and frequently asked questions or call us toll free at 1-877-262-1492. International students should use our International Contact Form to reach out to staff.

The following resources can assist with questions you may have about registering with the Eligibility Center.

What You Need Before You Register

Below is a list of items that we recommend you have prepared prior to beginning your registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Or download our Registration Checklist to have on hand.  

  • Valid email address the student checks frequently and will have access to after high school.
  • Basic education history, including a list of all high schools or secondary schools you have attended and the dates during which you attended them.
  • Sports participation history (Certification Accounts only), including details about any teams with which you have practiced or played or events in which you participated, as well as information about any individuals that have advised you or marketed your skills.
  • Payment (Certification Accounts only). The registration fee is $90 for students from the United States and its territories, and Canada. The registration fee is $150 for students from all other countries. You must pay online by debit, credit card or e-check. Some students may be eligible for a fee waiver.

Online Registration

On the NCAA Eligibility Center website, you will find the tools and information to guide you toward your goal of becoming an NCAA student-athlete. Allow at least 30 to 45 minutes to register completely for a Certification Account, and 15 to 30 minutes to create a Profile Page. If you need to exit and come back at a later time, you can save and exit once your account has been created.

Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center by following these steps:

  1. Visit eligibilitycenter.org and read the two account descriptions.
  2. Decide if you would like to sign up with a Certification Account or Profile Page. If you plan to compete at an NCAA Division I or II school, select the “Create an Account” button. If you plan to compete at an NCAA Division III school or are currently unsure where you want to compete, select the “Create a Profile Page” button. Reminder: you may transition from a Profile Page to a Certification Account, but may not move from a Certification Account to a Profile Page.
  3. On the next page, provide a valid email address to create either account and begin the registration process. Be sure you provide an email address that you check frequently and will be active even after you complete high school.
  4. Check your email inbox for an email containing a verification code and return to eligibilitycenter.org. Enter your verification code and continue registering.
  5. Complete the Account, Basic Information and Contact pages.
  6. Certification Accounts will be prompted to pay the nonrefundable registration fee. Students have 30 days after receiving a verification code to pay before their account is dropped out of the system. After submitting payment, return to your Dashboard to complete registration.
  7. Both accounts types will be prompted to enter their most recent Schools information.. Please include all schools, even if you did not receive grades or credits. If you have completed coursework at home, you may or may not be a home school student for the purposes of NCAA initial-eligibility.
  8. After entering School information, Certification Accounts will be taken to the Sports page. Please select the sport(s) you plan to compete in and continue to answer the Sports questions.
  9. After completing the School section (Profile Pages) and Sports section (Certification Accounts) you will be taken back to your Dashboard.

Registration Fee and Waiver

Your Certification Account will be eligible for processing once the nonrefundable registration fee is paid or waived. You must pay online by debit, credit card or e-check. The registration fee is $90 for students from the United States and its territories, and Canada. The registration fee is $150 for students from all other countries. Profile Pages do NOT need to pay unless they transition to a Certification Account.

You are eligible for a registration fee waiver if you have received a waiver of the SAT or ACT fee. This is not the same as a U.S. state voucher. You must have an authorized high school official submit your fee waiver documentation online after you complete your registration.

In order to be eligible for an ACT fee waiver, you must meet one of these indicators of economic need:

  • Your family receives low-income public assistance
  • Your family income is at or below the Bureau of Labor Statistics Low Standard Budget
  • You are a ward of the state
  • You live in a foster home
  • You are homeless
  • You participate in free or reduced-price lunch program at school
  • You participate in federally funded TRIO Program such as Upward Bound

You are eligible for consideration for an SAT fee waiver if you are a United States citizen or a foreign national taking the SAT in the United States or its territories and you meet one of the following requirements:

  • You are enrolled in a program for the economically disadvantaged such as AVID or TRIO
  • Your family’s annual income falls within the levels listed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for free or reduced-price lunches
  • Your family receives public assistance
  • Your family lives in federally subsidized public housing
  • You live in a foster home

If you are a home schooled student in the United States or its territories who cannot afford to pay the test fees, you must provide proof of eligibility to your local high school or agency fee-waiver administrator. Only a school or agency administrator can provide you with the fee-waiver card for the appropriate test.

Students from countries other than the United States or its territories are not eligible for a fee waiver.

All fees are nonrefundable after you successfully register with a Certification Account. If you completed a duplicate registration and paid your registration fee twice, you may be eligible for a refund of the duplicate registration fees. To receive a refund, you need to complete and submit a refund form. Once you create a Certification Account, you may not transition to a Profile Page.

Download a refund form

Nontraditional Courses

Nontraditional courses include classes taught online or through blended learning, distance learning, credit recovery, independent study, or similar means.

For a nontraditional program to be approved, the courses must meet the following requirements:

  • The courses must meet NCAA core-course requirements.
  • The courses must have ongoing and regular teacher-initiated interaction for the purposes of teaching, evaluating, and providing assistance throughout the duration of the course. This may include synchronous or asynchronous instructive interaction, including emails, videoconferencing, online chats, phone calls, and feedback on assessments.
  • The courses must have a defined time period for completion. This means the nontraditional program must identify the fastest and slowest paths to successfully complete a course (i.e., maximum and minimum time frame for completion).

A nontraditional course could fail to meet NCAA core-course requirements for any of the following reasons:

  • Does not require regular and ongoing instructive interaction between the student and teacher throughout the duration of a course.
  • Does not require students to complete the entire course.
  • Allows students to take numerous courses at the same time, especially courses in the same subject area or that are sequential.
  • Does not prepare students for four-year college classwork.
  • Does not have official student grade records.

Information for school administrators

If a nontraditional course or program at your school has not yet been reviewed by the NCAA, please contact the NCAA Eligibility Center to begin the review process.

Credit recovery programs

Many high schools offer credit recovery or credit retrieval programs for students to receive credit for a course they previously failed. Some students take credit recovery to improve grades for courses that they took previously or to take courses for the first time to catch up.

For a credit recovery program to be approved, the courses must meet the following requirements:

  • The courses must meet NCAA core-course requirements, and in some instances, nontraditional course requirements.
  • The school must follow its credit recovery policies, regardless if the student is an athlete. The NCAA Eligibility Center may request the school's policy, if necessary.
  • The credit recovery courses should be clearly identified as such on the high school transcript.
  • Repeated courses must be substantially comparable, qualitatively and quantitatively, to the previously attempted course.

Home School Students

All college-bound student-athletes interested in playing NCAA sports at a Division I or II school need to register for a Certification Account with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Please see the resources below for home school students and information regarding the Eligibility Center registration process.

Download the Home School Toolkit for home school students

How to Fill Out Home School Education History

You must complete all the following steps for the NCAA Eligibility Center to certify you as eligible to play NCAA sports:

  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at eligibilitycenter.org.
  • Pay your registration fee.
  • Register to take the ACT or SAT and submit your scores directly to the NCAA with code 9999. Test scores on transcripts or Student Score Reports are not used by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Submit an official transcript for each high school or academic program you attended.
  • Submit proof of high school graduation with a specific graduation date.
  • Submit a signed statement of who managed the home school program (e.g., who taught and evaluated the coursework, awarded grades and issued credit); and a signed statement that home schooling was conducted in accordance with state laws.
  • Submit core-course worksheets for English, math, natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy classes.

Please include the Home School Cover Sheet with your documentation.

Mailing Address:

NCAA Eligibility Center
Attn: Home School Evaluation
1802 Alonzo Watford Sr. Drive
Indianapolis, IN  46202

Email address: 

ec-processing@ncaa.org

**The NCAA Eligibility Center strongly encourages all home school documents be submitted via email.  Documents submitted via email will be processed quicker than those sent via regular U.S. mail.**

Note: Only home school administrators or home school umbrella programs can submit student documentation. Student-submitted documentation will not be accepted.

What is a Home School Program?

Learning at home is not necessarily the same as being home schooled. Because of recent growth in online and virtual education, a student may be able to learn at home through an online school with online teachers, which would not be considered a parent-directed home school.

Answer the following questions to determine whether your school is a home school or a nontraditional school, which could include courses taken with online teachers, assessments and grading.

  • Who created or developed the curriculum for the courses?
    • If an outside school or program has created the curriculum, it is probably a nontraditional program.
    • If the home school parent or tutor has created the curriculum, it is probably a home school.
  • Who provides the instruction in the courses?
    • If instruction is provided by an outside teacher, it is probably a nontraditional program.
    • If instruction is provided by a parent or tutor in the home, it is probably a home school.
  • Who designed or created the assignments and assessments?
    • If assignments and assessments are created by an outside school or program, it is probably a nontraditional course.
    • If assignments and assessments are created by a parent or tutor, it is probably a home school.
  • Who evaluates or grades the assignments and assessments?
    • If assignments and assessments are graded by an outside school or program, it is probably a nontraditional course.
    • If assignments and assessments are graded by a parent or tutor, it is probably a home school.
  • Who determines what score or grade is achieved in the courses?
    • If an outside school or program determines the grade the student earns, it is probably a nontraditional course.
    • If a parent or tutor decides what grade the student earns, it is probably a home school.
  • Who is responsible for producing a student transcript or grade report?
    • If a transcript or grade report is produced by an outside school or program, it is probably a nontraditional course.
    • If a transcript or grade report is produced by the parent, tutor or home school program, it is probably a home school.

If the answers to the questions above have suggested that the courses were taken through nontraditional means (such as an online or virtual school), your courses through that school would be evaluated under the NCAA nontraditional course legislation.

Courses that will be evaluated as home school courses are those in which a parent or tutor:

  • Plans and delivers actual instructional activities such as lectures, discussions, tutorials, feedback or assistance.
  • Determines the student’s comprehension of the material by grading and evaluating student performance and achievement on assignments and assessments and providing appropriate re-teaching and feedback.
  • Determines the overall grade the student achieved in the course.
  • Places the grade on a transcript or grade report or reports the grade to a transcription agency.

Home School Core Courses

A core course prepares you for four-year college classes in the subject areas of English, math (Algebra 1 or higher), natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, nondoctrinal religion or philosophy.

All core courses must show units of credit or semester or annual grades on your home school transcript. Course credits will be acceptable in the following increments: .25, .50, .75, 1.0, or .34 or .67. No course may exceed 1.00 units of credit.

If you take a college class while you are a home school student, you must receive both a grade and credit in the class for it to be used as a core course. Audited or CLEP classes are not considered NCAA core courses. To use a college class to meet your core-course requirements, the home school transcript must designate the course as a dual enrollment course, include the school name and location (city and state) at which the course was completed and award grade and credit for the completed course. The transcript from the two-year or four-year college/university where the course(s) was completed must be sent to the Eligibility Center. This can be sent in by the home school administrator, the two-year or four-year college/university where the course(s) was completed, an approved umbrella program if used or by the NCAA institution recruiting the student-athlete.

High school classes taken during the eighth grade may be used as NCAA core courses as long as they meet core-course requirements and are shown on the home school transcript with a grade and credit.

Division I schools require college-bound student-athletes to complete their core courses in eight semesters after starting ninth grade. If a student does not graduate in eight semesters because he or she was reassigned to a grade in high school after completing that grade at home, courses completed after eight semesters cannot be used to certify that student’s eligibility to play at a Division I school.

Home School Graduation

Acceptable proofs of graduation include the following:

  • Diploma showing month, day and year of graduation.
  • Home school transcript showing month, day and year of graduation.
  • State-recognized equivalency exam test results and diploma.

The NCAA Eligibility Center cannot accept proof of graduation from a diploma issued by a home school in New York or Hawaii because those states do not recognize home school diplomas. If a student is home schooled in New York or Hawaii and does not graduate from a high school, the local district or state board of education must review the student’s home school record and provide a written letter indicating that the student has met the requirements for graduation. The letter should include the month, day and year that the student met graduation requirements. This will be reviewed to determine if it is sufficient to meet the NCAA’s graduation requirements. The student may also provide the certificate and diploma earned from passing a state recognized equivalency test in order to meet the NCAA’s graduation requirements.

An equivalency test for proof of graduation cannot be used by the NCAA Eligibility Center if it was taken before the date a student would normally have graduated with his or her class.

Home School Transcripts

A home school transcript must include the ninth grade start date (month/day/year), course titles and grades awarded, units of credit for each course, grading scale with letter grades (if numeric scale is used), academic year in which the course was taken, graduation date (month/day/year), the student’s full name and complete home address and the handwritten signature of the home school administrator (the parent or person who organized, taught and evaluated the home school coursework).

Grades from one high school or program transcribed on another high school’s transcript will not be accepted. If a student was home schooled and attended a public or private high school, he or she must submit both a home school transcript with supporting documentation and a transcript sent from the public or private high school.

If you took home school courses through an established nontraditional program – such as an online, correspondence or tutoring program – which evaluated your coursework and issued a transcript, the program must submit your transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center along with the program’s contact information. The nontraditional program would need to be approved for coursework to be considered.

Transcripts

High school counselors will need to submit transcripts for student-athletes registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Please note that by agreeing to the NCAA Eligibility Center's Terms and Conditions when a student completes their registration, all students have agreed to the release of official transcripts to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

The easiest way to send official transcripts is by uploading them directly through the High School Portal. Direct uploads are quick, free and provide almost immediate access to a student-athlete’s transcripts. Learn more about directly uploading transcripts here. The NCAA Eligibility Center also accepts official electronic transcripts from a list of approved providers. Click here for more details on transcript submission, including how to check the status of a transcript submission.

If a student has attended more than one high school, or taken courses from more than one program, the NCAA Eligibility Center needs an official transcript from each high school or program. Grades from one high school or program transcribed on another high school's transcript will not be accepted. If your school is part of a district with a common transcript, you do not need to submit multiple transcripts for a student who has attended multiple schools in your district.

In addition to direct upload, transcripts may be submitted electronically through the following providers:

  • Credentials / eScrip-Safe
  • Parchment (aka Docufide)
  • XAP
  • National Transcript Center
  • National Student Clearinghouse
  • USMO ET (Speede)
  • Scribbles Software
  • Naviance (management tool for schools that utilize Parchment as the backend for delivering e-Transcripts)
  • State of Georgia comes in DIRECT
  • Cialfo

If your school does not use one of these service providers, domestic high schools may upload electronic transcripts through the High School Portal. Uploaded documents are immediately associated with the students’ Eligibility Center account.

Domestic high school may also email official records to ec-processing@ncaa.org. Please allow two days for processing from the day of receipt.

Transcripts may also be mailed to the following address; please allow four days for processing from the day of receipt. (Uploading a PDF via the High School Portal is considered best practice; however, password-protected PDFs cannot be accepted.)

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

Overnight mail may be sent to:

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

The Eligibility Center does not accept faxed transcripts. Click here for information on submitting documents for international students.

Scholarships

NCAA Divisions I and II schools provide more than $3.6 billion in athletics scholarships annually to more than 180,000 student-athletes. Division III schools do not offer athletics scholarships.

Only about two-percent of high school athletes are awarded athletics scholarships to compete in college. Of the student-athletes participating in sports with professional leagues, very few become professional athletes. A college education is the most rewarding benefit of the student-athlete experience.

Learn more about the probability of going pro

Full scholarships cover tuition and fees, room, board and course-related books. Most student-athletes who receive athletics scholarships receive an amount covering a portion of these costs. Many student-athletes also benefit from academic scholarships, NCAA financial aid programs such as the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund and need-based aid such as Federal Pell Grants.

Division I schools may provide student-athletes with multiyear scholarships. Additionally, Division I schools may pay for student-athletes to finish their bachelor's or master's degrees after they finish playing NCAA sports.

If a school plans to reduce or not renew a student-athlete’s aid, the school must notify the student-athlete in writing by July 1 and provide an opportunity to appeal. In most cases, coaches decide who receives a scholarship, the scholarship amount and whether it will be renewed.  

Core Courses

NCAA schools require college-bound student-athletes to build a foundation of high school courses to prepare them for the academic expectations in college.

Find your high school’s list of NCAA core courses

Learn more about Division I academic requirements

Learn more about Division II academic requirements

What are 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.

Amateurism

Prospective student-athletes enrolling for the first time at a Division I or II school must receive a final amateurism certification before being eligible to compete. This includes transfers from junior colleges, NAIA, international or Division III schools.

To receive an amateurism certification, prospective student-athletes should:

Below are some situations that may impact a prospective student-athlete’s amateur status. Click on each topic to learn more about the NCAA Eligibility Center’s requirement in each of these examples.

Need more information? Click here for additional amateurism-related resources.

For information about the Eligibility Center’s amateurism response to COVID-19, click here.

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