The first step to take in your NCAA experience is to complete an NCAA Eligibility Center registration form. By doing so, you will be able to become certified by the NCAA— a status that will need to be achieved before visiting any Division I or II school.
This crucial registration process can be considered the first box to check to eventually compete as an NCAA athlete for any accredited college denoted as either Division I or II.
This registration process is not only the first mandatory responsibility of all prospective student-athletes, but it also opens the door to a vast array of resources to help you on your athletic and scholastic journey.
Setting up an NCAA Account and Completing Registration
Once you have decided that you want to become a student-athlete in your sport or sports, you must become eligible for a Division I or II college or university.
First, you must first set up an account by visiting eligibilitycenter.org. Here, you will be able to decide between the two options of setting up a standard profile page or certification account.
If you are unsure exactly which path you want to take in terms of competing in a Division I, II, or III school, or are already set on Division III, creating a profile page will allow you find resources and guidance to help you make your decision on what is best for you.
If you already know that you want to compete for a Division I or II, completing a certification account is the step to take here. If at any time you decide on shifting aspirations from Division III to Division I or II, a certification account is also mandatory.
Completing a certification account takes only about 30 to 45 minutes, but several important and mandatory pieces of information must be available in order to complete the form.
Have a Valid and Frequently Used Email Ready
Most communication in your pre-student-athlete career will run through this email. If at any time updates to your account must be made or notifications must be sent to you, they will be done so through this email address.
Basic Student Personal Information and Educational History
Have personal details including name, gender, date of birth, address, and primary and secondary contact information ready to input this important content right away.
A complete history of your scholastic career to this point must also be included which details grades and achievements throughout high school including SAT and ACT scores, as well as official transcripts and any secondary school information prior to starting your NCAA aspirations.
All SAT and ACT scores can be requested by the student from the agency that administered the exams. The most efficient means of including test scores on your application is to first log into sat.collegeboard.org/scores/send-sat-scores and go to the recipient request section of your account.
To have the test scores sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center, enter the code 9999 in the recipient field.
The NCAA will only accept test scores sent directly from the test in center in which you took the exam.
Student Sports Participation History
A detailed summary of all your experience as an athlete must at least include information on your high school athletic career.
Going back as far as possible is encouraged, as it will allow the NCAA to learn more about the organizations you played under and of any awards or expenses given to you as a result of your pre-NCAA team interactions. This information is crucial in helping the NCAA Eligibility Center tell potential schools that you are indeed an amateur.
Along with this information at the ready, a non-refundable application fee of $90 for all US, US territories, and Canadian students must be paid for all certification accounts to be completed.
Under certain circumstances, this fee can be waived, and a successful fee waiver can be completed if you were officially waived from your SAT or ACT fees. For international students, the fee is a non-refundable $150.
If at any point, you need to exit the certification application account, you can save your progress at any time and return once you have all the required information available.
Upon completion of the certification form, you can check back on the dashboard of your account to review your current eligibility status. This status will be updated as all your information is processed, and should additional content be requested, you will be notified through the email that you have linked to the account.
All these steps are necessary to open the door for your Division I or II aspirations. And, by establishing this account, you will be given resources that will help you tremendously along the way to becoming an NCAA student-athlete.