NCAA Freshman Eligibility Certification

If you are a incoming freshman athlete and are planning to participate in an NCAA Division I or Division II sports program this fall, you will need to finalize eligibility and amateurism status to be eligible to compete as a freshman.

To obtain final amateurism certification:
1.  Log onto http://www.eligibilitycenter.org/ and select the box for “Fall 2010 or After.”
2.  Log in using your e-mail address and password.
3.  Request final amateurism certification separately for each sport.  Track and cross country athletes, for example, will need to request separate certification for each.

If you are an athlete who originally registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center through the old website and have not transferred your account to the new site, you need to transfer your account before requesting final amateurism certification.

Regarding academic certification, athletes must submit all required materials to the Eligibility Center.  This includes a final transcript with proof of graduation as well as an official transcript from any other high school that the athlete attended.

Important: 

1.  Be sure that a final transcript is sent by your high school to the Eligibility Center as soon as possible after graduation occurs.  Waiting until the middle of summer can result in a delay as many high school offices are closed for a few weeks of summer vacation.

2.  Also required is an official ACT or SAT test score sent directly to the Eligibility Center from the testing agency.

3.  Be sure that the proper fee has been paid to the Eligibility Center for processing.  Each year there are a significant number of athletes whose certification is delayed because they have not yet paid the fee.

Academic certifications are prioritized by the date that a file is “Ready to Process” and by the date that an Institutional Request List (IRL) is submitted by the college or university for a particular athlete.  This is important to keep in mind as the following example illustrates:

If the IRL for a wrestler is submitted to the Eligibility Center by a university a month prior to the submission of an IRL for a soccer player by the same university, the file for the wrestler will be reviewed at the Eligibility Center before the file for the soccer player even though the wrestling season starts two months after the start of the soccer season.

For questions about eligibility requirements, or the eligibility certification process, contact Rick Allen at rick@informedathlete.com or at 913-766-1235.  For more information, register for our free monthly newsletter, or become a fan of Informed Athlete on Facebook.

About Rick Allen

25+ years NCAA Rules Expertise, including Director of Compliance at 2 major DI schools

Former President of National Association for Athletic Compliance (NAAC)

Conducts compliance reviews and audits at NCAA Schools throughout the U.S.

Consulted with NAIA schools transitioning to NCAA membership status

Dad of a DI & DII student-athlete

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12 Responses to NCAA Freshman Eligibility Certification

  • SB

    My son is NCAA eligible since his core gpa is over 2.0 however his cumulative is 1.990. My question is what do you know of NAIA eligibility and his chances of a successful ineligibility appeal or exception request (ACT is over 18 and assuming he’s in the lower 50% of the class)? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

    • SB,

      I’m not aware of the NAIA having any eligibility appeals or waivers for a situation like your son is in. You may want to contact the NAIA Eligibility Center directly and ask them if there is such an option.

      Good luck!

      Rick

  • ikaika

    I graduted high school 2 credits short of being ncaa d1 eligible. I have a prep school lined up but don’t know if they will let me do the 2 credits for my ncaa eligibility. will I be eligible if I make up the courses there? Or is the something I have to do to be eligible for division 1 basketball?

    • I would research a couple of sources to check this out further. One is the NCAA’s “Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete” which you should be able to find through a search of the NCAA website (www.ncaa.org). The other is the website for the NCAA Eligibility Center (www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org or .com).

      You may also want to contact the Eligibility Center directly and ask them about your plan. Another idea is to find a prep school that can demonstrate that they’ve had success with this type of plan for other basketball prospects.

      Rick

  • Tim

    Hi Rick, I appreciate your insight as I have been disappointed with the level of NCAA knowledge and lack of cooperation that my son has received with his HS guidance office. My understanding from reading thru the NCAA guidelines is that the NCAA requires 16 core classes in the 4 key areas (for D1). I just want to clarify that a student can take more than 16 (for example 19 or 20) and only count the 16 with the best grades. Is this correct?
    Also, as of today there is no 7/10 rule….Is this correct?

    • Tim,

      You are correct that your son can use the 16 courses with the best grades, as long as he satisfies the requirement of having a certain number of credits within each category. I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you ask about the “7/10 rule.”

      Rick

  • Tim

    thanks. 10/7 rule deals with having 10 of the 16 courses locked in before the start of the 7th semester. My understanding is that will impact the current HS sophmore class and not kids that will enroll in the fall of 2014.

    • Tim,

      Thanks for reminding me about that rule – much appreciated. Since most of my consultations are regarding transfer questions, I had forgotten about this new rule for HS prospects. And, you are correct, this rule doesn’t apply to current HS juniors and seniors, but will apply to current sophomores and those younger.

      I also need to clarify my earlier answer to you. The new rule states that the 10 core courses (and grades earned) used to fulfill this aspect of the freshman eligibility rule can’t be replaced by other courses taken after the 6th semester.

      Rick

  • azzz

    are academically ineligible incoming freshmen allowed to practice with the team?

    • Azzz,

      At the NCAA Div. I level, no. At the NCAA Div. II level, it would be possible for a Partial Qualifier.

      Rick

  • JT

    Rick, thank you for the site and insight. Son is D2 football eligible and received a scholarship offer (and verbally committed, cancelled other visits). We found out now that he does not meet the req’s for academic entry to the school (3 yrs Math, while D2 eligibility only needs 2 yr. He took an extra yr of Science not Math). The coach has said since he is meets D2 clearinghouse eligibility the school can waive. Generally have you heard if this type of exception is normal for athletes?
    I ask because we may want to reschedule those visits if it is an issue. Thanks.

    • JT,

      It is true that some schools will admit student-athletes who meet the NCAA freshman academic requirements for eligibility, even if they don’t meet the admission requirements of the school. I suggest that you confirm what the coach told you with the compliance coordinator in the athletic department.

      Rick

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