What is the NCAA Eligibility Center/Clearinghouse and why do I need them throughout the athletic recruiting process?

What is the NCAA Eligibility Center and why do I need it during the athletic recruiting process?If you are hopeful that you will get a chance to play athletics at Division I or II level, The NCAA Eligibility Center (Previously known as the NCAA Clearinghouse) is something that is vital to help get you there.  What the Eligibility Center does is evaluate your academic record to determine if you are eligible to participate at a Division I or II college as a freshman student athlete.

In order to take official visits in any sport, you must have submitted your information to the NCAA Eligibility Center and been approved.  And while there is a fee involved, this is definitely one of the most crucial things that you must do during the recruiting process.  The $50 that you have to pay is well worth getting this step out of the way if you are hoping to make those visits.

To register with the Eligibility Center, you will fill out the Student Release Form and the amateurism questionnaire at the beginning of your junior year.  While you can officially do it later or not at all, if you are serious about playing at the scholarship level and have been getting that type of attention, it is worth doing as soon as possible.  Again, the main reason is so that you do not have to worry about it later on.  The process is not immediate and is worth finishing when the junior year gets underway.

What the Student Release Form does is 1.) Authorizes each high school you have attended to send the Eligibility Center your transcript, test scores, proof of graduation, and other necessary academic information. 2.) It authorizes the Eligibility Center to send your academic information to all colleges that request your eligibility status.

The only way that you can complete the form is by going to http://web1.ncaa.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/NCAA.html.  You will then select NCAA College-Bound Student-Athlete and then register as a US or international student.  The site will walk you through payment options via credit or debit card.  Once done, you will print a copy of your completed registration form and both Copy 1 and Copy 2 of the Transcript Release Form.  Sign the Transcript Release Forms and give both to your high school guidance counselor.

This process is not an overnight thing.  If you are a senior football recruit who plans to make an official visit during the first weekend of the school year (Which is legal), this must have been already taken care of.  The process normally takes at least a few days to complete and needs to be done before official visits can be taken.  During the summer months, it may be difficult with trying to track down the guidance counselor.

Once you are registered, the NCAA will create a profile for you that you can edit in the future.  They will also need you to send future transcripts to make sure that you are fully qualified and able to play your freshman season of competition.

For those wanting more information on the NCAA Eligibility Center, here is information to contact them directly:

Mailing Address
NCAA Eligibility Center
Certifications Processing
P.O. Box 7136
Indianapolis, IN 46207-7136

Web Address

US Callers – 1-877-262-1492
International Callers – 317-223-0700

*As a note, those that have financial troubles can get the $50 fee waived.  Please contact the Eligibility Center for more information related to that.

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