The NCAA Eligibility Center, former NCAA Clearinghouse, is an agency of the National Collegiate Athletic Association that certifies the initial eligibility of all perspective student-athletes looking to compete at NCAA Division I or Division II schools. The programs purpose is to verify that athletes meet minimum academic standards and have maintained their amateur status (called Amateurism Certification). You will be asked to enter your academic curriculum, athletic information, amateur status, etc. This is not a recruiting source for college coaches. Do not get mixed up thinking this is helping in your recruitment. You must register and be certified as eligible before you can compete. Here is the link: https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/
The certification of athletes who compete at Division III level is determined by each school and not the NCAA Eligibility Center. You should still create a Profile on the NCAA Eligibility Center to get important updates throughout your high school career.
Home School athletes must register with the eligibility center also. Go to http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/home-school-students to learn all the necessary steps.
Cost: $90 and $150 international students
When should I sign up?
NCAA recommends to register in your sophomore year. It is an ongoing process through high school of updating your eligibility profile before you receive final approval status your senior year. You will receive your NCAA ID# after your initial sign up. Many guidance counselors will also advise you to register if you are seeking to play college sports. However, you only need to register if you take an official visit or play at a D1 or D2 school. If you attend a D3 college you can create a Profile Page. If you attend a NAIA school you will need to register with the NAIA Eligibility Center (cost $80). Registering in the spring of your junior year will give you plenty of time. When a coach is serious about recruiting you they will ask about the eligibility center. If you have early interest from D1 or D2 schools and would rather pay the fee and feel ahead of the game, then by all means go ahead and do it. If you have gone to several different schools, home school, prep schools, etc then starting this early is probably smart. Statistically less than half of the 160,000 athletes that register play at D1 or D2 but, it is advised to sign up early and be ahead of the process.
How soon do I know?
This all depends on how you answer the questions. Many will hear back rather quickly but some additional reviews may be required based off your answers. If you do not submit all the required information on time, you could delay the process. It takes 30 to 45 minutes to fill out and you can log out and come back to it at any time. Once completed, you will receive your NCAA ID#.