Getting Answers to Your NCAA Questions

NCAA customer serviceAs an organization that helps athletes and families with the recruiting process, we get a fair share of questions about dealing with the NCAA. The most important thing to understand about the NCAA is that it is designed to serve the universities and not the general public. This means they are there to answer questions and requests they get from universities on behalf of athletes and not field questions from athletes or parents directly. I am not going to debate whether this is right or wrong, this article will serve as a guide to how to get some of the most common questions answered.

You are almost always going to need the help of someone with experience in dealing with the NCAA. You will need them to review your question and if necessary, get your information over to the NCAA to get an answer. This means you need the support of people in the athletic department of a university. You get that help when a coach at that school wants you to be a student athlete and requests your eligibility status from their athletic department. This means you get recruited first and determine your eligibility second.

Determining Your Status with the NCAA Eligibility Center

Over 180,000 athletes a year create an account with the NCAA. The NCAA does not determine the eligibility status of every athlete who creates an account with them. They only review your final eligibility status if your name is requested by a college program. This means roughly 105,000 athletes each year create an account with the NCAA and never have their final eligibility status determined.

If your account is showing that your final status is pending the most common reasons are a college has not requested your eligibility status or your account is not complete (missing your final transcripts or test scores). If you have not completed your senior year of high school, your status will remain incomplete. Your final NCAA certification will not happen until you complete your senior year, have your final transcripts sent to the NCAA and a college coach requests final certification. Even after all of this, the final ruling can take months as the NCAA works through the 70,000+ athletes accounts

Trying to Determine How Much Eligibility You Have Left

There is no one available at the NCAA who is going to help you determine the status of your eligibility if you are not currently playing for or getting recruited by a college. There are thousands of potential college athletes out there, who are trying to determine if or how much eligibility they have left to play college sports. In this case, the most important thing for you to do is get a college coach interested in you first, and then they will have their athletic department determine your eligibility. You will not be able to figure out how much eligibility you have and then contact college coaches.

Filing for a Petition or Waiver

There are various situations where athletes will petition for or request a waiver from the NCAA. Some of the most common are hardship waivers or requests for a medical red-shirt. There are not people available within the NCAA for you to contact to file these waivers on your own. You will need to work with officials (usually the compliance officers) within the athletic department in order to get this paper work through to the NCAA. The most important thing is you have a college coach who wants you on their team and is requesting their athletic department help you.

As a general rule, most of the athletes or parents who are asking for our help in determining their status with the NCAA are trying to get their eligibility status, extra year of eligibility or waiver before they contact a coach or get recruited. This is not how the NCAA is designed to work. The best way to get answers from the NCAA is have a college coach who really wants you to play for them.

For help in getting college coaches attention, create a free recruiting profile on our site. If you have specific questions about dealing with the NCAA leave them in the comments below or email me from my Google+ profile.

5 Most Common Questions From National Signing Day

National Letter of Intent ExampleSigning Day is one of the busiest days for our websites. We get hundreds of calls, emails, and questions on social media. We do our best to answer everything we can, but we don’t always get to everyone. Because there are many people with the same questions, below are the 5 most popular questions from signing day and our answer to all of them.

What is the difference between an NLI and LOI?

LOI means Letter of Intent. This is the document signed by non-scholarship athletes (walk-ons) and team managers to show their commitment to the university. NLI is a National letter of Intent and is signed by athletes who will be receiving an athletic scholarship from the university. Both the LOI and NLI mean other colleges can no longer recruit you. Here is everything you need to know about the NLI.

When is the last day I have to sign for a scholarship?

Signing Day is the beginning of the signing period. For college football this period runs from February 6th to April 1st. For Soccer, Field Hockey, Cross Country, Track & Field, Men’s Water Polo the signing period runs from February 6th until August 1st. For all other sports, the signing period starts April 17th and runs until August 1st.

I can’t remember by NCAA Clearinghouse/Eligibility Center ID?

Our website is not the NCAA. We come up when people search for the NCAA but we are not the Clearinghouse/Eligibility Center. If you are trying to log in to your NCAA account go to Remember, coaches do not discover athletes through the NCAA and registering with the NCAA will not help you get a scholarship. Coaches only ask you for your NCAA number if they are already recruiting you. How do I know if I am being recruited?

How do I reach the NCAA Clearinghouse/Eligibility Center?

The Clearinghouse/Eligibility Center phone number is (877)262-1492. During this time of year call wait times can be over an hour. Your best bet for reaching the NCAA is to go through your online account or have the university recruiting you check on the status of your account. If you are not in touch with several college coaches right now, don’t worry about your NCAA account; focus your energy on contact coaches and getting their interest first.

I am a senior and haven’t received a scholarship offer, what do I do?

You need to immediately begin contacting coaches and finding programs that are going to be right for you. If you create a recruiting profile (Parent Click Here, Athletes Click here) you can immediately begin researching colleges, seeing what positions coaches are still recruiting and letting coaches know you are interested in their program. You can contact a national scout directly by calling (866)497-9836. **All none seniors please take note and do not wait until signing day, this makes the recruiting process more difficult**

What are your questions about signing day? Please use the comment below or feel free to contact us directly!

Avoid Losing Eligibility Due to Delayed Enrollment

Cases where an athlete loses a season of eligibility because he or she delayed enrollment in college are normally pretty shocking. The athlete often has no idea that he or she risked eligibility by not starting college. The athlete might have not had any options at the time to start college when they graduated from high school. Often they are international athletes who are not used to the system of high school sports thatAvoid Losing Eligibility Due to Delayed Enrollment NCAA rules normally assume.

And many times, like in the case of Missouri Southern men’s basketball player Christian Salecich, the problem is not caught until after the athlete has been in college for a few years. Athletes who are preparing to play their final season find out that they actually used that season of eligibility long ago, before they even started college.

Most athletes will never need to worry about delaying their enrollment because they play high school sports that end when they finish high school and then they move straight to college. But international athletes, athletes in individual sports, and athletes heavily involved in club sports must understand the delayed enrollment rules to avoid losing their eligibility.

The Delayed Enrollment

Generally athletes have one year after they graduate from high school to enroll in college. During that year, they can continue playing their sport with no penalty. After the one-year grace period, athletes must stop competing in their sport in order to preserve their eligibility. That date is always extended to the next opportunity to enroll. That means if a prospect graduates in May 2013, he or she has until Fall 2014 to enroll.

The graduation date that starts the grace period is either an athlete’s expected graduation date based on when he or she started ninth grade or the athlete’s actual graduation date, whichever is earlier. So if an athlete graduates early, the start of the grace period moves up. But if an athlete graduates late, it does not move back.

Only competition is prohibited after the grace period. Athletes may still train and practice with a team or coach indefinitely after they graduate high school, so long as he or she does not appear in organized competition. Competition is on a yearly basis. If you play one game during a year, it is the same as playing an entire season.

The penalty for delaying enrollment and competing past the grace period is that an athlete may not compete their first year enrolled in college and the athlete loses one year of eligibility for every year he or she competed after the grace period. Here is an example:

Jane plays soccer in England. Jane graduates from high school in May 2012. Jane continues to play soccer in England and does not enroll in college.

  • If Jane plays in a game between May 2012 and August 2013: no penalty.
  • If Jane plays in one or more games between August 2013 and August 2014: sit out one year, lose one season of eligibility.
  • If Jane also plays in one or more games between August 2014 and August 2015: sit out one year, lose two seasons of eligibility.
  • If Jane also plays in one or more games between August 2015 and August 2016: sit out one year, lose three seasons of eligibility.
  • If Jane also plays in one or more games between August 2016 and August 2017: loses all seasons of eligibility.

What Prospects Can Do

Prospects can avoid problems first by knowing when their graduation date is. That means knowing both your actual graduation date and what your expected graduation date is based on the educational system in your country and when you started ninth grade. Always work off the earlier one.

Prospects in tennis should be especially aware because they have only a six-month grace period. That generally means that a prospect can delay enrollment for one semester or two quarters before they start to lose eligibility if they continue competing.
Prospects who want to delay enrollment for athletic or recruiting reasons should have a plan for the time after high school graduation. This includes knowing when the prospect will no longer compete in events. Prospects should be upfront and talk to their club or prep coaches early, and make sure they understand why you will want to stop competing.

Finally, prospects should keep detailed records of every competition they appear in after finishing high school (or after their expected graduation date). The NCAA Eligibility Center asks prospects to list every event or competition they competed in after high school. Having this ready will reduce hassles, especially for prospects who register late with the Eligibility Center.

Do you have any questions about your eligibility? Just ask us in the comments section below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Understanding Initial Eligibility Waivers

When Washington State announced that Que Johnson had been ruled a partial qualifier by the NCAA, it lead to a bit of confusion. Partial qualifiers have not existed in Division I since August 2005, when a set of new initial eligibility standards became effective. Partial qualifiers will return as “academic redshirts” in 2016, but for now, the NCAA Eligibility Center has only two results for Division I athletes: qualifier or nonqualifier.

A partial qualifier in Division I is shorthand for a prospect who has received a certain type of initial eligibility waiver. An initial eligibility waiver is often the

Understanding Initial Eligibility Waivers

last chance for a student-athlete before he or she is forced to prep school or a junior college, but the process can be difficult and confusing.

Getting Ready for a Waiver

One of the biggest challenges is that waivers are for athletes who have been deemed a final nonqualifier. That means the waiver process cannot really get started until an athlete has graduated from high school, sent all final transcripts and other documents to the Eligibility Center, and been ruled a final nonqualifier. Even if everyone knows ahead of time that an athlete will be a nonqualifier, the waiver cannot be filed until the athlete goes through the regular Eligibility Center process.

This means that there is often a time crunch for waivers. All prospects who will be playing Division I or Division II athletics need to get their documents to the Eligibility Center quickly, but it especially applies to athletes who will need a waiver. A delay in getting certified and starting on the waiver might mean not having the waiver approved in time to enroll in classes for the fall.

To file a waiver, the athlete will work with the compliance office at the college to gather the following information and documents:

  • A completed waiver application;
  • All high school transcripts;
  • All SAT and ACT scores, including those not sent to the Eligibility Center;
  • Letters from both the college and the athlete explaining why he or she was a non-qualifier;
  • Additional pieces of the athlete’s academic record, including SAT subject tests, placement exams, and grades from courses taken in a summer bridge program;
  • Evidence of any mitigating circumstances;
  • In some cases, an academic support plan for athlete.

Gathering all of this can take time, so once it becomes possible that a waiver will be needed, athletes and their families should start putting together as much of it as they can ahead of time. This helps the compliance office submit the waiver as soon as possible after the athlete is ruled a final nonqualifier.

Types of Approvals

There are four possible outcomes when a waiver is submitted: full approval, partial approval, conditional approval, and denial.

If an initial eligibility waiver receives full approval, the athlete is treated like he or she was a qualifier. The athlete is permitted to compete, practice, and receive an athletic scholarship as a freshman. Full approval is granted when the athlete’s academic record shows he or she is clearly prepared for college work or when there was a mitigating circumstance and without that circumstance, the athlete clearly would have met the requirements. What this means is that full approval is normally only granted when an athlete is missing core courses, but has a good enough GPA and test score.

Partial approvals do not allow an athlete to compete, but the do allow the athlete to receive an athletic scholarship and in some cases practice as a freshman. If the athlete’s academic record does not make it seem likely they will be academically successful but there was enough mitigation, approval for an athletic scholarship only can be granted. Approval for athletic aid and practice is granted when there is enough mitigation and the academic record makes it seem likely the athlete will be academically successful.

Conditional approvals are for athletes who graduate from high school and enroll early in college. The academic record must show the athlete is prepared for college level work. When a waiver is conditionally approved, the athlete is allowed to receive an athletic scholarship during his or her first term in college. The waiver will include conditions that allow the athlete to practice or practice and compete if the athlete meets them.

Waivers that do not meet the standards are denied. If a waiver is denied or partially or conditionally approved by the NCAA staff, it can be appealed to an NCAA committee. The committee is made up of people who work at NCAA schools and who have some experience or expertise in eligibility or admissions.

What Makes a Good Waiver

The best piece of advice for athletes who need an initial eligibility waiver is to back up a story with documentation. Many athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators fall into the “good kid” trap, that an athlete deserves a waiver just because he or she is a good kid. The problem is all the waivers submitted are for good kids or athletes that deserve a second chance.

Successful waivers not only show why an athlete is deserving, but back that story up with evidence of how it affected the athlete’s academics. There needs to be a link between a hardship suffered and why an athlete did not meet a certain requirement. The stronger that link, the more likely a waiver is to be approved. And the strongest links are the ones that show up on transcripts or test score reports.

Dealing With Denial

If a waiver is going to be filed, athletes need to plan for what happens if the waiver is denied. One of the most important things to keep in mind are conference nonqualifier rules. If the college is in a conference with a nonqualifier rule, the athlete must be prepared to not enroll right away if he or she ever wants to play in that conference.

Athletes who were close to being qualifiers but just missed and did not have enough mitigation for a waiver may consider prep school for a year. Athletes can use one core course credit to complete the requirements or raise their GPA, or continue to take the SAT and ACT to improve their score. One word of warning: if an athlete receives a scholarship for summer school after high school, he or she cannot use any courses taken after that point.

Athletes who were further off will likely need to go the junior college route. That means enrolling at a two-year college and working toward the NCAA’s two-year nonqualifier transfer requirements. Those include graduating from the junior college, having 48 transferrable credits, and maintaining at least a 2.500 GPA.

What do you think about the NCAA’s current eligibility waiver process? Will the academic red-shirt in 2016 make this process better? Let us know in the comments section below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Make Sure You Know The New NCAA Eligibility Standards

new ncaa eligibility rulesIn just a few weeks, a brand new group of high school students will start both their athletic and academic careers. Because of the way a bunch of rules in Division I combine together, the start of high school is extremely important. Once a student starts the ninth grade, they have 10 years and must meet a number of benchmarks along the way to use their full eligibility.

The New Rules Start for College Freshman Entering in 2016

This group of ninth graders is different then most because they will be the first group facing new initial eligibility standards. The new standards are a significant change from the old ones including a rule that requires students to show a level of progress earlier than previously required. The challenge now is to get the word out so that large numbers of prospects do not end up ineligible.

The NCAA is now considering a plan that would allow coaches to contact athletes in eighth grade, but only for the purpose of educating them about academic standards. That is actually a decent idea, although it requires accepting that these academic communications will become recruiting pitches. Brochures and emails explaining initial eligibility standards will be elaborate and colorful productions covered in school logos. And schools will make sure to send that academic information to prospects just to show interest.

Educating high school guidance counselors seems to make sense, except for two reasons. First, given the state of high school budgets, there is no guarantee that the counselor you educate today will still be there in 2016. Second, counselors have other things to worry about than initial eligibility. Their job, first and foremost, is to make sure students graduate even if it means ending up as a nonqualifier.

The Better Plan Would be to Educate High School and Club Coaches

Even though coaches might change jobs or be fired, we can be fairly confident the position will be there. Coaches also have much more contact and often more influence over a prospect to get them motivated to take academics seriously from day one.

Even if coaches and guidance counselors are educated on the rules and are willing and able to help, prospects and their parents should not let others be in control of their eligibility. Prospects need to keep eligibility in the back of their minds and parents need to educate themselves and track progress on their own to make sure the athlete is on track.

The NCAA could help out by allowing athletes to register with the Eligibility Center (formerly the Clearinghouse) as ninth graders and push payment back later in the recruiting process. That would help all prospects get some education and guidance while only those that need it pay for certification. Unfortunately the NCAA looks to be going the other direction:

Payment is necessary to complete a registration and receive certification. Incomplete accounts will be deleted in 30 days if no pmt recd.

— Eligibility Center (@NCAA_EC) August 16, 2012

That means prospects need to educate themselves and do some of the legwork to follow along with the new rules and track their progress. Prospects need to be responsible for their own eligibility, just like they need to be responsible for their recruiting.

Do you have questions about your eligibility? Ask us below in the comments or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+!

Save Money by Beating the Eligibility Center Fee Increase

Saving Money on NCAA Eligibility Center

Starting on September 1, 2012, the fees for registering with the Eligibility Center will increase. Domestic prospects will pay $70 (up $5) while international prospects will see a bigger increase, from $95 to $120. This has prospects wondering whether they should register right away. The increase is small, especially for domestic prospects, but every little bit helps and paying to register with the Eligibility Center is just the first of a number of expenses prospects need to pay to become eligible to play college sports.

Here are lists of who should and who should not register right away to avoid the fee increase:

Who Should Register

  • Upperclassmen who are hearing from Division I schools or Division II schools: If you are about to start your junior or senior year of high school and are being contacted regularly by Division I or Division II schools, chances are you have a shot to play at those levels, and you should get started with the Eligibility Center process.
  • International prospects: The increase is big enough for international prospects that if you were thinking of playing in Division I or II, you should consider registering now to save the money.
  • Prospects with potentially difficult certifications: If you think you might have a long or difficult path through the Eligibility Center, it makes sense to register earlier and even if playing for a Division I or Division II team seems less likely. If, for instance, you tryout to walk-on with a DI or DII team and you have not started the process, snags that cause your certification to take longer might cost you your spot on the team.

Who Shouldn’t Register

  • Athletes eligible for a fee waiver: If you have been granted a fee waiver to take the SAT or ACT, you are eligible to receive a fee waiver to register with the Eligibility Center. In that case, the amount of fee should not change when you register.
  • Freshmen and sophomores: If you are just starting high school or just finished ninth grade, it is still a little early to register with the Eligibility Center since not much can happen with your file for at least another year.

Always a Risk

One stat to keep in mind with the Eligibility Center is that roughly half of the athletes who register each year with the Eligibility Center are never certified, mostly because they are not recruited by Division I or Division II schools. At the end of their sophomore year, only a small percentage of athletes are guaranteed of ending up in Divisions I or II. For everyone else, registering with the Eligibility Center is something of a risk.

Athletes need to weigh that risk against the need to make sure getting certified by the Eligibility Center is as painless as possible. When the Eligibility Center fees increase, the best piece of advice is that prospects who have decided to register with the Eligibility Center should make it a priority to get registered to avoid the increased fees.

Do you still have questions about what the NCAA Eligibility Center is, and whether or not you should register? Just leave us a comment below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Recovering From a Bad Class

The NCAA’s intitial eligibility requirements are all about making sure high school students make steady progress through a basic education that should prepare them for college. For most prospects, getting eligible is a simple task: take four core courses every year, get good grades, take the SAT and/or ACT a couple of times and graduate from high school.

But for others, eligibility can be a stop/start affair. There are a number of reasons for it, but if a student falls behind the pace the NCAA expects in initial eligibility, he or she will need to put in some extra effort to make sure academics are not a barrier to getting a scholarship and playing in college.

It Wasn’t Always this Difficult

Just a couple years ago, getting back on track with initial eligibility was relatively easy. Students could enroll in online courses or credit recovery that could be completed in a number of days or with just a few minutes of work here and there over the course of a semester. But abuses like semester-long courses completed in a few minutes lead the NCAA to introduce new requirements for nontraditional courses, which includes everything except traditional classroom instruction.

If you need to retake a course or add a course either to get extra credits or to improve your GPA, a traditional class in a classroom during the academic year is still your best option. It avoids issues with online or correspondence courses and is easiest to verify that the course will count for initial eligibility purposes.

If you cannot take another regular course, summer school is another option. Watch for summer school that is actually just online courses taught in a computer lab. Those have many of the same problems as taking an online course on your own. Also keep in mind that if your summer school is through a different high school or district, you will have another transcript that must be sent to the Eligibility Center.

Sometimes Non-traditional Programs are the Only Option

But as summer school is lost to budget cuts and schools become resistant to letting students retake courses, online and other nontraditional programs are often the only option. If that is the case, there are some extra steps prospects need to take:

1. Make sure the course is approved by the NCAA as a nontraditional course. If the course is being offered by your school, make sure they got it approved or find out who the provider is and see if they have an approved core course list.

2. Check the appropriate time frames for completing the course. Most nontraditional courses approved by the NCAA require a minimum of 6–8 weeks to complete.

3. Work on the course consistently. Either work it into your school schedule or set aside some time (an hour or two) every day to study and complete assignments.

4. Complete every assignment and exercise. Even if work is not graded or all you need to do is take quizzes and tests, do all the assignments just like you would in a regular class.

5. If you’re doing the course on your own, keep a log of the time you spend on the course, and when you start and finish each assignment. If the course is online and does that for you, print off a copy regularly for your records.

6. Keep a copy of everything from the course. That includes the syllabus, outline, every assignment, copies of papers, test and quiz answers (if you can get them), grade reports, etc.

The reason for all this is that with self-directed courses (where the student decides when and for how long to work on the course) there is the additional potential hurdle of PSA Review. In PSA Review, the school and the prospect must show that the course was completed in an “academically sound matter”. That means the student did all the work, did not skip sections or rush through the class, and all grades and scores were legitimate. The easiest way to get through PSA Review is by showing documentation that the class was as close to a normal course in a classroom as possible.

The other major point to keep in mind is that if you fail a course or need to improve your GPA, do so at the next possible opportunity. Not only are there new requirements limiting the amount of work a prospect can do their senior year, but high school builds on itself. If you do poorly in Algebra 1, it makes Geometry and Algebra 2 that much harder; it’s best to take some time out to fix a problem right away and get back on track.

Do you have questions about what courses you need to take to become eligible to compete at the NCAA level?  Just ask us in the comment section below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

The Nuts and Bolts of the NCAA Eligibility Center Process

The NCAA has done a fairly good job of getting the word out about what the requirements are to be an academic qualifier. Less well known is the process prospects must go through to get that designation and their amateur certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

1. Register with the Eligibility Center

This might seem self-explanatory, but to be certified as a qualifier and an amateur by the NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly the NCAA Clearinghouse), a prospect must first register. Registration involves requesting an account, providing contact information, giving details about your high school attendance, answering an amateurism questionnaire, and paying a fee. This is the longest and most involved part of the process for prospects and their parents, but it is also just the beginning.

2. Send Required Academic Information

It can be slightly confusing exactly what the Eligibility Center needs to certify you as an academic qualifier. The short answer is that the NCAA needs your high school transcript and an SAT or ACT score.

The longer answer starts with the NCAA’s two types of “complete” files. A file is complete and ready for preliminary certification if you have provided all transcripts from all high schools you have attended through 11th grade and an SAT or ACT score. A file is complete and ready for final certification if you have provided all transcripts from all high schools you have attended through 12th grade, one of those transcripts shows you have graduated from high school, and you have sent an SAT or ACT score.
All information must come directly from the source. Transcripts must come directly from your high school(s) or in sealed envelopes and test scores must come directly from the testing agency (College Board or ACT). And if you take even one class at a school, like during summer school or through an online program, that’s another transcript that must be sent to the Eligibility Center.

3. Complete All Tasks

The staff at the Eligibility Center will assign tasks to prospects during the certification process. All prospects will be assigned a set of standard tasks. Some of those tasks will be marked as complete automatically, like when a transcript arrives at the Eligibility Center. Others must be manually marked as complete by the prospect on the Eligibility Center website. All notices of these tasks will be sent to the email a prospect gives to the Eligibility Center, so the email address used should be one that is checked frequently.

In some cases, a prospect will be signed additional tasks. Those tasks are normally requests for additional information, additional documents, or to answer questions. Prospects likely to receive additional tasks are international prospects, elite athletes, prospects who have attended multiple high schools, prospects who have taken online or nontraditional courses, and prospects who have repeated a course.

4. Request Final Certification

Requesting final certification is normally the last thing a prospect does with the Eligibility Center. The request can be made starting April 1 before a prospect starts college if entering in the fall, or October 1 if entering midyear. The request requires a prospect to affirm that all information provided is accurate and complete. The file is then locked and no further changes to a prospect’s information or amateurism questionnaire can be made (transcripts and test scores can still be sent).

5. Be Added to an Institutional Request List

This step is listed last not because it happens later in the process but because prospects cannot do it on their own. Before a prospect’s file is reviewed at the Eligibility Center, a Division I or Division II school must request it be reviewed by adding the prospect to an Institutional Request List or IRL. Every year, roughly half of the prospects who register with the Eligibility Center are never certified, many because they are never added to an IRL.

Prospects need to remember: the Eligibility Center does not help you get recruited. You do need to be working on getting certified during the recruiting process because certain recruiting activities, like taking an official visit or receiving a written scholarship offer, require you to have registered with the Eligibility Center and for a school to place you on its IRL. But it is not a place where coaches go looking for athletes to recruit, it’s a place where coaches ask compliance officers to look for the athletes they are already recruiting.

Prospects should also remember that only NCAA Division I and Division II athletes need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Division III athletes do not need to register and the NAIA has its own eligibility center. Keep this in mind before spending the $65-$95 it costs to register with the Eligibility Center.

Do you still have questions about the eligibility process? Just ask us in the comment section below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Understanding NCAA Eligibility Center Information

College eligibility requirements are one of the most complex areas of the recruiting process, especially for athletes who do not take the traditional route of getting recruited during high school. Making the decision to participate in college sports can be complicated. For athletes who are unsure if they have what it takes to participate at the college level, they may be reluctant to get involved in the recruiting process right away. Others may not know if they are ready for college, and they don’t think about competing until they have already graduated high school.

Learning the Process After High School

It’s important for student athletes to understand the different athletic divisions in college sports. Each division level will have its own eligibility standards, which are required for all students who want to compete at the college level. Knowing where to find the eligibility information that is relevant to you will be your best resource when deciding to play sports again and finding the best division level to meet your needs.

The Division Levels

The NCAA Division I and Division II levels have the strictest eligibility requirements for both incoming freshman and transfer students. Both of these divisions are able to grant athletic scholarships to student athletes, which is the main reason students must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. To become eligible, athletes will need to meet all requirements of the eligibility center to be granted clearance to compete at the division I or division II levels.

The NCAA Division III eligibility varies by individual institution requirements. At this level, student athletes need to be in contact with coaches from member schools to discuss possible athletic opportunities. Transfers and special circumstances can be discussed with coaches and conference eligibility staff to determine status. Having access to official eligibility rules will give you an idea of what your eligibility status will be once entering into an NCAA college.

NAIA schools have their own set of standards when it comes to student athletes’ eligibility requirements. The NAIA, like NCAA Divisions I and II, requires athletes to register and complete the NAIA Eligibility Center’s requirements. NAIA players are allowed to compete in four seasons of their sport. For special eligibility circumstances, athletes will need to be reviewed by the NAIA Eligibility Center, the college coach who is interested in recruiting the player, and administrators for the college conference.

Junior colleges in the NJCAA system are two-year schools which do not require student athletes to register with an eligibility center. At the NJCAA level, eligibility requirements are the least strict. Junior college is a great starting point for athletes unsure if they can handle college and sports, as well as athletes who wish to return to competitive play after a hiatus from school and sports.

Remember all college division levels require student athletes to meet not only eligibility requirements, but also the enrollment expectations of the college or university they plan to attend.

It’s completely understandable that student athletes’ plans are not always going to work out the way they expect them to, which is why each of the division levels provides information on special circumstances. If you have any other eligibility questions, then leave them in the comments section below or connect with us on FacebookTwitter, or Google+!

3 Dangerous College Recruiting Traps

College Recruiting TrapsGetting recruited to play college sports is easier said than done. Many high school athletes do not realize the amount of work that goes into the recruiting process, until they find themselves somewhere in the middle of it. Because there is so much to learn about getting recruited, it’s easy to be led astray. Most people close to you want to help you throughout your recruitment, but these people are at times misinformed or have dated information, which may no longer be relevant in today’s recruiting process. We want athletes to be aware of all aspects of their recruiting process, which is why we provide you the tools to learn and understand all aspects of recruiting.

Below are three myths recruits fall subject to. If you are aware of these myths and know the right way to approach them, then you can be more prepared during your recruitment.

College Coaches Will Find You

Most high school players are under the understanding that they will get recruited just by being an outstanding athlete at their school.

The reality is unless you are part of the top 1 percent of recruits in the nation then you will not be actively recruited by college coaches. Recruits outside of the top 1 percent will need to be proactive and put in the time to make themselves a known recruit. In order to gain an athletic scholarship or a spot on a college team, coaches will need to know who you are. The easiest way to connect with college coaches is to send them an e-mail telling them about yourself and why you want to be a part of their program.

Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center or the NAIA Eligibility Center will Get You Recruited to a College

Registering with either eligibility center requires athletes to submit their academic material, including grades, test scores, schools attended, and sports history information. Completing the NCAA or NAIA eligibility registration will allow college coaches to recruit athletes who have completed and passed eligibility standards.

Many athletes are under the impression that registering with an eligibility center will get their information out to college coaches faster, but in reality, your eligibility center information will only be requested by the college coach who knows who you are and has decided to offer you a spot on their team.

Being a Part of a Club or Travel Team Will Ensure that Athletes Will Get Recruited to Play College Sports

This is not the case. College coaches and their assisting staffs do not have the capability to view all club and travel teams’ tournaments and games. Not all club and travel teams are known on the national level, and most college coaches are not aware of the teams unless they had a previous recruit come from the team or are in the same area as the team.

If you are thinking about playing on a travel team, then be sure to do your research; find out how many alumni athletes have gone on to play at the college level. You should also find out the type of exposure the team will provide, and if the team competes at any national tournaments.

If you have more questions about how to move forward in your recruiting process or what you need to avoid during your recruitment then leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+!