The NCAA prioritizes student athletes based on the order in which they receive an athlete’s name on a university Institutional Request List. Two conditions need to be meet in order for you to be placed in queue for final processing.
1) You must have a complete profile. This means you have created an online profile, paid the registration fee (or received the fee waiver), they have your SAT or ACT scores sent from the testing center and an official copy of your transcripts sent by your high school.
2) The college or colleges recruiting you have submitted your NCAA ID number (available once you create an online account) to the NCAA on their Institutional Request List indicating their desire to recruit you.
Once you have these things completed, the process for a final certification can take anywhere from a few days to months depending on how many people are ahead of your and the complexity of your case. Here are a couple key situations that can cause longer wait times.
- It’s the busy season for the NCAA (spring and summer) – During this time of year the NCAA has to hire tons of temporary workers to try and deal with the flood of eligibility requests. It typically takes 2-3 weeks to get your final certification even if everything is okay with your account.
- You have non-traditional course or something else unusual with your high school transcripts – For 90% of recruits all of their classes on their transcripts are already listed in the NCAA database and it is a simple process for approving them. However, if you took online courses, summer courses or took extra courses at the end of high school to get eligible you could trigger a more extensive review by the NCAA. This can take several weeks depending on how much the NCAA feels they need to do.
- You raise red flags with your amateurism – You are asked to complete questions around your amateurism that ensure you are not being paid to play your sport. 98% of recruits never have an issue here, but if you do, it can take months for the NCAA to do all of the background checks.
- You account is not complete – This is probably the most common reason for a delay. At the end of high school you need to make sure a copy of your final official transcripts are sent to the NCAA. Without this the NCAA cannot rule on your final certification even if you are on a school IRL.
Here are more resources to help you with the NCAA Eligibility Center process. You can also contact me directly on Google+ (my email is available there) or create a free recruiting profile on our site and an NCAA certified scout can contact you.