If you want to compete at a Division I or II school, the NCAA Eligibility Center must determine that you have passed eligibility standards.

The purpose of the eligibility standards is to make sure you are prepared to do well in your first year of college, and to protect the amateur status of student-athletes. To be eligible, planning should begin as early as 9th grade. Below is a brief checklist of steps you should take each year in high school, but more detailed information can be found with this NCAA guidebook.

Grade 9:

  • Ask you counselor for a list of NCAA-approved core courses to make sure you are taking the right classes
  • Get the best grades possible

Grade 10:

  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center
  • Continue to work with your counselor to make sure you’re taking the right courses

Grade 11:

  • Set up meetings with your counselor to make sure you’re on track to meet the eligibility requirements and graduate on time
  • Take the ACT or SAT and submit scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center
  • Ask your counselor to upload your official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center

Grade 12:

  • Complete your final NCAA core courses needed
  • Take the ACT or SAT again, if necessary
  • Request final amateurism certification in your NCAA Eligibility Center account
  • After you graduate, ask your counselor to upload your final official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center

Depending on what sport you play and at what time you are being recruited, the timing may vary of when these steps should occur. Be sure to work with your high school coaches, school counselors, and future college coach to make sure you are on track and completing the steps needed.

Division III does not require registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center, but they do require their own admissions standards, so make sure you contact the school you plan to attend to find out what those may be.