Competing at the NCAA level is no longer as easy as simply getting recruited and then meeting the academic requirements for your chosen school. To play college sports, all athletes are required by the NCAA to be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Until recent months, the registration process had been as easy as entering some personal information on the NCAA website, and then asking your high school to send transcripts to the NCAA. By maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.00, your eligibility process was satisfied. Unfortunately this is no longer the case. Due to the sheer number of athletes that register with the Eligibility Center, over 100,000 in fact, the Eligibility Center has enacted a new policy which requires all athletes to be placed on an active Institutional Request List (IRL).

Although the process by which you register with the NCAA has remained unchanged, the new IRL format can be a bit confusing. The process starts the same way by going to the eligibility center’s website; filling out the online form and having your high school send transcripts to the NCAA. The next step is where the confusion begins. Before the recent rule change, the online registration and $50 fee were enough to clear athletes through the clearinghouse. With the new rule, you must now contact a college coach and request that he place your name on his IRL list.Once a coach has decided to put you on his IRL list, he will contact the NCAA and request that your name be cleared through the clearinghouse. Once one coach has requested your application to be cleared, you will be eligible to play at any NCAA school in the country.

The same guidelines for eligibility apply to the Clearinghouse’s new rule. All athletes must maintain certain academic requirements including a GPA of 2.00, an SAT score of 810 or an ACT score of 18. The NCAA uses a graduated scale to evaluate students, meaning that the higher your high school GPA, the lower your test scores will have to be to gain entry into the school of your choice. Because the NCAA Eligibility Center is forced to handle such a huge volume of applications it can take up to six months to process your application, if you wait too long you may miss your chance to be cleared on time.

Are you ready for the NEXT STEP!