Initial Eligibility

High School Freshmen and Sophomores

  • Start planning now by working hard to get the best grades possible
  • Access and print your high school’s List of NCAA Courses at www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org
  • Take classes that are on your high school’s List of NCAA Courses. The NCAA Eligibility Center will only use approved courses to certify your initial eligibility
  • Register at www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org at the beginning of your sophomore year

High School Juniors

  • Register to take the ACT, SAT or both and use the NCAA Eligibility Center code “9999” as a score recipient
  • Check with your counselor to make sure you will graduate on time with the required number of NCAA Courses
  • At the end of the year, request that your high school counselor send an official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center. (The NCAA Eligibility Center does NOT accept faxed or emailed transcripts.)

High School Seniors

  • Take the ACT/ SAT as many times as necessary
  • Continue to take college prep courses and finish your NCAA core courses
  • Graduate on time (8 semesters)
  • Visit the “My Planner” page after you register online to view your eligibility status and check for any missing information or documents
  • Review your sports participation (amateurism) responses and request final amateurism certification beginning April 1 (for fall enrollees) or October 1 (for spring enrollees)
  • After graduation, ask your high school counselor to send your final transcript with proof of graduation to the NCAA Eligibility Center

Recruiting

Recruiting Terms

Contact. A contact occurs any time a coach has any face-to-face interactions with you or your parents off the college's campus and says more than hello. A contact also occurs if a coach has any contact with you or your parents at your high school or any location where you are competing or practicing.

Contact period. During this time, a college coach may have in-person contact with you and/or your parents on or off the college's campus. The coach may also watch you play or visit your high school. You and your parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone you during this period.

Dead period. A college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents on or off campus at any time during a dead period. The coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.

Evaluation. An evaluation is an activity by a coach to evaluate your academic or athletic ability. This would include visiting your high school or watching you practice or compete.

Evaluation period. During this time, a college coach may watch you play or visit your high school, but cannot have any in-person conversations with you or your parents off the college's campus. You and your parents can visit a college campus during this period. A coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.

Official visit. Any visit to a college campus by you and your parents paid for by the college. The college may pay all or some of the following expenses:

  • Your transportation to and from the college
  • Room and meals (three per day) while you are visiting the college
  • Reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest

Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript (Division I only) and ACT, SAT or PLAN score and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Prospective student-athlete (PSA). You become a “prospective student-athlete” when:

  • You start ninth-grade classes
  • Before your ninth-grade year, a college gives you, your relatives or your friends any financial assistance or other benefits that the college does not provide to students generally

Unofficial visit. Any visit by you and your parents to a college campus paid for by you or your parents. The on expense you may receive from the college is three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. You may make as many unofficial visits as you like and may take those visits at any time. The only time you cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period.

Verbal commitment. This phrase is used to describe a college-bound student-athlete's commitment to a school before she signs (or is able to sign) a National Letter of Intent (NLI). A college-bound student-athlete can announce a verbal commitment at any time. While verbal commitments have become very popular for both college-bound student-athletes and coaches, this "commitment" is NOT binding on either the college-bound student-athlete or the college or university. Only the signing of the National Letter of Intent (NLI) accompanied by a financial aid agreement is binding on both parties.

Recruiting Rules

Sophomores

  • You may receive brochures for camps and questionnaires
  • You can make calls to coaches at your expense
  • Coaches CANNOT call you back
  • You can make unlimited unofficial visits except during a dead period

 Juniors

  • You may begin receiving recruiting materials starting Sept 1st of your junior year
  • You can make calls to coaches at your expense
  • Coaches can call, email, or text you beginning September 1st
  • Off campus contact starts after July 1st after your junior year
  • You can make unlimited unofficial visits except during a dead period

 Seniors

  • You can receive recruiting materials
  • You can make calls to coaches at your expense
  • You can have an official visit beginning the opening day of classes your senior year
  • You may only make one official visit per college and up to a maximum of five visits to Division I colleges
  • You can make unlimited unofficial visits except during a dead period

 Financial Aid

  • Equestrian is an equivalency sport and teams can offer a maximum of 15 scholarships
  • Athletics scholarships can provide, tuition and fees, room, board, books, and cost of attendance
  • You can receive non-athletic aid
  • According to statistics about 2% of high school athletes receive college athletic scholarships

 Academics

You must graduate high school and meet ALL of the following requirements:

For college-bound student-athletes enrolling full time at an NCAA Division I college or university there are three possible academic outcomes:

  1. Full qualifier = competition, athletics aid (scholarship), and practice the first year
  2. Academic redshirt = athletics aid the first year, practice in first regular academic term (semester or quarter)
  3. Non-qualifier = no athletics aid, practice or competition the first year

Minimum core-course GPA of 2.300 required

  • Change in GPA/test score index (sliding scale)
  • Ten core courses required before beginning of senior year

Students will need to meet the following requirements to receive athletics aid, practice and compete their first year:

  • 16 core courses in the following areas:
    • 4 years English;
    • 3 years math at Algebra I level or higher;
    • 2 years natural or physical science (one lab if offered at any high school attended);
    • 1 year additional English, math or natural/physical science;
    • 2 years social science; and
    • 4 years additional from areas above or foreign language, philosophy or comparative religion.
  • Minimum required GPA: Minimum GPA of 300 in those 16 core courses.
  • Graduate from high school.

Competition sliding scale. (The full sliding scale can be found at www.eligibilitycenter.org under Resources.)

Minimum sum ACT or SAT (critical reading and math only) score that matches the 16 core-course GPA.

Example: 2.500 core-course GPA requires 1000 SAT or 85 sum ACT

Example: 820 SAT or 68 sum ACT requires core-course GPA of 2.950

 Core-course progression.

Must complete 10 core courses before seventh semester of high school (e.g., senior year)

Of the 10 core courses completed, seven must be in the area of English, math, or science

These 10 core courses become “locked in” for the purpose of GPA calculation

A repeat of one of the “locked in” courses will not be used if taken after the seventh semester begins

 If a college-bound student-athlete does not meet either set of requirements, he/she is a nonqualifier:

  • Cannot receive athletics aid during the first year at an NCAA Division I college or university
  • Cannot practice or compete during the first year at a Division I college or university

 

For more information or questions:

  • NCAA Eligibility Center website at www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org.
  • NCAA Eligibility Center Customer Service: 877/622-2321 (high school administrators only); or 877/262-1492 (public).