We have been asked to provide some information on the NCAA Clearinghouse/Eligibility Center… so it here goes.
The NCAA Eligibility Center, also called the NCAA Clearinghouse, was set up years ago by the NCAA to certify the academic eligibility of a prospective student-athlete to compete in college. Previously, each school was responsible for certifying their own prospective student-athletes. In short, every graduated high school senior must be certified “academically eligible to compete” by the Clearinghouse prior to full-time enrollment at a 4 year school or participating in college athletics. Clearinghouse certification does not apply to D-III or Junior Colleges. NAIA schools now have their own version: www.playnaia.org. These are two separate entities and do not share information.
At the beginning of an athlete’s junior year in high school he or she should go to: www.eligibilitycenter.org to register with the Clearinghouse. There is no ‘deadline’ to register, but registration must be completed and the prospect evaluated ideally 3-4 months prior to enrollment.
Being “registered” with the Clearinghouse is one of 4 requirements that a swimmer must meet in order to take an official visit to D-I or D-II schools. “Registered” is not the same as “Certified”. The Clearinghouse can only certify a student-athlete after he or she completes high school.
There is a fee associated with registration; if a student received a fee-waiver (based on need) for the SAT or ACT, they can also apply to have their NCAA Clearinghouse fee waived. The fees periodically go up (three times since its inception) so register early.
We hope this clears up the Clearinghouse.