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If you plan on participating in athletics in college, the NCAA Clearinghouse is your jumping off point.

The Clearinghouse is a central repository for information on high-school curriculums that the NCAA maintains to conduct evaluations on incoming freshmen. The operation conducts evaluations of high-school graduates' records in light of current NCAA initial-eligibility requirements.

You will need to apply and receive a "final" certification by the Clearinghouse in order to participate in college athletics at the Division I or II levels. You do not need to apply if you will be attending a junior college, NAIA or NCAA Division III institution.

If you will be attending a Division I or II institution you may apply anytime after they have made that decision. The Clearinghouse will normally make a "preliminary" decision (one which reflects course work taken prior to high-school graduation) only during the senior year. The Clearinghouse will issue a "final" certification only upon receipt of a transcript proving high-school graduation.

You may delay the decision to register for the Clearinghouse and still be permitted to practice with their college team. However you may not compete in any intercollegiate competitions until "final" certification has been received. It is suggested that you wait to apply for the Clearinghouse until either you are sure that you will attend a Division I or II school or are being actively recruited by one. (Actively recruited meaning personally contacted by a coach).

Necessary forms have been mailed to high schools and are most often available in the guidance office. You may also write directly to the Clearinghouse to have the materials mailed to you at your home.

As soon as the Clearinghouse has received and processed your documents, it will make the appropriate certification decision and report your initial eligibility status to you. If the report indicates that you do not currently meet the NCAA eligibility requirements, it will tell you why.

If you have not registered with the NCAA Clearinghouse, this does not directly impact a college's ability to proceed with the recruiting process. What the Clearinghouse's decision does affect is your ability to practice, compete and receive athletically based financial aid while a freshman at an NCAA Division I or II school.

General guidelines for certification by the Clearinghouse include graduation from high school, a grade-point-average of at least 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in a core curriculum of 16 academic courses which were successfully completed during grades 9 through 12.

For particulars, including the Initial-Eligibility Index for Division I athletics, consult the athletic department of the college or university you wish to attend. Many times the athletic department will have a compliance coordinator who will be a very good resource.

For more information, contact the Clearinghouse at 877-262-1492 or visit Another very good source of information is the Guide to the College Bound Student Athlete, printed by the NCAA, available in your high school or through the NCAA office.

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