Every ECCC racer must have a current USAC Collegiate license, which is good for all seasons throughout the year. If you'll be doing several races you should purchase an annual license, but if you just want to try things out you can also purchase a 1-day license.
Before getting a license, the school must have a club account with USA Cycling. Once the application is processed, your riders can start purchasing their individual licenses.
In general, you should purchase an annual if there's any chance you'll do more than a day of racing. Note that 1-day licenses cover exactly that, one day, so you need two to do a full weekend of ECCC racing. It therefore makes sense to buy an annual even if you're just doing two weekends of racing at any point in the year.
If you will be doing any non-collegiate racing, i.e., over the summer, you should purchase a standard license and get the free collegiate add-on. Otherwise you'll wind up paying the collegiate fee and the standard fee if you change your mind later. Due to the embedded nature of ECCC CX races, cyclocross racers may need a standard license for their category (may be a UCI license at some events) in addition to their collegiate license!
Funds from license purchases go to a variety of uses:
Once a club is recognized by its school, getting the required USA Cycling Collegiate club license is simple and easy:
Once the application is processed, the club should show up on USAC's list of collegiate clubs. Expect this to take a week or so after the form is received. At that point your riders can start purchasing their individual licenses.
Existing clubs can alternatively renew their license online immediately. To do so, any account currently listed as an administrator for the club on usacycling.org can log in and click the "Manage USA Cycling Clubs" link to renew the license. If that link does not appear, the account is not associated with the club as an administrator. Have one of the current administrators designate it as a fellow admin, contact the National Manager to have the account added, or submit the paper form above.