NCAA Transfer Student-Athletes: How to Transfer Schools and Still Be Eligible to Compete discussed how the NCAA defines transfer students and how a transfer student meets progress toward degree guidelines. This article will discuss NCAA regulations specifically for student-athletes transferring from a two-year college to a four-year college or university.
The general rule is that if a student-athlete transfers from a two-year school to an NCAA school that the student-athlete must sit a year in residence at the NCAA school before being able to compete in his or her sport. To determine if a student-athlete may be able to compete right away, the first question to answer is: was the student-athlete an NCAA qualifier out of high school?
A qualifier is a student-athlete who registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center and successfully completed 16 core courses with a high school grade point average and SAT or ACT test score that meets the NCAA sliding scale.
For High School Qualifiers
If a student-athlete was a qualifier out of high school but chose to attend a two-year school and now has decided to transfer to a four year school, he may compete in his first academic year at the four year school if the student- athlete:
(a) Spent at least one full-time semester or one full-time quarter in residence at the two-year college, excluding summer school;
(b) Has a minimum grade point average of 2.0; and
(c) Has satisfactorily completed an average of at least 12-semester or quarter hours of transferrable-degree credit acceptable toward any baccalaureate degree program at the four-year school. This average must be for each full-time academic term of attendance at the two-year college.
For baseball and basketball student-athletes only, if they enroll in midyear, any time after the conclusion of the four-year schools’ first term of the academic year, those student-athletes shall not be eligible for competition until the next academic year. Therefore, a student-athlete may not compete for a two-year school in baseball or basketball in the fall semester, then transfers to a four-year school and compete for the new school in the spring semester. [NCAA Bylaw 184.108.40.206.3]
A new rule that applies only to men’s basketball players, limits the use of physical education activity courses that may be used to fulfill the transferrable degree credit and grade-point average requirements to two courses. There is an exception if the student-athlete will major in physical education at the four-year college. [NCAA Bylaw 220.127.116.11.2]
For High School Non-Qualifiers
If a student-athlete was a non-qualifier for the NCAA out of high school, choose to attend a two-year college, and now has decided to transfer to a four-year college, he may compete in the first academic year at the four year college if he:
(a) Has graduated from the two-year college;
(b) Has completed satisfactorily a minimum of 48-semster or 72-quarter hours of transferable-degree credit acceptable toward any baccalaureate degree program at the four-year school, including six-semester or eight quarter hours of transferrable English credit, and three semester or four quarter hours of transferrable math credit;
(c) Has attended a two-year college as a full-time student for at least three semesters or four quarters, excluding summer terms, and
(d) Has achieved a cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
If a student-athlete was not an NCAA qualifier upon high school graduation and attended a two-year college, and now wants to transfer to a four-year college, the student-athlete may not use more that a total of 18 semester or 27-quarter hours of the transferrable credit earned during summer terms, and not more than nine-semester or 13.5 quarter hours of transferrable-degree credit may be earned during the summer immediately prior to the transfer. [NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168.1]
For student-athletes who have attended two or more two-year colleges, the terms of enrollment at all of the two-year colleges may be combined to reach the requirement of attendance for at least three semesters or four quarters. All grades and all course credits that are transferrable from any of the two-year colleges attended shall be considered in determining the student-athletes’ eligibility at the four-year college. [NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124.1]
At least 25 percent of the credit hours used to fulfill the student’s academic degree requirements must be earned at the two-year college that awards the AA degree. [NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199.1]
Effective May 2010, in order to satisfy the two-year college graduation requirement, a student-athlete must receive an associate or equivalent degree in an academic or technical curriculum. A vocational associate’s degree will no longer meet NCAA requirements. [NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52.4]
Student-athletes may be able to compete in the same year of transfer if one of the following two exceptions is met: discontinued/non-sponsored sport or two-year nonparticipation or minimal participation.
Discontinued/Non-Sponsored Sport Exception
If the reason for the student-athlete transferring from the original two-year college to the new four-year school is to compete in a sport that the original two-year college dropped from its intercollegiate athletics program, or the two-year college never sponsored the sport on the intercollegiate level while the student-athlete attended the two-year school, the student-athlete may be granted an exception to the year in residence requirement and be able to compete at the four-year college immediately.
The student-athlete must show that he or she never attended any other collegiate institution that offered intercollegiate competition in his or her sport and the student-athlete must show that he or she earned at least a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average at the two-year college. [NCAA Bylaw 184.108.40.206.1]
Two-Year Non-Participation or Minimal Participation Exception
If a student-athlete transfers to a four-year college from a two-year college, and for a consecutive two-year period immediately prior to the date on which the student-athlete begins participation [practice and/or competition] at the four-year college, the student-athlete has not competed in intercollegiate competition and has not engaged in other countable athletically related activities in his or her sport beyond a 14-consecutive day period, or has neither practiced nor competed in organized non-collegiate amateur competition while enrolled as a full-time student in any collegiate institution, the student may be granted an exception to the year in residence requirement and be able to compete at the four-year college immediately. This two-year period does not include any period of time prior to the student-athlete’s initial collegiate enrollment. [NCAA Bylaw 220.127.116.11.2]
For more details on the transfer process to NCAA institutions, please consult the NCAA Transfer Guide, or the compliance officer of the four year univeristy of interest.
NCAA Transfers Part III will discuss Transferring from a Four-Year School to another Four-Year School.