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Want to Transfer?

The decision to transfer to another school is an important and often difficult one in your college career. Before you act, do your homework. Make sure you understand how transferring will affect you, so you don’t negatively impact your education or your chances to play college sports.

We would like to help make the transition to your next school a smooth one so you may continue your education and, at the same time, continue to participate in your sport. But you have a responsibility in this process as well. You need to learn as much as you can to protect your own eligibility.

Download the NCAA’s Transfer Guide with conference contacts

Learn more about important transfer terms

Find answers to common transfer questions

Explore NCAA schools by division, sport and conference

Steps To Take Before You Transfer

  1. Decide which school is right for you. Your new school should help you satisfy both your academic and athletic goals.
  2. Learn the transfer and eligibility rules for the NCAA and the new conference and school you plan to join. When you begin to think about going to a new school, understand that the rules are different depending on whether you want to transfer to an NCAA Division I, II or III school, and whether you are currently enrolled at a two-year or a four-year school. In some cases, conference rules can be more restrictive than NCAA rules.
  3. Talk to the school you are interested in attending to ensure you understand their admission requirements. Before you call, you will probably need to get written permission from your current school to talk to the new school.
  4. Apply to be admitted to the school you want to attend.

When Can I Compete?

The NCAA may require you to sit out of competition for a year after transferring to help you adjust to your new school. Answer the following questions to learn when students in your situation are typically able to compete after transferring. Remember, the following tool may not address all the factors of your situation.   This tool is for general guidance only and does not constitute a final determination on your transfer status.  Please work closely with your athletics compliance personnel as you plan the details of your transfer. 

Have you been enrolled full time at a two-year or four-year college in any country?

Full-time enrollment: Typically, a full-time student is enrolled for at least 12 credit hours in an academic term. However, the NCAA considers a student full time if he or she meets the college's definition of "full time" at any period during the term.

Two-year college: A college offering a two-year associate's degree. These colleges are sometimes called community colleges or junior colleges.

Four-year college: A college offering a four-year bachelor's degree.

Was your last full-time enrollment at a two-year or a four-year college?

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Practicing, competing or receiving financial aid under certain circumstances can affect your transfer status.

Have you done ANY of the following?

  • Reported for a regular squad practice.
  • Practiced or competed while enrolled as a part-time student.
  • Received financial aid from your college while attending summer school.
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Have you ever been enrolled at a four-year college?

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Are you still completing your first academic year at the four-year college with whom you signed a National Letter of Intent?

National Letter of Intent: NCAA colleges may send a National Letter of Intent to a college-bound student-athlete they have recruited. The NLI is a legally-binding contract: the college agrees to give a student-athlete an athletics scholarship for a full academic year and the student-athlete agrees to attend the college for a full academic year. Colleges which are part of the NLI program agree not to recruit a student-athlete who has signed an NLI. For more information, go to http://www.nationalletter.org.

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If you want to attend a Division I or II school, you must have an NCAA Eligibility Center account at eligibilitycenter.org. If you have an NCAA Eligibility Center account, log in at eligibilitycenter.org to check your qualifier status.

  • If you want to attend a Division I school, are you a Division I qualifier?
  • If you want to attend a Division II school, are you a Division II qualifier?
  • Do you want to attend a Division III school?

If you are transferring to a Division I school and are not a Division I qualifier, you may not practice, compete or receive athletics scholarships during your first year in residence at your new school. You may only compete for three seasons, although a fourth season may be allowed if you complete 80 percent of your degree program before the start of your fifth year of enrollment.

If you are transferring to a Division II school and are not a Division II qualifier, you may practice and receive athletics scholarships but you may not compete during your first year in residence at your new school.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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If you want to attend a Division I or II school, you must have an NCAA Eligibility Center account at eligibilitycenter.org. If you have an NCAA Eligibility Center account, log in at eligibilitycenter.org to check your qualifier status.

  • If you want to attend a Division I school, are you a Division I qualifier?
  • If you want to attend a Division II school, are you a Division II qualifier?
  • Do you want to attend a Division III school?

If you are transferring to a Division I school and are not a Division I qualifier, you may not practice, compete or receive athletics scholarships during your first year in residence at your new school. You may only compete for three seasons, although a fourth season may be allowed if you complete 80 percent of your degree program before the start of your fifth year of enrollment.

If you are transferring to a Division II school and are not a Division II qualifier, you may practice and receive athletics scholarships but you may not compete during your first year in residence at your new school.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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Does the college you are transferring to have written permission from your current college to contact you?

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The college to which you are transferring is a member of which division?

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The college to which you are transferring is a member of which division?

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The college to which you are transferring is a member of which division?

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The college to which you are transferring is a member of which division?

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In most cases, you may not compete for one year after transferring from a four-year college to another four-year college. This year is an opportunity to adjust to your new school and focus on your studies rather than sports. However, there are exceptions that may allow you to compete during the first year at your new school.

You may be able to compete immediately after transferring if you meet ALL the following conditions:

  • This is the first time you are transferring from a four-year college.
  • You play a sport other than Division I baseball, basketball, football or men’s ice hockey.
  • You are in good academic standing and making progress toward your degree.
  • The school from which you are transferring has given you a written release agreement allowing you to compete immediately at your new school

You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • Your sport is no longer sponsored at the school from which you are transferring.
  • You return to your first school without participating at the second school.
  • You have never been recruited.
  • You have not practiced or competed in your sport for two years before your transfer.
  • You are transferring to a Division III college.

If you are a student-athlete who plays football, you may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • You are transferring from a Football Bowl Subdivision college to a Football Championship Subdivision college and have at least two seasons of eligibility remaining.
  • You are transferring from a Football Championship Subdivision college that offers athletics scholarships to a Football Championship Subdivision college that does not offer athletics scholarships.

Progress toward degree: Each NCAA school decides how many credits a student must earn in a given timeframe to make appropriate progress toward a degree. To be able to compete, you must meet NCAA, conference and school rules by making progress toward earning your degree.

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At your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following?

  • Complete at least one semester or quarter as a full-time student. Summer school does not count.
  • Earn an average of at least 12 transferable credit hours for each term you attended at the two-year college.
  • Earn a grade-point average of at least 2.5 in those transferable credit hours.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

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You may practice, receive athletics scholarships and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may practice and receive athletics scholarships BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions

Contact the school you are transferring to for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • Your sport is no longer sponsored at your two-year college.
  • You have never been recruited.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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If you completed only one semester or quarter as a full-time student (summer school does not count) at your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following?

  • Earn an average of at least 12 transferable credit hours for the term you attended at the two-year college.
  • Earn a grade-point average of at least 2.0 in those transferable credit hours.

or

If you completed at least two semesters or three quarters as a full-time student (summer school does not count) at your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following?

  • Earn an average of at least 12 transferable credit hours for each term you attended at the two-year college, including six semester hours or eight quarter hours of English, three semester hours or four quarter hours of math and three semester hours or four quarter hours of natural science. These English, math and science credit hours may have been earned at the previous four-year college or the two-year college, as long as they are not remedial credits.
  • Earn a grade-point average of 2.2 or higher in those transferable credit hours.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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You may practice, receive athletics scholarships and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may practice and receive athletics scholarships BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions

Contact the school you are transferring to for more information about exceptions which may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • You are returning to the last four-year school you attended.
  • Your sport was not sponsored at the last four-year school you attended.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.
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Did your two-year college consider you academically and athletically eligible when you left?

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You may practice and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may practice BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • Your sport is no longer sponsored at your two-year college.
  • You have never been recruited.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.
  • You are transferring to a Division III college.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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At your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following?

  • Complete at least three semesters or four quarter as a full-time student. Summer school does not count.
  • Earn at least 48 semester transferable credit hours or 72 quarter transferable credit hours at the two-year college, including six semester hours or eight quarter hours of English, three semester hours or four quarter hours of math and three semester hours or four quarter hours of natural science.
  • Earn a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 in those transferable credit hours.
  • Graduate from the two-year college and earn at least 25 percent of your credit hours at the two-year college that awarded your degree.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

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You may practice, receive athletics scholarships and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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If your GPA was between 2.0 and 2.49, and you met the additional criteria on the previous screen, you may receive athletics scholarships and practice, BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence. If your GPA was below 2.0, or you missed any of the additional criteria on the previous screen, you may not practice, receive athletics scholarships or compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions:

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • Your sport is no longer sponsored at your two-year college.
  • You have never been recruited.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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At your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following?

  • Complete at least two semesters or three quarters as a full-time student. Summer school does not count.
  • Graduate from the two-year college and earn 25 percent of your credit hours at the two-year college that awarded your degree.

OR

  • Complete at least two semesters or three quarters as a full-time student. Summer school does not count.
  • Earn an average of at least 12 transferable credit hours for each term you attended at the two-year college, including six semester hours or eight quarter hours of English, three semester hours or four quarter hours of math and three semester hours or four quarter hours of natural science. These English, math and science credit hours may have been earned at the previous four-year college or the two-year college, as long as they are not remedial credits.
  • Earn a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.2 in those transferable credit hours.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

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You may practice, receive athletics scholarships and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may not practice, receive athletics scholarships or compete until you complete one year in residence. However, if your GPA was between 2.0 and 2.19, and you met the additional criteria on the previous screen, you may receive athletics scholarships and practice, BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions:

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • Your sport is no longer sponsored at your two-year college.
  • You have never been recruited.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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Did your two-year college consider you academically and athletically eligible when you left?

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You may practice and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may practice BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions:

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • Your sport is no longer sponsored at your two-year college.
  • You have never been recruited.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.
  • You are transferring to a Division III college.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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At your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following?

  • Earn an average of at least 12 transferable credit hours for each term you attended at the two-year college.
  • Earn a grade-point average of at least 2.5 in those transferable credit hours.
  • Graduate from the two-year college.
  • Have had at least one calendar year since leaving the four-year school.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

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You may practice, receive athletics scholarships and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may practice and receive athletics scholarships BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions which may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • You are returning to the last four-year school you attended.
  • Your sport was not sponsored at the last four-year school you attended.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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If you completed at least one semester or quarter as a full-time student (summer school does not count) at your two-year college, did you graduate from your two-year college? If you completed at least two semesters or three quarters in order to graduate, you must have earned at least 25 percent of your credit hours at the two-year college that awarded your degree.

OR

If you completed at least two semesters or three quarters as a full-time student (summer school does not count) at your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following?

  • Earn an average of at least 12 transferable credit hours for each term you attended at the two-year college, including six semester hours or eight quarter hours of English, three semester hours or four quarter hours of math and three semester hours or four quarter hours of natural ncience. These English, math and science credit hours may have been earned at the previous four-year college or the two-year college, as long as they are not remedial credits.
  • Earn a grade-point average of 2.2 or higher in those transferable credit hours.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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You may practice, receive athletics scholarships and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may practice and receive athletics scholarships BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • You are returning to the last four-year school you attended.
  • Your sport was not sponsored at the last four-year school you attended.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.
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Did your four-year college consider you academically and athletically eligible when you left?

OR

At your two-year college, did you do all the following?

  • Complete at least two semesters or three quarter as a full-time student. Summer school does not count.
  • Earn at least 24 semester transferable credit hours or 36 quarter transferable credit hours.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

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You may practice and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may practice BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • You are returning to the last four-year school you attended.
  • Your sport was not sponsored at the last four-year school you attended.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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At your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following?

  • Earn an average of 12 transferable credit hours for each term you attended at the two-year college, including six semester hours or eight quarter hours of English, three semester hours or four quarter hours of math and three semester hours or four quarter hours of natural science. The credit hours may have been earned at the four-year college or the two-year college, as long as they are not remedial credits.
  • Earn a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 in those transferable credit hours.
  • Graduate from the two-year college.
  • Have had at least one calendar year since leaving the four-year school.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

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You may practice, receive athletics scholarships and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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If you completed one academic term in all your colleges combined, you may receive athletics scholarships. If you have completed one academic year at your previous four-year college, you may practice, BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • You are returning to the last four-year school you attended.
  • Your sport was not sponsored at the last four-year school you attended.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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If you completed at least one semester or quarter as a full-time student (summer school does not count) at your two-year college, did you graduate from your two-year college? If you completed at least two semesters or three quarters in order to graduate, you must have earned 25 percent of your credit hours at the two-year college that awarded your degree.

OR

If you completed at least two semesters or three quarters as a full-time student (summer school does not count) at your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following?

  • Earn an average of 12 transferable credit hours for each term you attended at the two-year college, including six semester hours or eight quarter hours of English, three semester hours or four quarter hours of math and three semester hours or four quarter hours of natural science. The credit hours may have been earned at the four-year college or the two-year college, as long as they are not remedial credits.
  • Earn a grade-point average of 2.2 or higher in those transferable credit hours.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

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You may practice, receive athletics scholarships and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may not practice, receive athletics scholarships or compete until you complete one year in residence. However, if your GPA was between 2.0 and 2.19, and you met the additional criteria on the previous screen, you may receive athletics scholarships and practice BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • You are returning to the last four-year school you attended.
  • Your sport was not sponsored at the last four-year school you attended.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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Did your four-year college consider you academically and athletically eligible when you left?

OR

At your two-year college, did you do ALL of the following:

  • Complete at least two semesters or three quarter as a full-time student. Summer school does not count.
  • Earn at least 24 semester transferable credit hours or 36 quarter transferable credit hours.

Transferable credit hours: Credit hours earned at your previous college that your new college will accept toward your degree. Each college determines how many and which credit hours are acceptable for transferring.

Year in residence: A full academic year in which you focus on your studies rather than sports by sitting out from competition. A year in residence can only be completed at the college where you intend to compete. You must be a full-time student during a year in residence.

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You may practice and compete during the first year after you transfer.

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You may practice BUT you may not compete until you complete one year in residence.

Exceptions

Contact the school to which you are transferring for more information about exceptions that may allow you to compete during your first year after transferring. You may be able to compete immediately if you meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • You are returning to the last four-year school you attended.
  • Your sport was not sponsored at the last four-year school you attended.
  • You have not participated or you have minimally participated in your sport for two years before your transfer.
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You are not a considered a transfer student.

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By signing an NLI, you agreed not to transfer to another college which is part of the NLI program for one academic year. If you want to transfer before completing your first academic year, you must fill out a complete NLI release request (available at www.nationalletter.org) and speak with your current college’s athletic compliance office.

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You must have written permission from your current college for a new college to contact you. Use an email or a printed letter to ask your current college’s athletics director or compliance office for written permission to be contacted.

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Questions?

If you have general questions related to NCAA transfer rules, please review our most frequently-asked questions or contact our legislative team at 317-917-6008. Questions about your specific situation should be directed to your school’s athletics compliance office.