University Transfer Process and Transfer Rules:
Deciding to transfer to another school is a cardinal and often hard choice to make when it comes to your college career. It is important to do your homework and to make sure you understand how transferring will affect you, your education and your chances to continue playing college sports.
How do I know if I am a transfer student-athlete?
Ask yourself if you have met any of the conditions — called “transfer triggers” — of a typical transfer situation:
1. Have you been a full-time student at a two or four-year college during a regular academic term?
2. Have you practiced with a college team?
3. Have you practiced or competed while enrolled as a part-time student?
4. Have you received athletically related financial aid from a college while attending summer school?
5. If you attended a Division I school, have you received any type of financial aid from a college while attending summer school?
Answered “yes” to any of those questions? You are likely a transfer student-athlete.
Answered "no" to all those questions? You may not be considered a transfer student-athlete and the transfer rules may not apply to you.
Steps to take before you transfer:
Transferring from a two-year College:
In order to transfer from a two-year community or junior college, you will need to graduate with an associate degree and have enough credits to transfer to a four-year institute.
Transferring from a two-year College Checklist:
Transferring from a four-year College:
Many schools require transfer students to have completed a minimum number of credits before they are eligible to transfer. In general, expect to complete at least two semesters of studies at your current four-year school before looking to transfer.
Transferring from a four-year College Checklist:
When can I chat with new coaches?
When transferring from one NCAA school to another NCAA school, there are extremely important rules to take note of. When wanting to start the transfer process. you will need to send a request to your current coach and sporting director for your name and contact information to be added to the transfer portal before engaging in ANY athletics communication, directly or indirectly with your prospective new schools.
Any NAIA student-athlete wishing to transfer to an NCAA Division I school must first obtain permission from their current NAIA school.
For any NAIA student-athlete wishing to contact an NCAA Division II school, permission to contact is not required to begin speaking with the NCAA Division II school. However, if the NCAA Division II school chooses to begin recruiting you, it is obligated by NCAA recruiting rules to notify your NAIA school of any recruiting activity.
When can you start competing at your new school?
Depending on your college history, you might be able to compete as soon as you start at your new school, or you might have to sit out and be enrolled full-time for one academic year once transferred. This 'one year' is called "Academic residence" and is designed to allow you to adapt to your new environment.
However, there are a number of transfer exceptions that could allow you to practice, compete or receive an athletic scholarship during your first year at your new school. Remember, other schools or conference rules also impact your immediate eligibility.
Working with your new school's compliance officer is the best way to determine when you will be eligible to compete.
Will my scholarship money and financial aid transfer?
Financial Aid doesn't transfer between institutions because different colleges have their own ways of awarding aid. Your scholarship size will most likely also change when wanting to transfer - not all schools have the same budgets for student-athletes, so be prepared for changes in your college expenses.
Transferring schools is not a decision that you should take lightly, you need to be sure of your decision as well as know why you want to make the move. You could be looking for a stronger athletic team, a different academic challenge or a change of scenery. No matter the reason for the transfer, please be 100% certain this is what you want.
If any student-athletes are needing assistance with transferring, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
All blogs are written by former student-athletes. If you would like to learn more, please leave a comment below and the author will respond to your questions.