NCAA Transfers – The Increasing Importance of GPA for Division I Athletes

For NCAA Division I student-athletes, their GPA is increasingly becoming an important factor if they desire to transfer to another college or university to continue their college athletic career. This is because a student-athlete leaving a Division I program can cost the program an APR point, which can end up being quite significant.

APR, in NCAA terminology, refers to the Academic Progress Rate. NCAA Division I athletic teams must have a sufficient APR in order to be eligible for postseason play.

To determine each team’s APR, each student-athlete on an athletic scholarship is “worth” two points at the end of each term – the eligibility point and the retention point. If the student-athlete is eligible for the next term, and stays at their school for the next term, they have “earned” two points for their team for that semester. If an athlete is eligible for the next term, but chooses to transfer to another school, their team will lose the retention point.

However, a university can receive an “adjustment” from the NCAA and won’t lose an APR retention point if the athlete transferring to another four-year college has a GPA of at least 2.600.

How is this important to the student-athlete themselves? Increasingly, I am hearing that some Division I coaches have been denying “permission to contact” for student-athletes who have requested permission to talk to other four-year colleges about a possible transfer unless the student-athlete has a GPA of at least 2.600.

So, a Division I athlete with a 2.500 GPA, for example, could be academically eligible to compete the next season if they were staying at their current school, and could meet the transfer eligibility requirements to be immediately eligible at another four-year college. But they could be denied permission to speak with coaches and athletic staff at another college about a possible transfer because their GPA is below 2.600 and their current team could lose an APR retention point.

What’s the “takeaway” for Division I student-athletes (and parents) to remember? Your GPA is obviously important for eligibility and to maintain academic scholarships, but is becoming increasingly important, especially if you want to transfer to another four-year college at some point in the future.

If you are considering a transfer, you suspect that your coach or athletic department may deny you permission to contact other schools, and you would like to discuss your options, contact Rick Allen at 913-766-1235 or rick@informedathlete.com for a private consultation. We’ve helped thousands of athletes and parents to understand the rules and steps in the transfer process. We can help you evaluate your options and navigate the transfer process with complete confidentiality.

 

About Rick Allen

25+ years NCAA Rules Expertise, including Director of Compliance at 2 major DI schools

Former President of National Association for Athletic Compliance (NAAC)

Conducts compliance reviews and audits at NCAA Schools throughout the U.S.

Consulted with NAIA schools transitioning to NCAA membership status

Dad of a DI & DII student-athlete

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