What to do if your Freshman Wants to Transfer

Recently, I’ve had consulting calls with parents of student-athletes who are in the first month or so of their freshman year at their chosen college, but they are unhappy and want to transfer. 

That’s a tough situation for parents, because you want to support your child, but at the same time, you may be feeling that you need to show them some “tough love” by telling them that they have to stay there for at least one year to adjust to the coaches, the team, and the school. 

Many years ago, my sister wanted to come home during the first semester of her freshman year.  My Dad told her that she had to stay at least through the end of the first semester.  She did, and my Dad later joked that after that, they could hardly convince her to come home for holidays!!

I can’t make that decision for you if you’re in that situation, but I can tell you this:  Be sure your son or daughter does not quit their classes, and that they do their best on their academics.  If they don’t, it can have a profound effect on their transfer options down the line.

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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153 Responses to What to do if your Freshman Wants to Transfer

  • Liam

    Hey Rick,
    I am currently enrolled at a D2 university and i was recruited here for the track and field team. I am disappointed in the school because it is not what i expected and i don’t really fit in here. i am hoping to transfer to either a D1 or D2 school after this semester but if i do transfer would i be eligible for this spring season?

  • Sandro

    Dear Rick

    My daughter is an international student (freshman) with a full scholarship of an D1 university. She is not very happy at the moment with some aspects (kind of training etc). Naturally it is a bit early to take a decision but as she is an athlete with international standing (kind of “national treasury” in the word of her current coach) we have to think about a plan B. Means she would leave the University and go back to her home country after the first semester. Would this have any financial impact regarding the scholarship? (i.e. paying back parts of the scholarship). She wouldn’t transfer to another University in the States. Thanks for a short info.
    Best regards
    Sandro

    • Hi Sandro,

      As long as your daughter does not quit her team prior to the end of the semester, she should not have any negative financial impact. If she quits the team, or doesn’t do everything that is asked of her, prior to the end of the semester, the school would have the right to immediately cancel her scholarship. Also, if she signed a National Letter of Intent, there could be consequences if she does decide to enroll at another NCAA Div. I or II school down the line.

      Rick

  • Zach

    I have enrolled in a D2 program far away from home and am really not happy. Would it be possible to transfer to a JUCO at mid semester without losing eligibility? Thank you

    • Hi Zach,

      It would be possible to transfer to a JUCO at midyear (not mid-semester) as long as you are in good academic standing when you leave the Div. II program. In that case, you could be able to transfer without losing a season of eligibility.

      Rick

  • Tim

    my son is being redshirted at a community colleg and would like to transfer to a DII school asap. Will he have to sit out a year before he can play?

    • Hi Tim,

      As long as your son was certified as a Qualifier for Div. II, and will have 12 hours of transferable credit per semester, he won’t have to sit out a year.

      Rick

  • Kelly

    I am attending an NAIA university. I am on a partial scholarship and signed a letter of content for softball. I played fall ball, however, I want to transfer to a community college after I complete the first semester. Do I have to have a release in order to transfer from NAIA to JUCO?

      • Kelly

        Thank you very much! I won’t loss a year of eligibility either, right?

          • Kelly

            Rick,
            If I have earned the 12 credit hours at my current school with way above a 2.00, but not all of them transfer will that still be ok?
            Thank you so much!

          • Kelly,

            I believe that will be OK, but encourage you to speak to the coach at the JUCO you intend to go to in order to make sure.

            Rick

  • Mike

    I am a freshman and attend a Div III school and am on the football team. I dress for games, travel with the team, but have not played one down yet including special teams. If this continues, will I still have my 4 full years of eligibility left? I might decide to do post grad work and want to consider the options of playing in my 5th year.

    • Hi Mike,

      If you don’t play one down in a game against another team (something other than an intrasquad scrimmage), you will four seasons of eligibility left if you transfer to an NCAA or NAIA school other than Div. III. However, Div. III counts your participation this year as one of your four allowed “seasons of participation” which is different that the rules the other Divisions follow which only count competition against an outside team.

      Rick

  • Jordan

    Rick,
    I am attending a NAIA D2 basketball program. I am currently a freshman in my first semester but I wanna transfer as quickly as possible. Could I transfer to a NCAA d3 school in the spring?
    Jordan

    • Hi Jordan,

      You can transfer to a Div. III school and be eligible as soon as you arrive there as long as your NAIA school will release you (agree to let you transfer) and can certify – at the time that you transfer – that you would have been eligible had you remained at the NAIA school for the Spring semester rather than transferring. So, you’ll want to be sure that your academics are in order as if you were planning to stay where you are and be eligible in the Spring.

      Rick

  • April Karls

    Rick,
    I am a freshman currently playing golf at Division 1 school and am looking to transfer for my sophomore year. Am I able to play golf if I attend a Division II, III, etc. school? Thanks
    April

    • Hi April,

      Yes, you can transfer and play your sophomore year as long as you meet the academic requirements for transfer.

      Rick

  • Debi

    My daughter is currently a freshman at a D1 service academy as a ‘recruited athlete’ (fall sport that just finished). That said, she did not sign an NLI, only a “sport participation agreement”… at least, we don’t believe that is a true NLI. (That would be one of the many questions I have!) Anyways, she is VERY unhappy (loves her teammates, tho), has thought long and hard about transferring and just officially started the process to withdraw prior to the end of the first semester. I/we have many questions regarding the athletic end of the transfer… I will be calling you to schedule an appointment, but wanted to cover all the bases and leave you this brief intro/message here, too! Especially since time is of the essence for her formal withdrawal. Thank you. From a very concerned and stressed-out mom…

  • Debi

    P.S. She will be speaking with her coach this week and will also be requesting the “permission to contact”… that much we understood. 🙂 Just so you know… thank you again and I’ll be calling.

  • Vanessa

    My son is a freshman and attends an NAIA school for baseball on a scholarship. He is unhappy with the program and would like to transfer after this school year. He would like to transfer to a D2 school, or possibly even a D1 school. Also the baseball team for his school is an independent. Does this have any affect on what he can do to be able to transfer because I read something about if your sport isn’t sponsored by the school then they’re are exceptions. Do you know what those exceptions would be, and what would we now have to do for him to be able to transfer?

    • Hi Vanessa,

      As long as your son’s NAIA school sponsors an intercollegiate baseball program, whether or not that school belongs to an NAIA conference, the transfer rules will be the same.

      Because your son is on a baseball scholarship, if he transfers to an NCAA Div. I program, he won’t be able to be eligible to compete in his first year there, but he can practice with the team. It is possible for him to be eligible next year at a Div. II school if the NAIA school will release him and he meets the academic requirements for transfer.

      Rick

      • Vanessa

        So if the school does’t sponsor the baseball team, which I think is the case here because my son has had to do fundraising so they can go on their spring trip to Arizona, Does that change anything?

        • Vanessa,

          If it’s true that the school doesn’t sponsor baseball as an intercollegiate sport, then he could transfer under the Non-sponsored sport exception.

          Keep in mind, however, that just because the players have had to do fundraising to pay for their spring trip to Arizona, doesn’t mean that the school doesn’t sponsor the sport. The fact that your son has a scholarship specifically for baseball leads me to believe that it is a sponsored sport. And, if it is one of the sports listed on the schools athletic website, and if you look at their schedule and see that they have a postseason conference tournament on their schedule, then you can be sure that it is.

          Rick

          • Vanessa

            Well it was a very, very small scholarship, and even the upperclassman he told me do not have very big scholarships either. The other sports at the school, such as the softball athletes receive a much more generous scholarship, and that he hasn’t heard of any of the other sports team having to fund-raise. Also I did look at their schedule and it does not end with a postseason conference tournament, just a regular season game.

  • Elyse

    My son was recruited to 2, D1 programs for Baseball and one D2 in Fla. He did not choose the D1 that offered him $ and letter of intent because he liked the other D1 conference better. Even though we were warned not to turn down a commitment with $, after a very long, convincing, conversation with the D1 coach of the program he is now at, my son felt more than assured that he was their main prospect, recruited for his position, and that there would be $ for him in future when available. This promise coupled with a lower tuition than the other University and the fact that this program is huge, competitive and well known with good educational opportunities influenced his decision to deny baseball letter of intent. Mistake!!!!! Needless to say, we were mislead so we need to know what we have to do to be able to contact these other coaches if they are even still interested? My son has not been cut…but prospect of playing now not looking good because of another student who transferred in late.

    • Hi Elyse,

      The downloadable transcript of our webinar “What You Should Know About Transfers” can be purchased in the Store of our website and will answer many of your questions about the transfer process.

      Rick

  • Zach

    I play baseball at a Division II college on a scholarship and am looking to transfer to either another DII college or even a DI or JUCO, would I be able to do that without having to sit out?

  • AirJer

    Rick,
    My Freshman son is attending an NAIA baseball school, recievced a small scholarship to play but the school has not put up the money yet. He Participated in Fall Ball and intersquad scrimmages. Likes baseball but dislikes the school enough to want out immediately. A family friend said a very good JC loves and wants him. Can he talk to the JC coach without a release from the NAIA school and if he moves at Christmas could he play for the JC in Spring?

    • Hi Jerry,

      There is no requirement that your son get permission from his current school to speak with a JC coach. However, it is usually best to do so to prevent your son’s coach getting caught “off guard” if the JC coach would call the NAIA coach to ask about your son.

      Also, encourage your son to do his best to keep his grades up this semester, as his grades and academic credits earned could effect his ability to be immediately eligible at the JC this spring. His goal should be to, at the least, earn at least 12 credit hours this Fall that will transfer to the JUCO with at least a 2.00 GPA.

      Rick

  • Brant

    My son played tennis for a D1 school this fall and should earn 12 credits during this semester. He plans to take a leave of absence for the spring to work on his game. Does he need to earn another 12 credits before starting up again at the same school in the fall? Would he need the credits if he were to transfer schools to be able to play in the fall?

    • Brant,

      Why would your son not stay enrolled at his school to “work on his game” against other Div. I players? If he does as you say, make sure that he doesn’t play in any organized competition or it could effect his eligibility down the line.

      As far as academic credits, if he will not be attending anywhere in the Spring, and earns 12 credits this Fall while remaining in good academic standing when he leaves his school at midyear, he shouldn’t need another 12 credits before returning or enrolling elsewhere.

      Rick

  • Jared

    My son will be a freshman in fall 2013. He has offers to play DII soccer but he’d hoped to play DI. If he plays one or two seasons of DII, will he be able to transfer to a DI program without losing any eligibility (having to sit out)?

    • Hi Jared,

      It will be possible for him to do that, as long as he is in good shape academically at the time that he transfers, and as long as his Div. II school won’t object to his transfer.

      Rick

  • Jared

    Rick,
    Thanks for the prompt reply. Could you clear something up for me though? I understand the need to not burn ones bridges but can the respective DII program throw a monkey wrench in a transfer to a DI program if they so choose?

    • Jared,

      Yes they can. There are two steps in the transfer process at which the school he’ll be attending at that time could object to his request. However, they would be required to offer him a hearing opportunity to appeal those denials (if they occur).

      Rick

  • John Cirk

    Hello my son is playing D2 basketball. His coach is thinking about leaving this year. Does my son get a release no matter what if he asks for one when the head coach leaves, or can they still decline him?

    • Hi John,

      The school can deny his request to speak with other schools, but if they do, they are obligated to offer him an appeal hearing. In situations like this, it is fairly common for the school to deny the request until the new coach is hired and has a chance to “re-recruit” the current players.

      Rick

      • John Cirk

        It would be the assistant coach that takes over. What would happen then?

        • John,

          It would be the same process, no matter who is hired. The only difference is that they probably won’t delay acting on an athlete’s request, because they won’t be waiting to see who is hired.

          Rick

  • Eric

    Hi Rick
    I am a freshmen at a D3 college playing football. I want to transfer after this year to a JUCO or D2. I was not a D1 qualifier out of high school. I have 5.50 credits at the end of this semester I could have 21.5 Credits. I was wondering if I transfer to a JUCO if i would use a year of my eligibility or would I have to stay for 2 and get my AA? Also how many years of eligibility would I have left? What would make more sense to do transfer to a JUCO or a D2?

    • Hi Eric,

      If you hope to transfer to a Div. I school after attending JUCO, you will need to get your AA degree from the JUCO. That is not required if you plan to go to Div. II after attending a JUCO.

      You basically have a five-year period from your first full-time college enrollment to use your four years of eligibility. I suggest you go to JUCO, and then give yourself the option of going to Div. I or II after that.

      Good luck!

      Rick

  • Bre

    Hi Rick

    I am currently a softball player at a division 3 school, and I’m not really enjoying it. I read your article about the definition of a recruited athlete and was still unsure if I was technically “recruited” by my school. Before becoming a college student I did talk on the phone maybe 2-3 times with my coach but never discussed an NLI or took an official visit since it is D3. I am in good academic standing and on track to graduate in 4 years. But I know a specific division 1 school can give me what I’m looking for academically, athletically, and socially. I am curious about everything I need to be able to transfer without having to sit out a year.

    • Hi Bre,

      Actually, in the sport of softball, it doesn’t matter whether you were recruited to your Div. III school or not. You can transfer to a Div. I school and be eligible in your first year there as long as your current school will grant you a release, and can say that you would be eligible (at the time that you transfer) if you were returning rather than transferring elsewhere.

      Good luck!

      Rick

  • John Cirk

    Hello,

    My son is playing D2 basketball with a full scholarship. His head coach is leaving this year and the assistant head coach will be taking over. If my son releases can he still get denied, or is a head coach leaving a automatic release if he would want one?

    • Hi John,

      A head coach leaving a school is not an automatic release. The school can still deny his request to transfer.

      Rick

      • John Cirk

        Is it any easier to get? What’s are all the steps in getting one with a head coach leaving?

        • John,

          It all depends on the assistant coach who will be taking over. For a detailed review of the steps, consider purchasing our downloadable transcript “What You Should Know About Transfers” which can be found in the Store of our website. Or contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com if you want to discuss.

          Rick

  • M.L.

    Hello,I have been to DII on a tennis scholarship since fall 2012. This is my second semester and I’m redshirting.
    I have been considered about transferring but I want to know
    if it is possible for the school to immediately cancel my scholarship when they know that I want to transfer or when I ask for the permission to contact,then I will have to pay for this semester? I would like to wait until the end of the season but I’m afraid that as long as I wait there will be less chances of scholarship.Can you give me some suggestion?
    Thank you

    • ML,

      The school is only allowed to cancel your scholarship in the middle of the academic year for non-athletic reasons. Examples are:

      1. Becoming ineligible for competition
      2. Providing fraudulent information on any applications, agreements, or other required documents
      3. Having a misconduct issue addressed by the school’s student conduct board
      4. Voluntarily quitting your team.

      If you plan to continue through the spring as a fully active and participating member of your team, they shouldn’t be able to cancel the scholarship simply because you are asking to contact other schools to check out your options.

      Rick

  • Mark

    Last summer my son was being heavily recruited by several colleges and settle on a D3 school. Things right now aren’t going as well as expected and I am trying to understand the rules. 1) Does he need to get release from his current coach before transferring to a D1, D2, D3 or NIAI school? 2) Is it appropriate for parents to talk with the coach only to see how he fits into the program? We were involved during the recruitment. 3) how do you even begin in finding a different school?

    • Hi Mark,

      The basic answer to your question is that, yes, your son will need a release before coaches at other schools can talk with him about a possible transfer. In most cases, it’s best if the athlete handles conversations with the coach rather than the parents. Most coaches prefer that the athlete speak with them directly. If you’d like to discuss the transfer process, contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com.

      Rick

  • Neal

    my daughter plays njcaa basketball. this is her first year. she signed a nli and wanted the recruiting ban removed without granting a complete release so she can contact other coaches. Will she have to get the permission to contact also? how does she aquire the necessary paper work?

    • Hi Neal,

      If your daughter is at a junior college, she doesn’t need “permission to contact” coaches at four-year colleges. The only rules restricting four-year college coaches from contacting her would be if her current coach has his or her own set of rules against such contact in the middle of their season, or if your daughter was not certified as an NCAA Div. I Qualifier. If not, then Div. I coaches can’t contact her in-person during her freshman year as a NonQualifier. If you’d like more details on the transfer process, contact me directly at rick@informedathlete.com.

      Rick

  • Robert

    hello Rick,

    I play football for a D-1AA university, im currently a freshman in my second semester here, I already went through all the steps to transfer and successfully completed all the task, I recieved full scholarships to play football for other d-1aa programs. My only question is what are the academic standards and rules to transfer to the universities? As far as GPA, credit hours, what all academic things have to be done to finally transfer to my new college?

    • Hi Robert,

      If I understand your situation correctly, it appears that you won’t be able to be eligible in your first year at the next school as a 4-4 football transfer from one FCS school to another.

      If that’s the case, then the questions you have will probably need to be answered by the Admissions office of the school (or schools) you have chosen or are still considering. Each school will have their own standards for admission as a transfer student.

      Good luck!

      Rick

  • June

    If you play D1 baseball your freshman year and then medical redshirt part way through your Sophomore year can you then transfer to a Junior College and be eligible to play?

  • cindy

    If a D1 baseball program chooses to reduce or eliminate an athletes scholarship can they transfer to another D1 with no penalty? There seems to be a lot of protection for the schools and coaches but not the players, why is this? They offer large scholarships to bring you in and then lower or deny it and your stuck there.

    • Hi Cindy,

      Unfortunately, the athlete in this situation will not be eligible during their first year if they transfer directly to another Div. I program. It would be possible for the athlete to transfer to an NCAA Div. II, III, or NAIA school with no penalty.

      Rick

  • Young Aus

    Hi Rick,
    I am at a D2 Juco playing baseball and I was wondering if I
    would be eligible to transfer to a 4 year NCAA school after my freshman year. I have good grades and SAT and all that so is there anything else stopping me?

    • Did you register with the NCAA Eligibility Center when you completed HS, and were you certified as a Qualifier or a Non-Qualifier for NCAA Div. I, and separately, for NCAA Div. II?

      Rick

      • Young Aus

        Um no I dont think so, I am an international student from australia so I think I just went through the juco that Im at now. How can I register or find out if I qualify?

        • Go to http://www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org or .com to learn more about that. Assuming that you are a Non-Qualifier since you didn’t register with the Eligibility Center, you will need to graduate from the JUCO with your Associates Degree (and meet other academic requirements) to be eligible if you transfer to an NCAA Div. I school.

          Rick

  • David miller

    hello
    I play football for a D2 school where i signed a NLI. This past year i played in the majority of the games. I want to transfer to a D1 FCS school to play football a little closer to home. Will i be able to qualify for the first time transfer exception rule and will I have to sit out a year in all situations?

    PS I am a full qualifier at my current school and I would still be in good standings academically at my previous school if i were to have choosen to stay.
    I have also already gotten my release papers from my current school could i just speak back with the compliance officer to ask if i could use the first transfer exception?

    • Hi David,

      Because you signed an NLI with your school and are on athletic scholarship, you will have to sit out from games during your first year of enrollment at a Div. I program.

      Rick

  • Kelsey

    Hi, I run xc and track and I’m trying to transfer from one D1 school to another. But my current coach will not give me a release so I think I’m going to try to appeal it and have a hearing. I’m not sure I have a good arguement though. What are good arguements for wanting a transfer? And does the student athlete usually have a good chance of winning the hearing?

    • Kelsey,

      You may want to contact me directly for a consultation regarding the hearing. I will want to know specifics about your situation to determine the best approach.

      Rick

  • Alex

    Hi, I am a freshmen at a NAIA school. I want to go to division 1, but I’m wondering if I have to sit out a year.

    • Alex,

      If your sport is one other than baseball, basketball, football, or ice hockey, you will have the possibility of being immediately eligible at a Div. I school as a 4-4 transfer.

      Rick

  • todd

    My daughter has completed her freshman year at a D1 on a partial soccer scholarship. She has been told that her scholarship will be renewed for the upcoming year at the same level. She is interested in talking to a few schools closer to our home. she has sought a ‘permission to contact’ release in order to contact these coaches in a manner that jeopardizes neither their programs, nor her eligibility. If she is granted a release from her scholarship by her current school, would she be eligible to play for another school this Fall? Her grades are very strong, and academic eligibility is not an issue.

    • Todd,

      It is possible in the sport of soccer to be immediately eligible at the next school as a 4-4 transfer, especially since she has strong grades and eligibility isn’t an issue.

      Rick

  • Cindy

    We have a freshman going into sophomore year. When is the latest date the coach has to offer the returning scholarship and what is the minimum for baseball that can be offered. It used to be 25% but I had thought it had been raised to 33%. We are a little confused on this issue?
    Thanks for your help

    • Cindy,

      Any NCAA athlete on an athletic scholarship must be notified no later than July 1 regarding the status of their scholarship for the upcoming academic year. The Div. I baseball minimum scholarship has not been changed from 25%.

      Rick

  • Jared

    Hey Rick, I was a freshmen at a division one college this past year and I am looking to go to transfer to a Juco this year but I am worried about my academic eligibility. The coaches say all the matters is that my best 24 credits are a 2.0 but I need to know if they accepts D’s. Can you let me know as soon as possible.

    Thank You

    • Jared,

      Whether the JUCO will accept “D’s” will depend upon the policies of the particular JUCO. You will need to check with the school.

      Rick

  • Rick

    Hi
    My son did one semester at a JUCO last year. things did not go well in the second semester and he came home at the beginning of March. He was on a scholarship. As he was on a scholarship does he require a written release to go to school elsewhere? he completed the first semester but not the second. the school says we owe the full tuition for the full year. would that be correct? we were told by the VP of student life if he left before a certain date then he was not financially responsible, now they are saying something different. please advise

    Rick

    • Rick,

      Since your son was on a JUCO scholarship, he would require a release to go to another JUCO, but not to go to a four-year school. As far as the responsibility for the tuition, that is dependent upon the policies of that particular school.

      Rick

  • Yundi

    My son is a walk-on freshman football player for a D2 program. He also made the roster, but is still not being given an opportunity to utilize his skills. He is very unhappy with the program and would like to transfer to either a D1, another D2, or D3 program. He is not on scholarship. If he quits the program now will it affect him when trying to transfer to another program? What would you suggest for him to do? Can he make contact with coaches for the Spring 2014 semester for walk-on to another football program?

    • Yundi,

      If your son walks away now, it will be hard to get admitted to another college so close to the first day of classes. If he does walk away, he could consider this a “redshirt” year and would not lose a year of eligibility.

      Rick

  • Chris

    My son has finished high school, played football and did not get recruited. He is trying to walk onto a football team. If he does not make it, can he still get recruited somewhere or will he have to remain a walk on if he goes somewhere else?

    • Chris,

      That depends upon whether he starts out at a JUCO (from which four-year colleges recruit) or at a four-year college (because recruiting from four-year colleges isn’t permissible unless the first school grants permission to the athlete).

      Rick

  • Alex

    Can you please send that release form for transfers to my listed email? Also, if I transfer half way through my year of commitment at a D2 school for track to a community college where I will not be participating in a sport, what kind of penalties could I face?

    • Alex,

      There is no specific release form for transfers. That varies from one school to another. If you transfer from a Div. II school to a JUCO, and your goal is Div. I, you’ll need to stay at the JUCO long enough to earn your Associates Degree and meet other academic requirements.

      Rick

  • Dave

    Rick…A mid-range division 1 private school has told my son he is a serious baseball prospect for them. The coach had him out for an unofficial visit, spending several hours talking with the three of us. Here’s my question. The school is by far my son’s top choice. We were uncertain to tell this to the coach however, fearing that his financial offer may be lower if he thinks he can get my son for a lower price. We completely understand, since he only has 11.7 scholarships to divide up. We have 5 children, 1 a college sophomore, and my baseball son is going to college next fall. Any advice on how what to disclose to this coach before his official offer would be greatly appreciated.

    • Dave,

      This type of question is more appropriate for a paid consultation, as I would want to know more about your son’s other options and about his interaction with this coach and school.

      Rick

  • Marc

    My son currently attends Devry in Miami. He was recruited by a coach in Pa. but the program was cancelled so he contacted a coach in Miami and he went there last year. Now that basketball program has been cancelled and they are giving us a difficult time about transferring to a College closer to my house so he can continue his education but also play basketball. If you have suggestions please contact me asap.
    Thank you

    • Marc,

      If your son is transferring to an NCAA Div. I or II school from another four-year college, and the school he’s coming from has discontinued the sport, he should be able to be immediately eligible under the “Discontinued Sport Exception” as long as he meets the academic requirements for the transfer.

      Rick

  • Marsha

    My son is currently on full schlarship at d1aa football school and wants to transfer after his academic year is up i know about the exit meeting now if my son wanted to leave can they take his scholarship away for spring semester? There also is a high possibility of his coaches are leaving if he wanted to transfer to a d1a school would he still lose a year of eligibility if the coaches did leave?

    • Marsha,

      They can’t take his scholarship away simply for stating that he is wanting to transfer as long as he continues to fully participate in workouts and does everything that is required of him. The coaches could, however, remove him from the team if they choose to.

      Coaches leaving a school does not change the transfer eligibility rules or the transfer process. If he transfer from an FCS to an FBS school, he will have to sit a year at the FBS school.

      Rick

      • Marsha

        So he still would be on scholarship but not be participating in spring football if the coach removes him? He’d be on scholarship for the spring semester and not pay?

        • Marsha,

          That is a possibility, although the coach might try to create a situation in which he could say that he is not fully participating as a member of the team or is not fulfilling the terms of his scholarship agreement and attempt to take the scholarship away.

          Rick

          • Marsha

            So basically if my son participates to his full potential he wouldn’t get removed? Or the coach can remove him just cuz

          • Marsha,

            If your son participates in everything that is asked of him, they shouldn’t take away his scholarship. However, I have heard of situations in which coaches have said “if you don’t want to be part of this team, clean out your locker and turn in all your gear.”

            Rick

  • Ced

    I’m a walk on at a d2 school for track but I dont really like the school and I am far from home. Would it be possible to transfer before track indoor season starts? What is your advice

    • Ced,

      It would be possible to do that, but it really depends upon when your indoor season starts. The important thing is that you want to complete the semester in good academic standing if you want to have a chance to be immediately eligible at the next school that you transfer to.

      Rick

  • christian

    I graduated in 2011.I went to community college part-time for a year. Then I transferred to a division 2 school and became a non qualifier because my credits didn’t transfer. I stayed at the division 2 school for a semester and got a 3.2 GPA with 12 credits. I took off the spring semester and transferred to a division 3 school to play basketball. I haven’t used none of my eligibility yet. If I want to transfer back to a division 2 school how many years will I have left to play?

    • Christian,

      If you play this year at the Div. III school, you’ll have 3 years left. If you don’t play this year, you could possibly have 4 years, but might have to juggle your semesters of full-time enrollment, as you have 8 semesters available remaining during which to use those four seasons.

      Rick

  • kaycie

    Is it possible for a Division I athlete to run track their 5th year after competing for 4 years in women’s basketball? I have friends that played Div. I basketball for 4 years and then played volleyball their 5th year. Just wondering if track is the same.

  • kaycie

    Thanks for the reply, Rick. What if that athlete transfers after their freshman year, sits out the next year and then competes in basketball for three years for a total of 5 years. Is it still possible?
    Thanks…can’t seem to get anyone that knows this part of the equation. It’s my sister that I’m inquiring about.

    • Kaycie,

      At the Div. I level, all eligibility in all sports must be completed within 5 years of the athlete’s first full-time college enrollment.

      Rick

  • Angela

    Situation: Freshman D1 NLI Volleyball player wants to transfer to another D1. I’m assuming she’ll have to sit out the following year, but is there any scenario where she wouldn’t? Thank you!

    • Angela,

      She won’t necessarily have to sit out the following year. More info is available in our downloadable transcript “What You Should Know About Transfers” which can be found in the Store of this website.

      Rick

  • George

    Hi Rick,
    My son is a college freshman baseball player. He was recruited heavily by an out of state d3 school(we are in FL) and began there in August. They have a fall “simulated season” for about 5 weeks however it is all internal with the school. If he wanted to transfer this coming spring to a closer JUCO or d2 4yr school, he should be able to do that right, especially since he would not have played an official “season” or game with them. Thank you for your help.
    George

    • George,

      He will be able to do that as long as he meets the academic requirements for eligibility upon transfer (basically, earning 12 credit hours this semester with at least a 2.00 GPA). Whether or not he has played in any games this Fall shouldn’t affect his transfer eligibility.

      Rick

  • ellen

    My son is a freshmen who is playing baseball for a division 2 school. He got a full athletic baseball scholarship, the only thing we have to pay is room and board. My question is he Never got a NLI, he only signed a letter called a baseball grant. If he plays his freshman year and decides to transfer to a division I can he do it and Not get redshirted because he did not sign a letter of intent?

    • Ellen,

      Because your son received a baseball scholarship at the Div. II school, he will have to serve a “year in residence” at a Div. I school before he will be eligible to compete. The impact of the rule doesn’t change simply because he didn’t sign an NLI.

      Rick

  • james

    My daughter is attending a d2 school on a softball scolorship. There was a new coach hired between the time she signed a nli and the start of her freshman season. The new coach has expanded the roster and my daughter has been asked to redshirt. She has considered a transfer to another d2 school in the same conference. She is in good academic standing and would finish her semester. Would she have to sit out a year or be able to play right away?

    • James,

      1. She’ll need permission from her current school to talk to other schools.
      2. If she signed a National Letter of Intent with her school, she’ll also need a release from her NLI commitment to attend the school for one full academic year if she plans to leave after one semester.
      3. Most conferences have a rule over and above the NCAA rules which would impose a penalty or restriction on a transfer within the same conference.

      Rick

  • hailey

    Hey, I play for an NAIA college on a scholarship for in state tuition and partial scholarship and am in the middle of my first semester however I am not happy with the program and want to leave. I am wondering how this will affect my tuition and if I can finish the semester still with the scholarship money?

    • Hailey,

      My primary expertise is with NCAA rules, so I can’t answer your question about whether you can keep the scholarship money or would need to pay it back.

      Rick

  • Tony

    I am currently at a d1-aa school on a full football scholarship. I got redshirted my freshman year, which was last year. I’ve played in about 5 games this season, but I know this isn’t the place for me. I was wondering could I go Juco for one year and then get recruited again. Is that possible?

  • Sajen

    Hey Rick,
    I am a freshman at a D-III college and I quit football on the second day of camp and I want to transfer to another D-III school to play football. Now the transfer school needs to see I’ve been released so they can talk to me. What does this mean, and why would I have to do this when I quit before the season officially started.

    • Sajen,

      They want to confirm that they have permission from your Div. III school to talk with you about a possible transfer. And they want to confirm that you’re no longer a member of the team, so they want a release for that confirmation.

      Rick

  • karen

    Hi Rick,
    My son is a college freshman baseball player. He was recruited heavily by an out of state div1 school and began there in August on a partial baseball scholarship. They have a fall season for about 8 weeks, however it is all internal within the school. If he wanted to transfer this coming spring to a closer div 1 school, could he to do that, since he would not have played an official “season” or game (other than inner squad scrimmages) with them, without sitting out or penalized in any way? Thank you for your help.

    • Karen,

      Because your son was recruited to, and is on scholarship at, his current school, he will be required to serve a “year in residence” at another Div. I school before he can be eligible for competition.

      Rick

  • Ryan

    Rick,
    I am currently a Freshman playing football at a JUCO. I am trying to transfer to a D1 program at semester. I was a qualifier out of high school so what requirements must I meet in order to transfer?

    • Ryan,

      You must earn at least a 2.50 GPA, and complete at least 12 semester credit hours of coursework at the JUCO this semester that will be acceptable as transfer credit at the Div. I school you will be transferring to.

      Rick

  • Ryan

    Hey Rick,

    I was recruited to a few schools mostly D3 and a few D2s for baseball but I made the Ill-advised decision to try to pursue other interests. I am trying to find schools to transfer to in means to pursue my athletic career but im finding difficulties for coaches to take a chance on me, what should i do?

    Thank you,
    Ryan

    • Ryan,

      A couple of ideas:

      1. Request a tryout at a JUCO or a Div. II school.
      2. Have a former HS or travel ball coach contact schools on your behalf.

      Rick

  • molly

    My daughter is a freshman playing on a D1 soccer scholarship. She did sign a NLI. Although she has quite a bit of playing time she is very unhappy with the coach and his coaching methods. She wants to transfer to another D1 school. How can she do this without staying out a season?

    • Molly,

      She’ll need to seek her release from her NLI if she plans to transfer after only one semester at this school. She’ll also need to request “permission to contact” other schools before another Div. I school can talk with her about a possible transfer. I’d be happy to talk with you and walk you through all the rules and steps in the transfer process. Contact me directly if that’s of interest.

      Rick

  • joe

    I am currently attending a d2 school to play tennis, but im transferring to walk on a d1 school but i already l played a match in the fall season, I know when I transfer i will be inelib. for the spring but do I lose that year permantly or will I still be able to get that semester back?
    Thank you

    • Joe,

      While there are a few exceptions, in most cases, any amount of competition during an academic year counts as one season of eligibility used. So, most likely you have used up one season of eligibility for playing in a match this Fall. You may want to check with your compliance office (once you’ve let them know you are leaving) to see if your situation fits any exception.

      Rick

  • Christian

    Why is it that division 3 athletes cant receive athletic scholarships?

    • Christian,

      Schools that are members of NCAA Div. III aren’t allowed to provide scholarships based on athletic ability. Been that way for at least 40 years.

      Rick

  • Michael

    My son is a recruited freshman at a D3 school to play baseball. He did receive an academic scholarship. He is unhappy there and would like to transfer at the end of the fall semester to a D1 school. Would he eligible to play D1 baseball in the spring?
    Thank you.

    • Michael,

      A midyear transfer to Div. I in the sport of baseball can’t be eligible until the following academic year. This applies whether the athlete is transferring from a four-year school or a JUCO.

      Rick

  • Michael

    Rick, my son is a freshman baseball player at D3 school. He was injured in the fall and will be red shirted for the spring season. If my son does not play his freshman year and transfers to either another D3 school or a D1 school, will he be eligible to play his sophomore year?
    Thank you.

    • Michael,

      He should be eligible to play his sophomore year if he’s in good academic standing when he leaves his Div. III school.

      Rick

  • Julia

    I recently got released from my division 1 school and i would like to transfer to a different in the same league. can i do that?

    They are both division 1

    Thank you,
    Julia

    • Julia,

      You can do that, but you may have a penalty or restriction for transferring within the same conference. Most conferences in the country impose some type of penalty or restriction for that type of transfer, although in some conferences it only applies to athletes who were recruited to, or on scholarship at, their previous school.

      Rick

  • Tommy

    If I transfer from a DIII school to a JUCO mid-year and then at the end of the academic year transferred to a different DIII school, would I have to sit out?

    • Tommy,

      Not as long as you are eligible when you leave the first Div. III school as if you were planning to return the next semester.

      Rick

  • Denise

    My daughter is a freshman who signed a NLI and received a scholarship for softball at a DII school. She is unhappy and does not want to play softball at all anymore. If she comes home will she have to payback the scholarship money for her completed first semester. She practiced and fulfilled all the requirements during first semester but she wants to leave before the season starts.

    • Denise,

      Since she practiced and fulfilled all of her requirements during the first semester, it will be very difficult for the school to justify asking her to repay her scholarship for the first semester. It is highly unlikely that the school will do that.

      Rick

  • David

    Hello,

    First let me explain my situation. I previously attended a Junior college and played 2 years of football there and from there I recently transferred to an NAIA school this semester. I am currently at the NAIA school I transferred to and I have been here since the beginning of spring semester so about a month now. The reason I am emailing is because I am not happy here and want to see how I can transfer to another NAIA school and participate in football there this upcoming fall. Please let me know how to accomplish this and if there is any consequences for transferring.

    Thank you.

    • David,

      If you are receiving a football scholarship from your current NAIA school, or have been participating in practice or workouts since your arrival, you will need to be released to talk with other schools about a transfer. If you request your release before the end of the semester, there is a possibility that it could affect your scholarship.

      Rick

  • Mike

    Rick, my son is a freshman baseball player at a D3 school. He had surgery a few months ago and may or may not play this spring. He is uncertain if he is going to stay at this school. If he plays this spring, what’s the maximum he can play without having to sit out a year if he transfers to a D1 school for his sophomore year? Thanks.

    • Mike,

      Whether your son plays this season has no effect on his eligibility for next year at a Div. I school. He may be able to obtain a “medical hardship waiver” to get this year over again, but it won’t impact his eligibility for next year. That is based on his academic performance at his current school, and his “recruited” status to his school.

      Rick

  • Robert

    Do I have to get permission to talk to a coach at a NAIA school if I attend a D3 school and have not played at all, but am on the sorts team.

    • Robert,

      You aren’t required to obtain permission to talk with an NAIA school, but be sure that your current coach knows if you are going to contact an NAIA school. If your coach is caught off-guard by a call or e-mail from an NAIA coach before you have given him any warning that you’re thinking about a transfer, he could get very upset.

      Rick

  • Fish

    My son is a freshman on a D1 baseball team on full scholarship grades are great and he is #2 starting catcher but he is real unhappy with the whole town and school. He has about one more month of torment with this organization. until season is over , his assistant coach ask if he wants to come back and he told him that he wants to move closer to home as he is a long way from us. He knows he wants to go the 4 2 4 method. and wants to play in a summer JUCO league at home. but their registration is before 4/30, does he need to ask for a permission to contact and release to talk to a JUCO before the end of season on 5/25? Can he? if not he cannot play this summer.

    • Fish,

      There is no actual requirement that he obtain permission to speak to a JUCO about a transfer. But, he needs to be prepared that once contact is made with the JUCO, they may send a “transfer questionnaire” to his current school, or may call the coaches at his current school to do a “background check” to ask about his character and work ethic, both on and off the field. If he hasn’t given his coaches a “heads up” and they are caught off-guard, they may choose to remove him from the team.

      Rick

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