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Student-athletes who transfer from a two-year to a four-year college are commonly referred to as a “2-4 transfer,” while those who transfer from one four-year college to another are referred to as a “4-4 transfer.”

In most of those 2-4 or 4-4 transfer situations, a student-athlete will have the chance to be eligible for competition in their first year at the new college as along as the academic requirements for a transfer to the NCAA or NAIA university have been satisfied.

However, when an athlete has transferred more than one time, the rules and academic requirements can be more difficult to navigate.

The more times that an athlete transfers from one college to another, the greater the odds are that the athlete won’t be eligible in their first year at the new college. In fact, many of these student-athletes are often given misleading information or don’t have a complete understanding of the transfer rules.

They often learn after arriving at their new university that they won’t be eligible to compete their first year.

I’ve spoken to several families of 4-4-4 transfers who find themselves in this situation.

Had they known the transfer rules and requirements for their specific situation in advance, they would have been prepared and possibly made better and more informed decisions as they navigated through their transfer process.

Of course, the best situation is if you and your athlete are prepared and knowledgeable about how to navigate successfully ahead of time.

However, if your athlete has recently transferred and learned they won’t be eligible this year, we can discuss their specific situation and advise about possible options available to them. Schedule a confidential Waivers & Appeal Consult online to learn what options are available at this point and how to move forward.

If your athlete is considering a transfer and wants to know what their options are before making the decision, we can help. Schedule a confidential Transfer Consult online and we’ll review and discuss best steps to take before proceeding with a transfer.

To learn more about these and other services we offer, call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

We always appreciate receiving good news from our clients, and this email this past week from the parent of a softball transfer is an example:

“Hi Rick,

Just wanted to let you know that my daughter’s team played in the NAIA Softball World Series National Championships recently in Columbus GA. We battled through the loser’s bracket to come back and win the national title – #1 in the Nation. It was an amazing experience and an amazing way for my daughter to end her college career.

Thanks so much for the help you gave us in getting her into such a great place. Your calm in our storm of transfer was truly a blessing for our family. Wishing you the best in your mission to help players.”

Read what other clients have to say about Informed Athlete®

We’ve recently been contacted by several student-athletes who are considering transferring to another college after this Fall term.

In one case, the athlete is looking at a transfer from a two-year college to a four-year college, while the others were considering a transfer from one four-year college to another.

It’s very important to know all the consequences of how a transfer will affect an athlete’s future eligibility BEFORE moving forward.

  • For example, many people think that a JUCO athlete can be immediately eligible when they transfer to a four-year program as long as they have graduated from their JUCO with an Associates Degree. That’s not always the case, especially if the athlete is transferring to an NCAA Division I program. It also may not be enough for an NCAA DII program either.
  • A four-year college athlete transferring from one program to another should also be aware of the steps and requirements that they need to satisfy for a successful transfer, and the potential downside to doing so.

Considering a transfer to another school can be extremely stressful.

We can help by answering any questions you have and explaining the steps your athlete will need to follow for a transfer. We’ll also explain the academic requirements that he or she will need to satisfy to be eligible at their next university.

For athletes transferring from a junior college to a four-year college, we can also provide a Transcript Review and Assessment to review their junior college courses and advise on whether those courses and grades will satisfy the NCAA or NAIA transfer requirements.

If you would like to have a confidential discussion of the steps to follow for a transfer and the rules involved, schedule a Transfer Consult online. Or you can contact us by phone or email: 913-766-1235 or rick@informedathlete.com

We realize that this is a very uncertain time for current college athletes.

  • Your sport rosters may be overcrowded.
  • Maybe your season has been postponed or cancelled.
  • Or perhaps your season is being moved from the Fall to the Spring.
  • You’re not sure whether your classes will be in-person or online as the semester progresses.

If you are a student-athlete who is considering a transfer or is considering taking a term off from college (or the parent of one) and would like to have a complete understanding of the rules that will impact your specific situation, we can help. We will answer all your questions, discuss options and help you develop an action plan to move forward in these uncertain times.

Schedule a confidential Transfer Consult or Eligibility Consult online or you can contact us at 913-766-1235 or rick@informedathlete.com.

We are often asked during a phone consultation “What is the best time for our son or daughter to request permission to contact other colleges about a transfer?” Certainly, this will depend upon a number of factors.

Here are important things NCAA DI athletes should consider before entering into the Transfer Portal:

  • Did the athlete sign a National Letter of Intent with this college, and how long have they been enrolled there?
  • Has the athlete already started competing during their season and triggered the use of a season of eligibility? (Or, for NCAA Division III athletes, have they continued practicing with their team even if they are not playing in games for their college?)
  • Is there an injury or illness involved which might permit them to receive a medical hardship waiver?
  • Is the athlete planning to finish out the academic year at their current college, or would they prefer to leave at the semester?
  • Do they want to retain their athletic scholarship through the conclusion of the academic year?
  • Does the athlete feel that it’s more important for them to finish out their current season with their teammates or do they want to get started right away on being able to contact coaches at other colleges?

What frequently happens once an athlete requests placement in the Transfer Portal

Once an athlete tells their coach they’re planning to transfer, they are often removed from the team. In addition, sometimes, the athlete will be asked to sign a form stating that they are voluntarily withdrawing from their team. Signing a withdrawal form can sometimes result in the athlete’s scholarship being immediately cancelled.

Do you Need Help Navigating the Transfer Process?

Contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or 913-766-1235 to schedule a consultation call regarding the factors an athlete should consider before taking action and the steps and rules involved with a transfer to another university.

As the Fall semester winds down, we are being contacted by a large number of student-athletes who are trying to decide whether to transfer now or at the end of the Spring semester.

For those sports that cross over both the fall and spring semester – such as basketball, swimming, diving, indoor track, or wrestling – an athlete who competed in that sport during the fall semester, will most likely not be able to be immediately eligible if they transfer to another college for the spring semester.

Transfers are not one-size fits all. Many times a student-athlete has more than one option to accomplish their goals and retain or possibly extend their eligibility.  In that case, we recommend at Transfer Assessment Summary.

  • Transfer Assessment Summary lays out all the options available and includes “what if” scenarios so that the athlete and their family can review and make the decision that’s in their best interest going forward.  If you’re interested in this services, please call our office at 913-766-1235.

If you don’t feel you need a Transfer Assessment Summary but would like to discuss your particular situation confidentially, we recommend a phone consult with Rick:

  • Confidential Transfer Phone Consult where we discuss your particular situation and guide you through the required steps in a transfer to another college with the least amount of stress.  Schedule your consult online or call us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

 

Here are 3 scenarios that I frequently hear then I’m contacted by student-athletes or their families regarding the transfer process.  In each of these cases, the NCAA Division I student-athlete was planning to transfer and was ready to, or already had, resigned from their team, and in one case, the student-athlete had already withdrawn from classes at his current college.

Read further to learn what happened:

Case A:
The student-athlete made up his mind to transfer, and requested permission from his coach to contact other schools.  He informed the coach that he was going to finish out the semester in school, but wasn’t going to continue as a team member in team practice.
Result:  He called me the next day to ask about the rules when he found out that his athletic scholarship was being cancelled immediately, potentially costing him and his family thousands of dollars.  At that point, it was too late to help him. 

Case B:
The student-athlete learned through a friend of an opportunity at another college, and withdrew from his classes to pursue this other opportunity. Unfortunately, he had already begun attending classes for this semester at his current school.
Result:  The family contacted me to confirm that if he didn’t complete this semester where he was, that he wouldn’t be eligible next Fall at the new college.  He did indeed have to get re-admitted to classes for this semester at his current school and complete this semester.

Case C:
The father of a student-athlete sent this e-mail:
“He is still there, enrolled for the Spring semester, but called me tonight and plans to resign from the team tomorrow and request permission to transfer.  If he resigns from the team, is the school still obligated to pay his room and board payments after his resignation through the end of the semester?  He thinks they would since he signed a one year scholarship.”
Result: Because this father contacted me prior to his son’s conversation with the coach to fully understand the consequences of his son’s plan and discuss how to properly handle this situation, he saved nearly $5000 in room and board benefits that his son would have lost had he resigned from his team.

It’s always better and less expensive to understand the rules and how they apply to your situation BEFORE costly mistakes are made! 

In 2 of the above cases, if the parent or student-athlete had contacted me BEFORE they took action, I could have advised them on how to handle the situation and helped save them potentially thousands of dollars and/or alot of stress that resulted.

In the 3rd case, I was able to head off a negative outcome by alerting the parent and student-athlete to what would happen if the student-athlete quit the team in the middle of the semester.  We then discussed how to navigate through the rest of the semester to result in the student-athlete’s ultimate desired outcome.

I have worked on both sides of the cases related above.  In my 26+ years of working on major DI college campuses as the Director of Compliance, I’ve had to inform many student-athletes that their scholarships were cancelled after they quit the team.

One of the reasons we started Informed Athlete was to help student-athletes and their families avoid situations like this.

In my 10+ years of advising student-athletes and their families through Informed Athlete, I’ve helped hundreds of student-athletes avoid situations where this type of thing happens, saving them thousands of dollars and all kinds of stress.

In order to help you understand the rules and how they apply to your unique situation, I recommend a private phone consultation.

We’ll discuss your situation, answer any questions, and we’ll review the rules that apply and what is/isn’t permissible.  I’ll also give you options as to the opportunities that might be available to your athlete. Many times both the parent(s) and the student-athlete are on the call and I coach the student-athlete on how to approach and what to say to the coach.

To schedule a CONFIDENTIAL phone consult, you can schedule online, call us directly at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com

Since July 1st was the deadline for student-athletes to be informed whether their scholarship would be reduced or not renewed for the upcoming school year, we have been contacted by a number of families about the appeal process.  One of the key questions they have is whether it is “worth it” to pursue the appeal.

Each athlete and family must decide this based on the factors unique to their situation, but here’s a few things to consider:

Is it more important for you to have a chance to compete in your sport, or stay at your school on scholarship?  You might win your appeal, but the coach may be angry with you for appealing and might “take it out” on you.  The coach might even bar you from playing and might not even allow you on the team.  In addition, if you’re not kept on the team, the athletic department may require you to serve as a student worker in the department in exchange for your scholarship.

How close are you to finishing your degree?  If you have only one year left to finish your degree, you’ll likely have to take additional courses to earn your degree if you transfer to another college.  For example, you might end up taking 135 or 140 credit hours for a degree which normally requires 120 credit hours.

What points can you cite to support your case in an appeal hearing? For example, Have you been an excellent student at your school, had a leadership position on your team, or had any misconduct or disciplinary issues?

If you’d like to discuss the appeal, and whether you should pursue that option, contact us for a consultation. I can help you determine whether to pursue an appeal, and if so, we’ll discuss the best strategy, and discuss the strongest points to make during an appeal hearing.

Should you decide to transfer rather than appeal, I can walk you through the transfer process to ensure your transition to a new school is as smooth as possible.

To schedule an appointment, call my office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com. 

I’m often asked by high school student-athletes or parents if it’s possible to “double-sign” with a Junior College and an NCAA institution. Because they are separate organizations, it is possible to sign a letter of intent with a school in each organization.

Since it’s best not to burn any bridges, student-athletes and parents should consider being honest with the schools about the double-signing so that the college coaches don’t get caught off-guard. You never know when you might choose to transfer to that other school that you signed with.

In some sports, primarily football and baseball, double-signing can actually be a good scholarship strategy under the right circumstances:

For example, a high round baseball draft choice may sign a letter of intent with a Junior College as well as with an NCAA school, to keep open the option of playing at the junior college for one year, and then have the opportunity to be drafted again the following year.

In the case of that baseball draft choice in the example above, what will happen in the case of an injury and the athlete is not drafted as hoped? The athlete will want to be eligible to play when he transfers to the NCAA university.

Regardless of the reason that an athlete starts their college career at a junior college, athletes who do this should keep in mind the NCAA eligibility and transfer rules that may apply to them should they end up transferring from the JUCO to an NCAA Division I or II program.

Also, for high school prospects who sign a National Letter of Intent with an NCAA Division I or II program, but decide to enroll in a JUCO instead, remember that the NLI that you signed remains binding upon you until you graduate from the JUCO or until you are released from the NLI by the school that you signed with.

If you have questions about this article or anything else related to recruiting, transfers, scholarships, or eligibility, please call Informed Athlete at 913-766-1235 or send me an email to rick@informedathlete.com.