Inside Compliance: Rules Surrounding Transfer Student-Athletes

On the second Wednesday of every month, a member of the Compliance staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming next Monday: Ticketing


The NCAA rules that govern transfer student-athletes can be quite complex depending on the particular student’s situation.  Transfer student-athletes are designated by three separate classifications: (1) those that transfer from a two-year school having never attended a four-year school (“2-4”); (2) those that transfer directly from one four-year school to another (“4-4”); and (3) those that transfer from a tw0-year school after having initially attended a four-year school (“4-2-4”).  Each different type of transfer has different requirements he or she must fulfill before becoming eligible to play at Georgia State.


2-4 transfers have two different sets of rules.  One set of rules is for Qualifiers, the other is for Non-Qualifiers.  To be considered a Qualifier, a student-athlete must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and be certified academically.  For student-athletes who are transferring from a two-year college and have been certified as a final academic Qualifier, the requirements to compete in the first year at the new institution are:

  • Attend the two-year college full-time for at least one semester or quarter;
  • Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.500; and
  • Complete an average of at least 12 transferable credit hours per full-time term at the two-year college.

Note that baseball and basketball student-athletes from a two-year college may not transfer during the middle of the year and play that same season.

Generally, a Non-Qualifier is a student athlete whose academic performance in high school did not meet NCAA-mandated requirements.  Non-Qualifiers transferring from a two-year college must meet the following requirements in order to compete, practice, and receive an athletic scholarship in the first year at the new institution:

  • Attend the two-year college full-time for at least three semesters;
  • Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.500;
  • Graduate from the two-year college with an Associate’s degree; and
  • Earn at least 48 transferable credit hours at the two-year school, including sixsemester hours  of English, three semester hours of math, and three semester hours of natural/physical science.

Only 18 semester hours may be earned during summer terms and only 9 semester hours may be earned the summer immediately prior to transferring.

In the 2013-14 academic year, Georgia State welcomed sixteen 2-4 transfers, including five football and seven baseball student-athletes from junior colleges in the following states: Texas, New York, California, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Iowa, Alabama, Kansas, and New Mexico.


4-4 transfers do not have the same type of detailed academic requirements as 2-4 transfers.  However, there are a few relevant rules that athletes must keep in mind.

  1. One of the most important requirements for student-athletes who wish to transfer is staying eligible at the school he or she is leaving. If a student-athlete leaves the school while ineligible to compete, then he or she generally may not use a transfer exception to play immediately at the new school, and may not receive an athletic scholarship during the first year.
  2. All transfer student-athletes must have completed at least six hours during their previous term.
  3. In evaluating a student-athlete’s eligibility at his or her new school, it must be determined what credits are transferrable and which major will grant the most progress towards degree. For student-athletes that lose credits after transferring, the biggest issue is playing catch-up later on, but it may or may not impact their ability to play right away.

During the past academic year, eighteen 4-4 transfer student-athletes joined the Georgia State family.  Baseball, Basketball (men’s and women’s), Soccer (men’s and women’s), Men’s Tennis, Volleyball, and Women’s Track all added 4-4 transfers to their rosters.  These students came to Georgia State from institutions such as Indiana, Georgia, Louisville, Clemson, Memphis, North Carolina State, Texas-El Paso and William & Mary.


4-2-4 transfers must meet the following academic requirements to be eligible to compete immediately after transferring to the second four-year school:

  • Complete an average of 12 hours of transferable degree credit per term of full-time attendance at the junior college;
  • Earn at least a 2.500 GPA in those transferrable courses;
  • Have at least one calendar year elapse since leaving the original four-year school; and
  • Graduate from the junior college with an Associate’s degree.

In men’s and women’s basketball and baseball, midyear transfers may not become eligible to play in the same academic year as their transfer.

Only two 4-2-4 transfers came to Georgia State during the last cycle, one each from football and baseball.  These student-athletes originated at Kentucky and George Mason.

– William Winter, Compliance Coordinator of Eligibility

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