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Obscure 2-4 Transfer Interp Could Have Big Impact on Online Courses

Just the title of this interpretation makes it seem like a bit of NCAA minutiae that might not come up all that often: “Summer Terms for Institutions without Traditional Terms of Enrollment to Satisfy 2–4 Transferable Degree Credit Requirements”. But the content of the interp will become more and important as time goes on:

The academic and membership affairs staff confirmed that the assessment of whether nontraditional course credit from an institution without traditional academic terms is considered credit from an academic-year course, or a summer course is based on the academic calendar of the two-year institution most recently attended by the student-athlete. Therefore, if a student-athlete begins a nontraditional course after the two-year college’s spring commencement exercises, the course shall be considered summer credit, regardless of how it is classified by the offering institution. In addition, if a student-athlete begins a nontraditional course before the two-year college’s spring commencement exercises but completes the course after the commencement exercises, the course shall be considered summer credit.

Nonqualifiers who enroll at a two-year college then want to transfer to a Division I school must have 48 transferrable hours. Only 18 of those hours can come during summer terms and only nine of those hours may be earned the summer immediately before transferring.

This interp limits the use of nontraditional (read: online) courses. If the course is taken through an institution without regular terms, like say a fully-online college without set semesters, the class must be started and completed before the spring graduation of that institution, or it will count as a summer course.

What this means is that another way for athletes who are behind to catch up on their 2–4 transfer requirements has been cut off. If athletes are not careful, the extra online course they took to get eligible that started in March may end up counting as a summer course. And if the athlete already needed to max out their summer courses, that would result in them not being eligible as a 2–4 transfer. Much like the NCAA has limited some of the quick fixes in initial eligibility, it seems to be taking the same approach to junior college transfers.

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