Question..What are 4-2-4 Transfer Rules?

The following guide is designed to help you when working with academic councilors and athletic department. Ultimately, the responsibility to have your paper work in order and keep your academic records is up to you. Refer to this page to make sure you stay on top of the complex 4-2-4 transfer process.

Rules for 4-2-4 Transfers

In the NCAA, the Division I and Division II rules look very different, but are more similar than they look. There are some important differences, but there is a simple way to meet both sets of requirements.

Division I

4-2-4 transfers in Division I 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 2.000 GPA in those transferable courses;
  • Have at least one calendar year elapse since leaving the original four-year school; and
  • Graduate from the junior college.

In men’s basketball, student-athletes may only use two credits of physical education as transferable degree credit. 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.

Here is more information on the NCAA Eligibility requirements.

Division II

In Division II, 4-2-4 transfers are treated as a subset of all transfers from a junior college. As a result, the basic rules are the same as the Division II 2-4 transfer rules. To play immediately in Division II, a transfer must:

  • Attend the junior college for two semesters or three quarters; and
  • Do one of the following:
    Graduate from the junior college; or
    Pass an average of 12 hours of transferable degree credit per term of full-time attendance at the junior college with a minimum GPA of at least 2.000.

Division II has an additional rule for 4-2-4 transfers who were originally non-qualifiers or partial qualifiers and who do not graduate from the junior college. They must have a minimum of six semester-hours or eight quarter-hours of transferable English credit and three semester-hours or four quarter-hours of transferable math credit. 4-2-4 transfers can use transferable credit from either their original four-year school or the two-year school to meet this requirement.

If you are still unsure what you should be doing in order to transfer you can contact us directly 1(800)974-2171 or You can also start back at the transfer home page to find answer to more common questions.

What 4-2-4 Transfers Need To Do

A 4-2-4 transfer is much more like a junior college transfer than transfers from one four-year school to another. The difference is that 4-2-4 transfers by definition have to manage two transfers when trying to get back to NCAA athletics. And the responsibility for managing the information and different requirements often falls on the shoulders of the athlete.

  1. Keep copies of all your information
    Just like all transfers need to manage more information than high school recruits, 4-2-4 transfers need to manage even more than most transfers. That includes transcripts for both any four-year school and any two-year school, high school information, schedules, and transfer documentation. 4-2-4 transfers are especially difficult to evaluate and take the longest to certify, so make sure to avoid any delays on your end.
  2. Get started early on tracers
    Tracers are documents sent from one school to another school to verify a transfer student’s eligibility. In the case of a 4-2-4 transfer, two tracers are needed: one from each school. Once you leave the four-year school, you can encourage any school recruiting you to send a tracer to that school immediately, even if you have to wait before sending a tracer to the two-year college.
  3. Watch both graduation and transfer requirements
    How credits transfer are key when an athlete is a 4-2-4 transfer requirement. 4-2-4 transfers need to have credits transfer in three ways:

    • From the original four-year school to the two-year school in order to meet the two-year college’s graduation requirements;
    • From the two-year college to the new four-year school to meet the transferable credit requirements; and
    • From both schools to the new four-year school in order to meet percentage-of-degree requirements in most cases.

There is a similar issue athletes must manage with the courses they take at the junior college. Student-athletes must balance their schedule between the courses they need to get an associates degree and courses that will transfer to the new school. It is up to the athlete to get evaluations of their transcripts to make sure they are meeting all these different requirements.

Transfer Exceptions

Division II has no separate exceptions for 4-2-4 transfers, so the same ones apply as for 2-4 transfers. Division I has three specific exceptions for 4-2-4 transfers who do not meet the basic academic requirements:

  • The student returns to the four-year college from which he or she transferred to the two-year college, unless he or she had an unfulfilled residency requirement at the first four-year college.
  • The student was initially enrolled at a four-year college that did not sponsor the student’s sport and the student meets these other requirements:
    • The student was a qualifier;
    • The student completed an average of 12 hours of transferable degree credit for each term of full-time attendance;
    • The student has a minimum GPA of 2.000 in his or her transferrable courses; and
      The student spent at least two semesters or three quarters enrolled full-time at the two-year college.
  • The student qualifiers for the same exception to both the two-year and four-year transfer requirements.

The final exception is limited to the discontinued/non-sponsored sport exception and the two-year non-participation/minimal participation exception, the only transfer exception for both 2-4 and 4-4 transfers.

Common Problems with Transfers

  1. Being a 4-2-4 transfer
    One of the biggest problems with 4-2-4 transfers is when an athlete did not intend to be a 4-2-4 transfer in the first place. A common situation is that an athlete leaves one four-year school intending to take a semester off then enroll in a second four-year school. In order to pick up some credits, the athlete enrolls at a two-year college, but enrolls full-time, meaning he or she cannot transfer the following semester. Be sure you are willing to meet the 4-2-4 transfer requirements including attending the school for a full academic year if you enroll full-time.
  2. Higher Level Courses
    Getting eligible as a 4-2-4 transfer is relatively easy if you leave the original four-year school after your freshman year. When you leave after your sophomore year, it gets much trickier. The reason is that you may need to take many lower level courses to graduate from the junior college, but you will also need some higher level courses to meet the percentage-of-degree requirements. Make sure you keep in mind all the requirements you might need to meet and the different ways you can meet them when mixing NCAA and junior college requirements.
  3. Division II Rules
    It’s rare, but 4-2-4 transfers are one area where Division II has a much more complicated set of rules than Division I. In Division II, your status as a qualifier, partial qualifier, or non-qualifier changes your requirements as a Division II transfer. The key is to put together the toughest of both requirements and aim for that standard to make sure you have as many options when you leave the two-year college. That means graduating from the two-year college, passing 12 hours of transferable credit every term, and attending the junior college for at least one academic year.

Time management for the student-athlete.

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