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Credit Hours Used for Eligibility Certification

February 23, 2016
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All courses that are being used for certification of eligibility must be completed prior to the start of the term in which eligibility is being sought. This means that in order for a course to be counted towards the Progress Rule, the 24/36-Hour Rule or the Nine-Hour Rule, that course must be complete prior to the start of the term in which the student wishes to become eligible. Furthermore, the courses must be noted as such on the issuing school’s transcript.

There have been a number of students who have been evaluated by the Eligibility Center or by their campus eligibility personnel as ineligible because of this requirement. Most commonly students have taken inter-term courses at schools outside of their NAIA institution in order to collect institutional credit to meet the 24/36-Hour Rule and be eligible for the spring term. Some schools have issued the grades for the courses as “Inter-term 2016” grades on their transcript. Other schools have issued grades for the courses as “Spring 2016” grades on their transcript. Because institutional credit hours must be taken at face value from the issuing school’s transcript, the courses that are recorded on the transcript for spring 2016 may not be used for eligibility determinations for the spring term. The NEC has upheld that if a course is noted as a spring course on the issuing school’s transcript, the course cannot be used for eligibility for the spring term, regardless of the timing of the term

The same principle holds true for credits earned by exam. Only credits earned by an exam, such as CLEP, and applied to the transcript to a term prior to the term seeking eligibility will be able to be used for the 24/36-Hour Rule, the Progress Rule and the Nine-Hour Rule.

In the case of courses taken during non-terms and for credits earned by exam, if the credit is not recorded on the transcript in a specific term, the course or exam dates must be used to determine the timing of when the credit was earned. If the course or exam credit is applied to a specific term, the credit must be taken at face value in that term, regardless of the exam or course dates.

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