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24/36-Hour Rule, Part 2: Advanced Applications

March 14, 2014

Part 1: The Basics

The 24/36-Hour Rule is a core NAIA eligibility requirement, ensuring that a student is making steady, continuous academic progress.  Last week we laid the foundation for the 24/36-Hour Rule.  This week we will address some complicated scenarios which arise when applying the rule.

Mixed Terms (Bylaws Article V, Section C, Item 6)

Issues applying the 24/36-Hour Rule may arise when a student transfers from one institution to another.  If the new institution uses the same term system (e.g. semester, quarter, etc.) as the previous institution, then the standard 24/36-Hour Rule applies.  However, confusion often arises when a student is transferring to an institution which uses a different term system. 

General Rule of Thumb: Always use the two most recent terms of attendance (TOA’s), unless the student has three consecutive quarter TOA’s.

Transfer from Quarter System to Semester System

To initially determine the transfer student’s eligibility, the new institution must look at the transfer student’s three most recent quarters at the old institution.  If the student had earned a minimum of 36 hours, the student would be eligible to compete at the new institution under the 24/36-Hour Rule (other eligibility requirements would still apply). 

However, once the transfer student has completed a semester at the new institution, only the two most recent TOAs would be considered for 24/36-Hour Rule eligibility, regardless of which type of terms they are.  Therefore, the student’s final quarter at the old institution and first semester at new institution would be used to determine 24/36-Hour Rule eligibility, as these are the two most recent terms.

Example

STUDENT A
Third Most Recent Term Second Most Recent Term Most Recent Term
Quarter Quarter Semester

 

Transfer from Semester System to Quarter System

To initially determine the transfer student’s eligibility, the institution must look at the transfer student’s two most recent semesters at the old institution.  If the student had earned a minimum of 24 hours, the student would satisfy the 24/36-Hour Rule (once again, other eligibility requirements would still apply). 

After the student’s first quarter at the new school, the two most recent terms of attendance are applied to satisfy the 24/36-Hour Rule, regardless of which type of terms they are (see Student B).  This application continues until the student has completed three consecutive quarters at the new school (See Student C).  Once the student has three consecutive quarters, the three most recent TOAs are used when applying the 24/36-Hour Rule (See Student D).

Example

STUDENT B
Third Most Recent Term Second Most Recent Term Most Recent Term
Semester Semester Quarter
 
STUDENT C
Third Most Recent Term Second Most Recent Term Most Recent Term
Semester Quarter Quarter
 
STUDENT D
Third Most Recent Term Second Most Recent Term Most Recent Term
Quarter Quarter Quarter

 

Graduate Students (Bylaws Article V, Section C, Item 3, Exception)

Some students entering their final term before graduation may not be required by their institution to enroll in 12 credit hours if they have met all other academic requirements for graduation.  If the graduating student still has eligibility remaining and enrolls in graduate or professional school at the same institution, the aforementioned final term will not be counted when applying the 24/36-Hour Rule.  In this case the two/three most recent terms (depending upon the term system being used) prior to the final graduating term would be used to calculate eligibility for the graduate student under the 24/36-Hour Rule. 

For example, a student with eligibility remaining wishes to compete in Fall 2014.  She earned her degree from the institution in Spring 2013, earning only six institutional credit hours in that final semester.  She has now enrolled in graduate school at the same institution.  In Spring 2012 she earned 13 hours and in Fall 2013 she earned 11 hours.  The student satisfies the 24/36-Hour Rule by using the two most recent terms prior to the graduating term. 


24/36-Hour Rule Exceptions

1) Pre-Academic Year Participation (Bylaws Article V, Section C, Item 6, Exception 1)
A fall sport may start before classes start at an institution.  If a student participates in an intercollegiate contest prior to classes starting but then leaves the institution, that term is not applied in determining the 24/36-Hour Rule. 

2) Junior College Graduates (Bylaws Article V, Section C, Item 6, Exception 2)
A student who has earned an associates’ degree from a junior college and has eligibility remaining can be exempt from the 24/36-Hour Rule for his or her first term at the NAIA institution if he or she meets both of the following requirements:

  • The student passed all hours required for graduation in the term in which graduation occurs.
  • Less than 24/36 hours were required for graduation during the last two semesters/three quarters.

3) Initial Term of Competition (Bylaws Article V, Section C, Item 6, Exception 3)
A student can be exempt from the 24/36-Hour Rule during his or her initial term of competition at the NAIA institution if he or she meets the following requirements:

  • The student has never participated in any intercollegiate sport at any institution.
  • The student met freshman eligibility requirements upon initial identification with any institution
    • NOTE: This requirement only applies to students in the first four semesters/six quarters of attendance.
  • The student has an overall GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, calculated with all transcripts from all institutions attended
    • NOTE: This requirement only applies to students in terms after the first four semesters/six quarters of attendance.

Part 3: The Progress Rule

Part 4: Summary

 

Stay in the Game poster
for student-athletes
 
What do student-athletes need to do to maintain their eligibility? A new poster for faculty athletics representatives highlights the key requirements.
Print the 11x17 poster.