Rules FAQ: Withdrawing from an Institution

Article V, Section F, Item 3 states:
If a student identified with an institution officially withdraws from that institution within 21 calendar days following the official opening date of classes as stated in the institutional catalog and RETURNS and becomes identified with the same institution (without becoming identified at another institution), the student shall not be charged with a term of attendance for the term in which the student withdrew.

Interpretation and Application
This is a relatively straightforward bylaw. If a student identified with an institution officially withdraws from that institution within 21 calendar days following the official opening date of classes and then returns to the same institution without identifying themselves with another institution then a term of attendance will not be charged to the student. In effect, the student's eligibility will not be hindered by officially withdrawing within 21 days and returning directly to the same institution without a stop at another institution. It is important to note, though, that if this student participates in a contest during this time the student will be charged with a season of competition and the progress rule will be applied in the future.

Scenario: Student A is identified with an NAIA institution for the Fall term. The official first day of class is September 1st. On September 20th the student officially withdraws from the institution after attending class. The student does not identify themselves with another institution during the rest of the Fall term. The student identifies themselves with the original NAIA institution in the Spring term. When the student is being certified eligible, the Fall term will not be counted for eligibility purposes.

Article V, Section F, Item 4 states:
If a student becomes identified at an institution and officially totally withdraws from that institution within 21 calendar days and subsequently becomes identified at an NAIA institution after remaining out of school for at least two full consecutive semesters, two full consecutive trimesters or three full consecutive quarters following the term of withdrawal, the term shall not be counted in application of the 9/24/36 institutional credit hour rule. The term shall be charged as a term of attendance with respect to the 10 semester, 12 trimester, or 15 quarter limit. However, the transfer rule shall apply and the term shall be counted in application of the 9/24/36 institutional credit hour rule if the athlete participated during the 21 days.

Interpretation and Application
This bylaw allows for an exception to the term being counted for the 9/24/36 hour rule for the student should that student not return to the original institution from which they withdrew. If a student is identified with an institution and officially withdraws from that institution within 21 calendar days after the official opening date of class, then transfers to an NAIA institution after remaining out of school two full consecutive semesters or trimesters, or three full consecutive quarters following the term of withdrawal, the following will occur regarding the term the student withdrew.

1. The term shall not be counted in application of the 9/24/36 hour rule
2. The term shall be counted as one of the allowable 10 semesters, 12 trimesters, or 15 quarters

It is important to note that if the student participated in a contest before officially withdrawing from the original institution that term will then be counted for the 9/24/36 rule.

Scenario: Student A is identified with an NAIA institution for the Fall semester. The official first day of class is September 1st. On September 20th the student officially withdraws from the institution after attending class but not participating in a contest. The student does not attend an institution of higher learning during the succeeding Spring semester and the next Fall semester (Two FULL semesters) and enrolls at a different NAIA institution. When certifying eligibility for the student, the Fall semester in which the student withdrew will not count for the 9/24 hour rule but it will count as one of the student's allowable 10 semesters.

Article V, Section F, Item 5 states:
If a student identified with an institution officially withdraws from that institution after attending any class during a normal school term and then transfers and becomes identified with another institution, the student shall be charged with a term of attendance (and zero hours credit) for attending any class before withdrawing.

Interpretation and Application
This bylaw is applied far more frequently than the previous two. If a student does not meet the requirements of the above bylaws then that student is automatically charged a term of attendance and 0 credit hours for the term in which they withdraw. For this item 5, it is not relevant whether the student withdrew within the first 21 calendar days.

Scenario: Student A is identified with an NAIA institution for the Fall semester. The official first day of class is September 1st. On September 20th the student officially withdraws from the institution after attending class but not participating in a contest. The student then enrolls in a different NAIA institution in the succeeding Spring semester. When certifying eligibility the student will be charged a term of attendance and 0 credit hours for the Fall semester at the original NAIA institution. It does not matter that the student withdrew within 21 days because the student did not return to the original NAIA institution nor sat out for two full semesters.

Please also see the applicable casebook examples found under each item.