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24/36-Hour Rule, Part 4: Summary

June 02, 2014
Part 1: The Basics
Part 2: Advanced Applications

Part 3: The Progress Rule

The NAIA has several core requirements for eligibility. Recent articles examined the 24/36-Hour Rule and the Progress Rule independently. In the final part of this series, we look at how these two rules fit into the bigger picture regarding a student-athlete’s eligibility.

First Year Eligibility Requirements - First Two Semesters or Three Quarters

  1. The student-athlete must graduate from an accredited high school or be accepted as a full-time college student in good standing (defined by the enrolling institution).
  2. The student-athlete must meet two of the three entering freshman requirements:
    • Minimum score of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT (Critical Reading and Math);
    • Cumulative high school GPA of 2.00 or higher (on a 4.00 scale); OR
    • Graduate in the top half of the student-athlete’s high school graduating class.
  3. The student-athlete must maintain enrollment in 12 institutional credit hours to compete.
  4. During the first term of attendance, a student-athlete must earn a minimum of nine institutional credit hours in order to be eligible for the second term of attendance.

Continuing Eligibility Requirements – Second Season of Competition

  1. The student-athlete must maintain enrollment in 12 institutional credit hours.
  2. The student-athlete must meet the 24/36-Hour Rule.
  3. The student-athlete must meet the Progress Rule.

Continuing Eligibility Requirements – Third Season of Competition

  1. The student-athlete must maintain enrollment in 12 institutional credit hours to compete.
  2. The student-athlete must meet the 24/36-Hour Rule.
  3. The student-athlete must meet the Progress Rule, including a cumulative 2.0 GPA to compete in the third season of competition.
  4. The student-athlete must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA if they would be considered to have met junior academic standing per institutional standards.

Continuing Eligibility Requirements – Fourth Season of Competition

  1. The student-athlete must maintain enrollment in 12 institutional credit hours.
  2. The student-athlete must meet the 24/36-Hour Rule.
  3. The student-athlete must meet the Progress Rule, including a cumulative 2.0 GPA to compete in the fourth season of competition.
  4. The student-athlete must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA if they would be considered to have met junior academic standing per institutional standards.
  5. In order to compete in a fourth season of competition, all students must have accumulated at least 72 semester/108 quarter (or equivalent) institutional credit hours, and at least 48 semester/72 quarter hours must be in general education and/or in the student’s major field of study.

Examples

Example 1:

Consider Student A’s freshman academic year (semester terms).

  • Fall - enrolled in 12 institutional credit hours, earned 6.
  • Winter break - enrolled in 2 institutional credit hours, earned 2.
  • Spring - enrolled in 12 institutional credit hours, earned 4.
  • Summer - enrolled in 12 institutional credit hours, earned 12.
  • Charged one season of competition for intercollegiate participation.

If Student A seeks an eligibility determination for the Fall semester of his second academic year, he will satisfy the Progress Rule because he has earned 24 institutional credit hours before his second season of competition. However, he would not satisfy the 24/36-Hour Rule. A maximum of 12 non-term hours may be applied toward the 24/36-Hour Rule and Student A has 14. (12 from Summer; 2 from Winter break).

Example 2:

Student B is an incoming transfer student participating in basketball at an NAIA institution. He will be entering his second season of competition and his incoming transcript appears as follows:

NON-NAIA INSTITUTION

Classes Grade Credit Hours (Semester)
Semester 1 (Fall)  
   Class 1 B 3.0
   Class 2 B- 4.0
   Class 3 C+ 3.0
   Class 4 B 3.0
Semester 2 (Spring)  
   Class 5 D 3.0
   Class 6 B- 2.0
   Class 7  C+ 3.0
   Class 8 A 1.0
   Class 9 F 3.0
Summer Session  
   Class 10 C 2.0

 
Student B’s NAIA institution does not accept transfer credits earned with a grade of D or lower. This fact is irrelevant for eligibility purposes in Student B's first term at the NAIA institution. Student B satisfies both the 24/36-Hour Rule and the Progress Rule because a transfer student's credits earned are taken at face value from previous institutions.  

Going into his second semester at his NAIA institution, Student B's credit hours are evaluated differently for the 24/36-Hour Rule and the Progress Rule. Credits for the 24/36-Hour Rule continue to be evaluated at face value from transcript of the institution at which the credits were earned. Credits for the Progress Rule are now evaluated based on what the NAIA institution accepts. After his first fall semester at his NAIA institution, Student B has earned the following grades:

NAIA INSTITUTION

Classes Grade Credit Hours (Semester)
Transfer Credits 21.0
Semester 4 (Fall)  
   Class 1 A- 3.0
   Class 2 B- 4.0
   Class 3 C+ 3.0
   Class 4 B 3.0


Student B will satisfy both the 24/36-Hour Rule and the Progress Rule for the spring semester. Although his NAIA institution did not accept the 3 credits earned with a D for Class 5, the credits still apply toward satisfying the 24/36-Hour Rule. Therefore, the student has 24 earned credits over his two most recent terms and the applicable summer term.

Furthermore, Student B satisfies the Progress Rule for the spring semester because the student his NAIA institution has awarded him a total of 34 cumulative institutional credit hours.

Conclusion

Remember, the 24/36-Hour Rule and the Progress Rule are only two pieces of the NAIA eligibility evaluation. Students’ eligibility can be affected by additional factors such as outside competitive experience, repeat courses, or outstanding suspensions. However, for purposes of the 24/36-Hour Rule, you now have a better understanding as to how and when these rules apply. If questions remain, please contact your FAR or the NAIA Eligibility Center for further clarification.

 

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.