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Terms of Attendance: Part 2

October 10, 2017
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In part one of our two part brief on terms of attendance, we discussed the basics of what is considered a term of attendance and what is not. Terms of attendance have long tentacles that reach into a lot of our different bylaws. Legislative Services thought we would illustrate this point by mentioning several past briefs that discuss situations impacted or impacting terms of attendance.


One of the major factors of Terms of Attendance is identification. Identification is defined in Article V, Section, B, Part 8, and the general rule is a student will be charged a term of attendance when they are enrolled in 12 or more institutional credit hours or represent an institution in an intercollegiate contest. Our bylaws define institutional credit hours (Article V, Section B, Part 9) as any credit attributed to a course that is recorded on the transcript with a grade and credit hours earned.

Identification is a major cog in the eligibility wheel and we have discussed it at length in the past. Please see below for some of the highlights.

The 24/36 Rule

Once a student has identified in two terms of attendance at any higher education institution, they must meet the 24/36 Rule as stated in our bylaws. This means non-freshman and/or students going into their third term of attendance (and then on) must earn 24 institutional credit hours in the two most recent terms of attendance or 36 quarter hours in the three most recent terms of attendance, and only institutional credit hours can be applied. 

We have discussed the 24/36 hour rule on numerous occasions, please see below.

  • March 5, 2014, 24/36 Hour Rule, Part 1: The Basics
    • Introduces the fundamentals of the 24/36 hour rule and loops in terms of attendance.
  • March 14, 2014, Part 2: Advanced Applications
    • Discusses terms of attendance for transfers and how to handle student-athletes when the transfer from a quarter school to a semester school and vice-versa.
  • April 21, 2014, Part 3: The Progress Rule
    • As the title suggests this brief discusses the difference between the 24/36 hour rule and the progress rule.
  • June 2, 2014, Part 4: Summary
    • This brief discusses what each student must do to be eligible in each season of competition.
  • July 11, 2016, New Legislation: 24/36 Hour Rule Exceptions
    • This brief discusses new legislation that was passed at our convention in the spring of 2016.

Suspensions, Transfers, and Graduate Students

Terms of attendance can be a major factor when a student is dealing with a suspension/dismissal, considering transferring, or graduating. Schools also need to be cognizant of how terms of attendance play into these situations. Luckily we have recently addressed some of these issues.

  • September 12, 2017, Dismissals and Suspensions: Part 1
    • We discussed suspensions and dismissals that come from the athletic department, team, or for in game conduct.
  • September 19, 2017, Dismissals and Suspensions: Part 2
    • Here we talk about suspensions and dismissals for academic reasons, governing body suspensions, and conference suspensions.
  • September 25, 2017, Termination of Eligibility
    • In this brief we discussed how a student could have their eligibility terminated, one way being using their ten terms of attendance.
  • December 20, 2016, Transfer Student Considerations
    • Transfers are always a hot topic and in this publication we explore how terms of attendance factor into the eligibility of transfer students.
  • June 21, 2016, Graduate Student Consideration
    • We explore how graduate students can remain eligible and what type of financial assistance they can receive.
  • November 29, 2016, Graduate Student Certification
    • Here we go in depth on exceptions that graduate students can utilize to some of our more general rules.



Legislative Services has written well over 100 briefs since we started and almost all of them have something to do with terms of attendance. For this reason, it is important that you know as much as you can about terms of attendance and their impact on your students and their eligibility. If you have any questions regarding terms of attendance, please do not hesitate to call or email us on the hotline.

Feel free to answer the question at the bottom of the page to give us feedback on what you learned from today's brief.

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CHECK OUT MORE LEGISLATIVE BRIEFS:  2017  |  2016  |  2015   2014

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