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The Transfer Student-Athlete

by Laura Flynn

Transferring to a new school can be a stressful process. I should know – I did it three times! Yes, three!!!

As I mentioned in an earlier post -- during the summer between my junior and senior years of high school I was seriously injured. I was told to “temporarily” give up on the idea of playing collegiately, so I chose a school based solely on academics.

I decided to attend Ithaca College (yup, the school from Road Trip) to pursue a degree in Communications – more specifically Television/Radio. It was a great school, however, the summer after my freshman year the itch to get back on the pitch was stronger than ever. I wanted to play again…and at the highest level.

I decided that after the fall semester of my sophomore year I would transfer to a D-1 school to play soccer. After talking to coaches and looking into different programs, I decided to transfer to Seton Hall University in the Big East conference. The coach was terrific, the program had just graduated one of the best female soccer players in the world (Kelly Smith), and it had an excellent sports management program.

I guess you could say I was lucky in that I had not played with the Ithaca College women’s soccer team so my transfer to play at Seton Hall was fairly simple. I worked with the Ithaca College registrar to get all of the required paperwork together, while my coach at SHU, and the compliance office, took care of the rest.

While that was a pretty simple transition, the transfer process for some student-athletes can be tricky, and rules can differ between division, as well as conference.

The NCAA has a comprehensive guide on the transfer process for student-athletes. It is a great resource for those going through it, or even considering a transfer.

Download the NCAA Transfer Student-Athlete Guide now.

As I have said before, when choosing a program (academic and/or athletic), do what’s best for YOU. If you find yourself in a situation where transferring is what you think best…then make sure you follow the rules, and recognize the implications on your playing career. For example, there are certain cases when student-athletes are required to sit out for a year.

If you have any questions about transferring schools, or how it impacts you academically or athletically, let us know!


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