How Long Is the Transfer Portal Open? (Updated 2024)

    The transfer portal has changed college football, but how it operates has evolved over the years. Find out how it works and when it opens in 2024.

    The transfer portal has transformed the college football landscape and the way that recruiting operates. With players able to move between schools freely, the way programs function has changed, meaning the NCAA had to introduce transfer windows to avoid all-out chaos.

    Instead, players who wish to enter the transfer portal must do so in specific periods of the year. While the winter window is by far the most popular, the spring transfer window is also utilized extensively.

    When Does the College Football Transfer Portal Window Open?

    The NCAA introduced the transfer portal in 2018, but its function has changed several times since then. In the modern college football era, the transfer portal is separated into two windows, with players entered into a database to display their availability to prospective programs.

    If a player wants to transfer in either window, they must inform their compliance administration officer at their current school.

    Their job is to process the application into the database within 48 hours. A student’s contact information, as well as academic and athletic history, is uploaded to the portal, where coaches can view it.

    Students must enter the portal within the clarified timeframe. However, once players are in the portal, they can transfer at any time. It is a popular misconception that players must transfer within the transfer portal window period.

    The Fall/Winter Transfer Portal

    The first transfer portal window of the academic year operates in the fall.

    The most recent fall/winter window officially opened on December 4, 2023, and closed on January 2, 2024, giving athletes 30 days to enter the portal at the end of the regular season.

    Over 2,000 student-athletes entered the portal, setting a record.

    The portal then closes between January 3 and April 14, usually causing a quieter period in college football. It allows players, schools, and coaches to evaluate their options as they prepare for spring practice.

    The Spring Transfer Portal

    In 2024, the spring transfer portal opens on April 16, 2024, and closes on April 30, 2024, for underclassmen. For grad transfers, the portal window is extended to May 1, 2024.

    It is a shortened 15-day period for student-athletes to decide to enter the portal, although some players have given notice that they will be entering the transfer portal before it has opened.

    While they can’t officially enter the portal or be contacted until their names are on the database, it doesn’t stop players from making announcements on social media.

    In previous years, the portal opened for a total of 60 days per year. However, in 2023/2024, that number was brought down to 45, with the spring window only opening for 15 days.

    The spring transfer window is much less utilized than the first one of the academic year. But it is still important.

    Firstly, for players, the spring portal is much closer to the end of the academic year, allowing them to evaluate their education and academic requirements in more detail before entering the portal.

    It also allows players to understand how much playing time they can expect in the new season before deciding.

    Secondly, for coaches, it allows for a much more ingrained evaluation of the roster and provides a more refined use of the transfer portal. It entitles coaches to address the needs they have identified after assessing spring practices.

    KEEP READING: Spring Transfer Portal Rules Explained (Updated 2024)

    The spring transfer window is the final time that the portal can be used before the start of the regular season, allowing an elongated period through the summer.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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