The NAIA recruiting information is less cumbersome, with few restrictions on the contact between a student-athlete and a college coach. This levels the playing field for NAIA institutions to compete against NCAA schools.
The NAIA has around 300 colleges and universities. The appeal that the NAIA has to offer is their smaller class sizes and tight knit campus communities, the ability to transfer and not lose any eligibility, there are fewer recruiting rules and restrictions, and you have the opportunity to compete for championships. Not everyone has the ability or the academics to play NCAA sports. The NAIA is a terrific chance for any student athlete looking to earn a scholarship.
Each NAIA institution will have their own academic requirements that you must meet, and the NAIA association has an overview of recruiting rules and requirements that student-athletes must meet.
NAIA Eligibility Center – Transcripts
P.O. Box 15340
Kansas City, MO 64106
*The NAIA and NCAA are two separate associations, with different rules and eligibility process. Your eligibility with the NCAA is separate from your eligibility with the NAIA.
As an association, the NAIA does not have a letter of intent program in which students sign
a binding agreement to participate in athletics at a particular institution. Student-athletes
may sign letters of intent with an individual NAIA school, however, they aren’t obligated to
attend that institution. That said, some NAIA conferences require their member schools
to recognize letters of intent that are signed with other institutions within the conference.
Please check with your prospective school to see if any conference programs apply.
Each sport has scholarship limits set by the NAIA, but those scholarships can be dispensed as partial awards to spread financial aid around among athletes. Each sport has an overall limit on the amount of financial aid it can award as full or partial.
For example, the overall limit in Track & Field is 12. Track & Field scholarships can be awarded to any number of students (for example, 2 full scholarship, 9 half awards and 24 quarter awards) as long as the combined total does not exceed 12.
Limits on the total amount of aid that can be given to varsity athletes in each sport:
Baseball = 12 scholarships
Golf = 5 scholarships
Tennis = 5 scholarships
Basketball (Division I) = 11 scholarships
Basketball (Division II) = 6 scholarships
Softball = 10 scholarships
Wrestling = 8 scholarships
Soccer = 12 scholarships
Track & Field = 12 scholarships
Cross Country = 5 scholarships
Swimming & Diving = 8 scholarships
Volleyball = 8 scholarships
Football = 24 scholarships