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NAIA Football Schools: Flexibility in the Recruiting Process and in the College Experience

For many student-athletes, the charm of NAIA schools comes from its smaller class sizes and overall flexibility between athletics, academics and a social life. Furthermore, NAIA football colleges are allowed to manage their own recruiting process—no timelines or calendars to memorize. Coaches at NAIA football schools can recruit at any time, and the window of opportunity is often open longer than at the other division levels. Learn more about D1, D2, D3 and NAIA football colleges.

Are there divisions in the NAIA?

For football, all NAIA teams play in the same division. Two NAIA football divisions existed until 1997, at which point they were consolidated into one. NAIA football schools compete for the Football National Championship, which is decided by a post-season playoff system with the top NAIA football teams battling to make it to the championship game.

How many scholarships does NAIA football have?

NAIA football programs can offer up to 24 scholarships per team. The coaches can divide the scholarships as partial scholarships in order to get more high-quality players on the team. Athletes can receive full-ride scholarships, but they are somewhat rare, reserved for the players who are projected to make the most impact on the team and for athletes who are in unique positions.

How many NAIA football teams are there?

There are 96 NAIA football schools across the country. NAIA football conferences include: Frontier Conference, Great Plains Athletic, Heart of America Athletic, Kansas Collegiate Athletic, Mid-South, Mid-States Football Association, North Start Athletic Association and Sooner Athletic conferences.

Current NAIA football rankings 

NCSA wants to ensure that student-athletes have the opportunity to make the most informed decision regarding their college choice. To aid in the decision-making process, NCSA Power Rankings give student-athletes and their families a more complete picture of the top NAIA football schools. NCSA looks beyond college athletics to rank these schools based on size, tuition, location and academics. Find out more about how the college football recruiting process works.

Related Articles

These are the top 10 NAIA football schools in 2019:  

  1. Northwestern College – Iowa
  2. Olivet Nazarene University
  3. University of St. Francis – Illinois
  4. Indiana Wesleyan University
  5. Concordia University – Nebraska
  6. The College of Idaho
  7. Taylor University
  8. Robert Morris University – Illinois
  9. Culver-Stockton College
  10. Benedictine College

Every week, the NAIA produces a “Coaches’ Top 25” list that reflect how head NAIA football coaches to rank these programs across each conference.

To start exploring the wealth of NAIA colleges across the country, use the following list of NAIA football teams. Search by state, conference or school name.

List of NAIA football schools

School
City and State
Region
Conference
Division
Columbia, South Carolina
South East
Appalachian Athletic Conference
NAIA
Phoenix, Arizona
South West
Golden state Athletic Conference
NAIA
Kansas City, Missouri
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
Baldwin City, Kansas
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
Atchison, Kansas
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
Lindsborg, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
North Newton, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
McKenzie, Tennessee
Mid East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Bluefield, Virginia
Mid East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Sioux City, Iowa
Mid West
Great Plains Athletic Conference
NAIA
Campbellsville, Kentucky
Mid East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Helena, Montana
North West
Cascade Collegiate Conference
NAIA
Fayette, Missouri
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
Dubuque, Iowa
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
Seward, Nebraska
Mid West
Great Plains Athletic Conference
NAIA
Canton, Missouri
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
Lebanon, Tennessee
Mid East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Madison, South Dakota
North West
North Star Athletic Association
NAIA
Mitchell, South Dakota
North West
Great Plains Athletic Conference
NAIA
Dickinson, North Dakota
North West
North Star Athletic Association
NAIA
Crete, Nebraska
Mid West
Great Plains Athletic Conference
NAIA
Sioux Center, Iowa
Mid West
Great Plains Athletic Conference
NAIA
La Grande, Oregon
West Coast
Frontier Conference
NAIA
Jacksonville, Florida
South East
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
NAIA
Springfield, Missouri
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
Montgomery, Alabama
South East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Miami Gardens, Florida
South East
Sun Conference
NAIA
Wichita, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
Georgetown, Kentucky
Mid East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Lamoni, Iowa
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
Des Moines, Iowa
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
Hastings, Nebraska
Mid West
Great Plains Athletic Conference
NAIA
Marion, Indiana
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Mid West
Upper Midwest Athletic Conference
NAIA
Elgin, Illinois
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Salina, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
West Palm Beach, Florida
South East
The Sun Conference
NAIA
Grayson, Kentucky
Mid East
Association of Independent Institutions
NAIA
Langston, Oklahoma
Mid South
SAC
NAIA
Southfield, Michigan
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Columbia, Kentucky
Mid East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Batesville, Arkansas
Mid South
American Midwest Conference
NAIA
Livonia, Michigan
Great Lakes
Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference
NAIA
Indianapolis, Indiana
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Mayville, North Dakota
North West
North Star Athletic Association
NAIA
McPherson, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
Olathe, Kansas
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
Fremont, Nebraska
Mid West
Great Plains Athletic Conference
NAIA
Saint Louis, Missouri
Mid West
American Midwest Conference
NAIA
Marshall, Missouri
Mid West
KCAC
NAIA
Havre, Montana
North West
Cascade Collegiate Conference
NAIA
Butte, Montana
North West
Cascade Collegiate Conference
NAIA
Sioux City, Iowa
Mid West
Great Plains Athletic Conference
NAIA
Orange City, Iowa
Mid West
Great Plains Athletic Conference
NAIA
Goodwell, Oklahoma
Mid South
SAC
NAIA
Bourbonnais, Illinois
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Ottawa, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
Phoenix, Arizona
South West
GSAC
NAIA
Peru, Nebraska
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA
West Point, Georgia
South East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Aberdeen, South Dakota
North West
GPAC
NAIA
Waleska, Georgia
South East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Billings, Montana
North West
Frontier Conference
NAIA
Chicago, Illinois
Great Lakes
Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
Chicago, Illinois
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Adrian, Michigan
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Lakeland, Florida
South East
Sun Conference
NAIA
Ashland, Oregon
West Coast
Cascade Collegiate Conference
NAIA
Waxahachie, Texas
Mid South
Central States Football League
NAIA
Winfield, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
Davenport, Iowa
Mid West
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Laurinburg, North Carolina
Mid East
AAC
NAIA
Miami, Florida
South East
Sun Conference
NAIA
Sterling, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
Hillsboro, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
Upland, Indiana
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Tyler, Texas
Mid South
Red River Athletic Conference
NAIA
Fort Worth, Texas
Mid South
Sooner Athletic Conference
NAIA
Caldwell, Idaho
North West
Frontier Conference
NAIA
Crestview Hills, Kentucky
Mid East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Deerfield, Illinois
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Barbourville, Kentucky
Mid East
Appalachian Athletic Conference
NAIA
Jamestown, North Dakota
North West
GPAC, KCAC
NAIA
Dillon, Montana
North West
Frontier Conference
NAIA
Pikeville, Kentucky
Mid East
Mid-South Conference
NAIA
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Leavenworth, Kansas
Mid West
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
NAIA
Joliet, Illinois
Great Lakes
Mid-States Football Association
NAIA
Williamsburg, Kentucky
Mid East
AAC
NAIA
Valley City, North Dakota
North West
North Star Athletic Association
NAIA
Forest City, Iowa
Mid West
North Star Athletic Conference
NAIA
Lake Wales, Florida
South East
Sun Conference
NAIA
Plainview, Texas
Mid South
Sooner Athletic Conference
NAIA
Babson Park, Florida
South East
Sun Conference
NAIA
Oskaloosa, Iowa
Mid West
Heart of America Athletic Conference
NAIA

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