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NAIA Eligibility Center

 

What is the NAIA Eligibility Center for?

The NAIA Eligibility Center is responsible for ensuring that prospective college athletes meet all the requirements to be academically eligible to compete in college sports at one of its member schools. Any student-athlete playing NAIA championship sports for the first time must meet all eligibility center requirements, and all NAIA member schools are bound by the center’s decisions.

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How do I register for the NAIA Eligibility Center, mistakenly known as the NAIA Clearinghouse?

There are three main steps recruits need to take to register with the NAIA Eligibility Center:

  1. Create their profile at playnaia.org/eligibility-center.
  2. Have their high school send all required records and documents to the NAIA Eligibility Center.
  3. Secure a spot on the short list, or the list of student-athletes who are currently being recruited, which gives them priority for the eligibility center to begin the decision-making process.

While these three steps seem simple enough, there are many actions recruits must take to ensure each of these steps are completed correctly. We’ve laid out the entire NAIA registration process.

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NAIA eligibility requirements

To be academically eligible, the eligibility center requires that incoming freshmen meet two of the following three criteria. Transfer students or those who took a break between high school and college will need to fulfill additional requirements, which we've outlined on our NAIA eligibility requirements page.

  • Achieve a minimum of 16 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT*
  • Achieve a minimum overall high school grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Graduate in the top half of their high school class.

*These test score requirements are for any athletes taking standardized tests from March 1, 2016 – May 1, 2019. After May 1, 2019, the test score requirements will be an 18 ACT or a 970 SAT.

To get started, student-athletes must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center, creating a profile at PlayNAIA.org. In order to provide they meet these requirements, student-athletes must send the NAIA specific documentation. We provide more details about the NAIA eligibility requirements, as well as the documents that prospects must provide.

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Who needs to register with the NAIA?

The following student-athletes need to register with the NAIA:

  • High school seniors (U.S. and international)
  • Home schooled and GED students
  • Current NAIA students who will be playing sports for the first time at an NAIA school
  • Transfers from two-year colleges
  • Transfers from four-year colleges
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Do I need to register with the NAIA Eligibility Center if I'm registering with the NCAA?

Yes, the NAIA and NCAA are two separate governing bodies, with different sets of rules and a different certification process. Recruits interested in competing at NAIA schools, must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center.

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PlayNAIA.org connects you with NAIA schools

The NAIA Connections Service is an optional part of the NAIA Eligibility Center registration process. This feature gives recruits the opportunity to create a customized Sport Resume, highlighting their athletic accomplishments, positions played, upcoming events and honors. Then, recruits can use the “search” tool to find NAIA schools that offer their sport. They can also see the type of college (location, number of students, public or private) and discover if the school offers their desired major.

Recruits can indicate which schools they want to connect with, and the NAIA will send their Sport Resume directly to those coaches. NAIA coaches and admissions representatives from those schools will get in touch with the prospect to discuss athletic and academic opportunities available.

The NAIA Connections Service will no longer be accessible starting March 2019. Families should take advantage of this feature before that time.

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Early decisions for high school seniors

The NAIA Eligibility Center will provide qualified seniors with an eligibility decision before graduation if they meet or exceed the following criteria:

  • They must have completed their junior year of high school
  • They need to have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, or a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale midway through senior year
  • They must show they have the minimum ACT or SAT scores (see the requirements above)

To get an early decision, qualified seniors need to send their official transcripts and test scores to the NAIA Eligibility Center after their junior year.

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How long does the NAIA Eligibility Center take?

It takes about 10 minutes for athletes to set up their eligibility center account. Once athletes have created their account and all of their documents have arrived at the NAIA Eligibility Center, it generally takes two to three days for the NAIA to complete the review process from the date completed records are submitted. When an athlete’s documents have been reviewed, their To Do list in their NAIA Eligibility Center account will be updated.

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How do I contact the NAIA?

Families can contact the customer relations team Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5 pm CT at

NAIA Eligibility Center transcript address

  • Regular mail: NAIA Eligibility Center, P.O. Box 15340, Kansas City, MO 64106
  • Overnight mail or international records: 1200 Grand Blvd., Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64106

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Find out if you are on track to meet the NAIA Eligibility Requirements

To help student-athletes and college coaches determine if a recruit is on track to be academically eligible, the NAIA and NCSA teamed up to create the “NAIA Eligibility Projection.” This tool lives in athletes’ NCSA online profile and gives student-athletes and college coaches an easy way to know if the athlete is on track to meet the NAIA eligibility requirements.

More than 5,000 recruits completed the drill in the few weeks following its launch. To learn more about how this tool works, visit our NAIA eligibility requirements page.

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