The NAIA Eligibility Center is responsible for ensuring student-athletes are academically eligible to compete at its member schools. Athletes must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center, creating an online profile and sending in the appropriate documentation to prove they meet the eligibility requirements. Most recruits will create their NAIA profile during their high school years, starting as early as freshmen year. Students can receive their official eligible decision as early as after their junior year for high academic achievers. It’s important to note that the NAIA Eligibility Center is only responsible for making sure recruits meet the academic requirements. It’s up to the student-athlete to understand the academic requirements and make sure they are on track to meet those requirements, with the help of their high school guidance counselor and administrators.
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.
There are three main steps recruits need to take to register with the NAIA Eligibility Center:
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.
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.
*These test score requirements are for any athletes taking standardized tests after May 1, 2019. The test score requirements will be a 16 ACT or an 860 SAT for tests completed between March 1, 2016 and May 1, 2019. The test score requirements will be an 18 ACT or an 860 SAT for tests completed prior to March 1, 2016.
To get started, student-athletes must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center, creating a profile at PlayNAIA.org. In order to determine 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.
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.
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.
The NAIA Eligibility Center will provide qualified seniors with an eligibility decision before graduation if they meet or exceed the following criteria:
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.
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 three to seven 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 notifications under ‘Current Tasks’ will be moved to the ‘Completed Tasks’ section of their PlayNAIA profile.
Families can contact the customer relations team Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5 pm CT by:
NAIA Eligibility Center – College Transcripts
120 W. 12th Street, Suite 700
Kansas City, MO 64105
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.