How to Register with the NAIA Eligibility Center
To register with the NAIA Eligibility Center, athletes must take the following three actions:
- Create a profile at PlayNAIA.org. US students register here. International students register here.
- Send all required documents to the NAIA Eligibility Center
- Get on the priority list (referred to as the “short list”) to ensure the NAIA reviews their information
Step 1: Create an online NAIA profile
NAIA registration starts with recruits building their NAIA profile, which serves as their home base in the academic eligibility process. Any time there is an update to their status, it will be reflected in their profile. Athletes can build their profile as early as their junior year of high school and no later than senior year. To do so, they must go to PlayNAIA.org and click the “Register Now” button. We advise that recruits build their profile with their parents, as there will be a fee that they need to pay to complete the set-up process. Overall, it only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete this first step in the NAIA registration process.
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Insider tip: Recruits should familiarize themselves with their account, paying special attention to their “To Do” list. When the NAIA has any status updates for the recruit, they will be reflected in the To Do list portion of their profile.
Step 2: Send the NAIA Eligibility Center all required documents
In the NAIA registration process, athletes have to submit documentation to prove that they meet the academic requirements. There are two primary records athletes must provide: their high school transcript and their ACT or SAT scores. An optional third document is a letter indicating the athlete’s class rank if that information is not available on their transcript.
How to send the NAIA an athlete’s transcript: Unless the athlete qualifies for an early decision, they need to send their transcripts to the NAIA once they’ve completed all their coursework through graduation. However, families should make sure that they send the transcript as soon as it’s available. They can’t wait until the start of college classes, as the athlete must have their eligibility cleared before their sport’s season starts.
Sending transcripts through the High School Portal is the fastest way to get it to the NAIA, and by the end of 2018, it will be the only way to send transcripts to the NAIA. The athlete should talk to their guidance counselor, who can upload the student’s records electronically via the High School Portal. In the meantime, athletes who choose not to use this method must submit a hard copy transcript. If your family chooses the hard copy method, include the personalized cover page from the athlete’s online To Do List in their profile to reduce the processing time. Hard copy transcripts can be sent to:
Regular mail (may take 7-10 business days):
NAIA Eligibility Center - Transcripts
P.O. Box 15340
Kansas City, MO 64106
Overnight Mail (using FedEx, DHL, UPS or other shipping company):
NAIA Eligibility Center - Transcripts
1200 Grand Blvd., Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64106
How to send the NAIA test scores: Students must request that their test scores be sent directly to the NAIA from the testing center. To do so, athletes should use the code 9876 when taking their test. There will be a box on the front of the test, which indicates to the testing center where the student wants copies their scores sent.
How to send a class rank letter: If an athlete plans to use class rank as one of their eligibility criteria, the NAIA will accept class rank if it's included on their official transcript. However, if that information is not available on the transcript, they can use a class rank letter. The NAIA is fairly strict about the criteria for sending a class rank letter. The letter must be on school letterhead paper and sent in a sealed, school-stamped envelope. It must be signed by one of the following: the school's principal, headmaster, vice principal or guidance counselor. The letter should be sent to: NAIA Eligibility Center - Transcripts, P.O. Box 15340, Kansas City, MO 64106. For an example of a class rank letter, visit the NAIA website.
- Note: At the end of 2018, the NAIA will require that class rank letters are sent by the student's school administrator through the NAIA High School Portal, rather than schools sending hardcopies in the mail.
Step 3: Secure a spot on the priority, or ‘short,’ list to make sure the NAIA reviews your information
To make sure an athlete’s information gets reviewed by the NAIA on time, the athlete needs to be on the “short list.” This is a list of athletes who are actively getting recruited and need their eligibility decision completed quickly. To get on the short list, the recruit needs to get added by the NAIA coach recruiting them. Typically, athletes need to provide the coach with their Eligibility Center ID Number (ECID#), which they can find in their NAIA profile.
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Insider tip: First-time college students with no break between high school graduation and enrollment at the NAIA school are not required to be on a school's short list to receive an eligibility decision.
What if I’m already a college student?
The NAIA registration process for current college students is very similar to the process for high school graduates. The differences are
- College transfers should include all colleges that they’ve attended in their NAIA profile.
- College transfers must submit the transcripts for any colleges that they have attended.
- College transfers have to be on the short list in order to receive an eligibility decision.
What if I’m an international student?
The NAIA registration process for international athletes requires recruits to take a few extra steps, including:
- When creating their NAIA profile, international recruits should list all sports participation and all schools they have attended.
- International student-athletes must have their NAIA coach add them to the short list as soon as possible.
- International recruits must send their official secondary school (high school) records directly to the NAIA via one of the methods mentioned above. However, the NAIA highly recommends international athletes send their transcripts through www.InCredEvals.org. InCred allows students to upload records electronically, instead of sending official, school-stamped copies of records in the mail. This is the best method for sending transcripts if your athlete is an international student. If the records are not in English, the recruit must provide literal, English translations.
- For international athletes who are transferring from a university, they must send all their post-secondary official records to the NAIA. If the records are not in English, the recruit must provide literal, English translations.
How much does it cost to sign up for the NAIA Eligibility Center?
- High school students from the U.S. and Canada: $80
- International students: $135
- Transfer students or students with a break between high school and NAIA enrollment: $125
This is a one-time, nonrefundable registration fee and covers all services the NAIA Eligibility Center provides. U.S. students with a demonstrated need can get their NAIA registration fee waived. Athletes who received a fee waiver for the ACT or SAT test or qualify for the federal free or reduced-cost lunch program, should contact their high school counselor, who can provide confirmation of their eligibility for a fee waiver to the NAIA Eligibility Center. Transfer students can qualify for a fee waiver if they received a minimum of $4,500 in Federal Pell Grant funds. High school fee waiver confirmations must be completed by high school counselors through the online NAIA High School Portal.Back to Top ^
Can I get a refund for my NAIA fee?
In most cases, the NAIA registration fee is nonrefundable. But a refund will be awarded under very specific circumstances:
- The athlete has participated in NAIA athletics previously.
- The athlete competed at a school that was not affiliated with the NAIA during their time there, but the school is now an NAIA member institution.
- The athlete overpaid.
- The athlete has created and paid for duplicate accounts
To request a refund, athletes or an immediate family member should fill out a Refund Request Form.Back to Top ^
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 phone number: 1-816-595-8300
- Email: ECinfo@naia.org (U.S. students); ECinternational@naia.org (international students)
- Twitter: @PlayNAIA