Women’s NAIA Track and Field Colleges and Rankings
The National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, otherwise known as the NAIA, is an athletics association similar to the NCAA. NAIA member colleges tend to be smaller, private schools, where over 65,000 student-athletes compete annually.
NAIA track and field colleges are probably most similar to those at the NCAA Division 3 level in terms of overall college experience. From a competitive standpoint, the top NAIA track and field programs mirror competition similar to NCAA Division 2 schools.
Some benefits of adding a few NAIA track and field colleges to your target list include:
- Athletic aid. Most NAIA programs offer 12 athletic scholarships per team (funding permitted).Coaches can divide these scholarships—and renew them—as they see fit depending on athletic performance, academic eligibility, and even a recruit’s overall character.
- Cost-effective. Because NAIA track and field colleges offer both academic and athletic scholarships, it’s possible for women’s track recruits to drive their total college costs down.
- Accessibility. Unlike their NCAA counterparts, NAIA coaches don’t have to adhere to strict recruiting rules or contact periods. Instead, they can communicate with prospective track and field athletes at any time—and vice versa.
- Well-rounded experience. NAIA schools offer an appealing sports-life balance, with opportunities to pursue other interests outside of track and field, a chance to land a part-time job or internship, and a strong focus on academics.
How many women’s NAIA track and field schools are there?
There are currently 173 NAIA track and field colleges that offer indoor, outdoor or both indoor and outdoor women’s track field programs. Only 36 of these schools don’t have an NAIA women’s outdoor track and field team, and only compete indoors. Indoor track and field teams compete in the winter season, while outdoor programs operate during the spring.
NAIA women’s track and field rankings
NAIA track and field rankings can be found for indoor and outdoor programs. Sites that keep track of top NAIA track and field colleges and overall team stats and performances include the Track & Field Results Reporting System and the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Here are the top 10 NAIA track and field colleges according to the NCSA Power Rankings:
- Soka University of America
- Loyola University New Orleans
- Aquinas College – Michigan
- University of Michigan
- John Brown University
- Bethel University
- Fresno Pacific University
- Taylor University
- Indiana Wesleyan University
- Concordia University – Nebraska
Here is the full list of the top NAIA women’s track and field colleges according to the NCSA Power Rankings.
NAIA women’s track and field colleges D1 and D2 List