The Benefits of Choosing NAIA

2 min read

Navigating the college search process can be overwhelming for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for student-athletes. In addition to academics and program offerings, student-athletes have to consider factors that will affect their athletic careers.

When choosing a college, athletes will want to consider the opportunity to play, program size, the size of scholarship available and if they get along with the coach. NAIA is a great option for a lot of student-athletes as these factors are at the forefront. 


The NAIA, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is a governing body of small athletics programs dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs dedicated to championships in balance with the overall college educational experience. Each year more than 65,000 NAIA student-athletes have the opportunity to play college sports, earn over $600 million in scholarships, and compete for a chance to participate in 26 national championships.

Why choose NAIA?

The NAIA is focused on the overall student-athlete experience, which includes academics and character building in addition to athletics. The NAIA offers its schools the flexibility to tailor their programs, providing the best possible student-athlete experience. Other factors to consider include:


The flexibility of the NAIA recruitment process encourages coach-student mentoring. The association also hosts NAIA Showcase events to help coaches and prospective student-athletes find the best mutual fit.


The NAIA provides a high-calibre experience with 26 national championships, including the only competitive cheer and competitive dance championships hosted by a collegiate athletics association. 

17% of NAIA student-athletes compete and participate in post-season play compared to 14% in NCAA D-II and 10% in NCAA D-III.  

Champions of Character®

In addition to quality athletics, the NAIA emphasises character development for coaches, staff, and student-athletes. The Champions of Character® program focuses on teaching integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership, all of which help prepare student-athletes for lifelong success.

A student-athlete has to choose the school that best meets his or her personal needs. Considering NAIA schools significantly expands student-athletes options and increases the likelihood of finding a college that fits. 

For more information on the NAIA, visit

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