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 naia.org.