The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a governing body of small athletics programs that are 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.  For the 2018–2019 season, the NAIA has 251 member institutions, of which two are in British Columbia, one in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the rest in the United States. 

The NAIA has been a terrific destination for many international student-athletes seeking the opportunity to enjoy high level sport whilst earning a university degree.  As the NAIA has different rules of academic and athletic eligibility, many international athletes that are unable to meet the NCAA’s strict eligibility guidelines will seek opportunities with NAIA universities and sports programs.