What is NAIA?
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), headquartered in Kansas City, MO., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. The student-athlete is the center of all NAIA experiences. Each year more than 65,000 student-athletes have the opportunity to play college sports at NAIA member institutions.
The seed of the NAIA began in 1937 with the tipoff of a men's basketball tournament in Kansas City that has become the longest running event in college basketball. Out of the tournament grew the NAIA, an association that has been an innovative leader. The NAIA was the first collegiate athletics association to invite historically black institutions into membership and the first to sponsor both men's and women's national championships.
NAIA Eligibility Guidelines
To be academically eligible, the eligibility center requires that incoming freshmen meet two of the following three criteria.
- Achieve a minimum of 18 on the ACT or 970 on the SAT
- Achieve a minimum overall high school grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Graduate in the top half of their high school class