NAIA RULE CHANGE – ATHLETES MUST NOW REGISTER WITH THE NAIA CLEARINGHOUSE
IMPORTANT: If you wish to play NAIA college sports and be recruited by college coaches please click on the ATHLETE or PARENT link on the left of this page. Please note that by completing our free recruiting form you are not registering with the NAIA clearinghouse.
If you have been on the track toward playing sports at the NAIA college level, then you know by now that the eligibility process has been fairly simple and straight forward. If your high school academic records satisfied the requirements of your desired university, then you had met the NAIA eligibility requirements. As of September 1, 2010, however, the NAIA began requiring all college-bound athletes to register with the NAIA clearinghouse. Before a player is considered eligible to play at any NAIA institution, that player must first go to the NAIA clearinghouse website and submit certain information such as high school grades and test scores to be cleared to play NAIA sports.
If you have seriously considered playing sports at the NCAA level, then you will find the NAIA Clearinghouse to be very similar to the NCAA Clearinghouse that I am sure you are familiar with by now. The NAIA requires athletes to fill out a form on its website which includes questions about your personal background, athletic involvement and, of course, your academic records. To achieve eligibility in the NAIA, all athletes are required to: maintain a GPA of 2.00, record a composite score of 860 on the SAT or 18 on the ACT, and finish in the top half of your graduating class. If any two of these requirements are met, then the athlete will be declared eligible to participate in NAIA sports. There are some key differences between the NCAA and NAIA clearinghouse as well. The NCAA has always allowed athletes to combine various scores from various standardized tests into the best composite score. This is not the case with the NAIA, which instead requires athletes to submit the best composite score from just one test. NAIA athletes are also able to avoid the hassle of the NCAA’s new rule which requires athletes to be placed on and institutional request list before being cleared to play. Whereas a coach must express real interest in an athlete before the athlete can be cleared by the NCAA, the NAIA requires only that you pay the $60 fee ($85 for international students) and meet two of the previously mentioned academic requirements.
One of the biggest similarities between both clearinghouses is that the NAIA also can take up to six months to clear an athlete through eligibility. We have seen the circumstance play out time and again where an athlete has been promised playing time and financial aid, but is unable to attend his chosen university because he waited too long to register with the clearinghouse.
After you have been deemed eligible to play, you will have access to more than 300 NAIA member institutions all across North America. More than 60,000 athletes participate in 23 NAIA championship sports with more than $450 million in available financial aid, which works out to around $7500 per athlete, per season. Many athletes and families prefer NAIA colleges because of the small, more personalized learning environment that they offer, as most NAIA institutions have fewer than 10,000 students.