NAIA Scholarship & Recruiting Quick Facts

By Ashley Wheeler

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a smaller association when compared to the NCAA, consisting of 300 schools and 60,000 student-athletes. Kyle Winters wrote in an article on USA Today High School Sports:


“Each year over $500 million in athletic scholarships are awarded to student-athletes competing at NAIA institutions. All scholarships are equivalency scholarships, meaning a single scholarship can be divided up between multiple athletes. Each sport has a maximum number of scholarships they are allowed to provide. Similar to most athletic scholarships, NAIA scholarships are not guaranteed year to year and need to be renewed at the discretion of the coach/school.”


Although NAIA schools mostly consist of smaller and/or private colleges, the competition level is demonstrating growth. As Winters continues to discuss,


“Like many smaller schools, the biggest difference in the level of competition isn’t how good the best athletes are, but how deep the talent pool is. The top-level NAIA programs and athletes are comparable to mid/high-level NCAA DII schools. Through technology such as online profiles, video, etc., NAIA schools are recruiting a larger pool of athletes than they used to. This results in a deeper, more talented level of competition.”


Another pro regarding the recruiting process of NAIA programs is the coaches are a lot easier to be in contact with in comparison to NCAA coaches. Winters concludes, “NAIA coaches aren’t restricted in when and how many emails they can send and they aren’t restricted in talking to prospects at recruiting events.”