NAIA Football Recruiting and Scholarships
There are 85 colleges affiliated with the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) that have active varsity football programs. Unlike NCAA football all sports in the NAIA are classed as equivalency sports. The competition level at the NAIA level is not as high as the NCAA but offers a great landing place for student athletes who want to continue to play football and earn a great education. Many NAIA schools are smaller private schools that often times have great scholarship opportunities. Student athletes who would like a smaller university campus should strongly consider looking at NAIA programs.
RECRUITING TIP: The NAIA established a clearinghouse in 2010 similar to the one the NCAA has. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to register with the NAIA clearinghouse if you are looking at NAIA schools.
With over 60,000 student athletes at more than 300 colleges playing NAIA sponsored sports there was a real need to establish a clearinghouse similar to what the NCAA has. In 2010 the NAIA introduced the NAIA clearinghouse which broadly speaking has much the same the eligibility requirements that are set down by the NCAA. You need to submit test scores and transcripts in the same way. The NAIA does not use a sliding scale as does the NCAA but, instead, requires that an athlete to achieve a minimum score of 18 for the ACT and 860 for the SAT, have a GPA of 2 or better and graduate in the top 50% of your class. You need to only meet two of these requirements to be deemed eligible to compete.
Football players for many different reasons may choose to attend an NAIA affiliated college. It could be because of locality, different degrees being offered, smaller campus, great coach etc. Remember, just like at the NCAA level, it is up to you to contact the college coaches yourself if you want to be recruited. NAIA football programs often times have smaller recruiting budgets than NCAA schools and coaches rely on the student athletes to contact them showing them an interest in their school and program.