Parents and guardians play a key role in planning the collegiate athletic career path of their children. Student-athletes rely on them to advise, support and steer them during the eligibility and recruiting process. Learn all you can now to help your student connect with coaches, get scholarships, and succeed at the next level.
What other parents are saying
[My son] has always wanted to take his passion for football as far as he can, so the NAIA has allowed him to do that.
Parent of NAIA student-athelete
Set your student on the path to eligibility
Evaluate all their options
There are often more opportunities for both playing time and scholarships in small-college athletics like the NAIA, with smaller roster sizes and junior varsity/reserve programs. Assess your student-athlete’s skills. Network and compare options with other parents who have gone through the process. Know there are more options outside of NCAA D1, D2, and D3, - only 1% of high school athletes go on to play in the NCAA.
Get an early start
Even as early as their freshman year, academics matter. Have your student register with NCSA to showcase their future eligibility status to NAIA member institutions as early as their first year in high school. Have them take initiative and fill out online recruitment forms for their top colleges. As your student’s biggest fan and videographer, compile highlight reels for those coaches that are sure to come knocking.
Consider which schools offer your student's major. Use the NAIA's school search tool to search by sport, location, school size, and more!
Have your student register at PlayNAIA so that NAIA coaches will know they are ready and available. They can create a shortlist of schools that interest them, and they can connect with your account.
Questions for parents to ask the NAIA institution about financial aid
- What types of financial-aid agreements does your school have?
- Which campus representatives have to sign off on the agreement for it to be valid?
- What will the financial aid agreement cover? Housing? Food? Books? Tuition?
- How long will the agreement last? A quarter/semester? A full academic year?
- If my son or daughter signs a financial agreement with your institution, can she/he sign with another school within your conference without penalty?
- If my child quits the team after the season, will he or she continue to receive the scholarship?
- If my son or daughter suffers a season-ending injury, will the financial aid agreement be honored?
- If my student becomes academically ineligible, will the agreement be honored?
- On your campus, who is responsible for checking the student-athlete’s eligibility?
- Is there an academic support program in place for student-athletes on your campus?
- Do you offer my student’s major?
The NAIA Experience for Parents
Student-athletes come first in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). They are the inspiration that drives us to make character a core component and benefit of all intercollegiate sports. Read on to learn what you can expect from your NAIA experience.
- No recruiting calendar restrictions of any kind
- The ability for high school students to freely communicate with NAIA coaches directly
- The ability for college students to communicate with NAIA coaches. They don't need permission to respond to your child but the NAIA institution must notify your child's current institution that contact has been made.
- Mandatory fees, books, and supplies are required for courses in which the student-athlete is enrolled
- Room and board based on the official room and board allowance listed in the institution’s catalog
Each sport has an overall limit on the amount of financial aid it can award as full or partial grants to students in that sport.
Academically gifted students can be exempted from these limits if they meet grade or test score criteria established by the NAIA.
It's never too early to get eligible
The NAIA has partnered with Next College Student Athlete (NCSA), the world’s largest collegiate athletic recruiting network. NCSA serves as the official North American recruiting services partner of the NAIA. Register your child now to use the NAIA Pre-Eligibility Indicator Tool which allows prospective student-athletes to showcase their future eligibility status to NAIA member institutions as early as their first year in high school.