Return on Athletics®


What is Return on Athletics?

Return on Athletics (ROA) is the NAIA’s proprietary approach to the management of collegiate athletics. Through the collection and analysis of institutional data submitted by members, ROA can demonstrate how athletics can have a positive impact on the institution’s financial health. Institutions can analyze data and conduct peer school comparisons through NAIA Insights to identify opportunities to drive enrollment, improve student success and grow net return on athletics.


Using Data to Enhance Value

ROA begins with the collection and analysis of institutional data.

arrow Schools submit data regarding enrollment; retention, and aid awarded to student-athletes, as well as information about individual sports programs.
arrow Institutions have access to ROA Insights to show how specific efforts and adjustments to an athletics program can affect the overall health of the institution.
arrow Centralization of the data – both between institutional departments and among NAIA members - is what makes the data significant.
arrow The NAIA will use the data to implement specific process changes that support our member priorities.


All allowing you to make decisions on your
Institutional Enrollment | Student Success | Financial Viability


ROA Analysis and Key Findings

Athletics is a key enrollment
management tool

student participation

NAIA student-athlete participation has increased
43% in five years.


Athletics supports the institution’s
bottom line

net return

According to ROA data, the average annual net return
for NAIA athletics departments is $3.9 million or
$10,100 per student-athlete.