NAIA: The Right Choice for You

When it comes to collegiate athletics associations, how do you know which is the best fit for your institution? It comes down to priorities. If your school wants to be nationally competitive at a reasonable price, while driving enrollment and supporting the school’s bottom line, the NAIA is the best association for you.

NAIA schools measure success not just by game scores, but by their financial bottom lines, too. Their NCAA counterparts spend an average of 60 percent more on athletics.


Regardless of their size, all schools are in competition for students. Student-athlete participation at NAIA schools has increased an average of 40 percent in the last five years. That’s good for the student-athletes and provides vital support and financial stability to our member institutions.


See the Difference

The numbers show that NAIA member schools are maximizing their Return on Athletics®


net return

Average athletics
department net return

per student-athlete

Average net return
per student-athlete

top 100

Average net return of Top 100
Directors' Cup schools

spend less

Spend 40% less than NCAA counterparts for quality athletic program


Average increase in NAIA student-athlete participation over five years 

spend less

NAIA’s Top 100 Directors’ Cup schools spend $3MM less than DII Top 100 and $2MM less than DIII Top 100 


Terry Connor “Moving from NCAA DIII to NAIA has given our whole athletics department a boost – financially, in recruitment and it’s been a definite step up in competition for all of our student-athletes.”

Terry Connor, Athletics Director, Thomas More University (Ky.)
(Moved to NAIA August 2018)


Blog Post: NAIA, the Right Choice Over NCAA DII and DIII for Many Institutions


The NAIA Advantage – Maximizing Your Return on Athletics®






Drive Enrollment & Retention



student athlete

Student-Athlete Experience



President Jim Carr appeared on the Success Is A Choice podcast and discussed what sets the NAIA apart from the NCAA. Click here to listen.