What is the NAIA Eligibility Center?
The NAIA Eligibility Center is responsible for determining the NAIA eligibility of first-time student-athletes. Any student playing NAIA championship sports for the first time must meet the eligibility requirements. Students must have their eligibility determined by the NAIA Eligibility Center, and all NAIA schools are bound by the center's decisions.
Who needs to register?
Every student interested in playing championship sports at NAIA colleges for the first time in fall 2011 or later needs to register and receive an eligibility determination. This applies to:
• High school seniors
• Home schooled and GED students
• Current NAIA students who will play sports for the first time at an NAIA school
• Transfers from two-year colleges
• Transfers from four-year colleges
What happens when I register?
You'll create a personal profile with the basic facts about your academic history and sports participation to date. We use that information – with standardized test scores and official transcripts – to make a determination about your initial eligibility.
You also have the opportunity to build a personal sport resume through our NAIA Connections service to provide more in-depth information about your experience and accomplishments, plus the type of college you have in mind - size, location, areas of study, extracurricular activities. We'll use that information to give you a list of NAIA colleges that match those interests. You can then send your profile directly to coaches and admissions offices at up to five schools. It's a personal connection, and you're in control!
What information will I need to provide?
You need your current contact information, previous addresses, high school and/or colleges attended and history of your sports participation after high school graduation.
When you register for the ACT or SAT, include the NAIA Eligibility Center (9876) on the list of places test scores should be sent.
Ask your high school counselor and/or college registrars to send official transcripts directly to the NAIA Eligibility Center. For high school students, the official transcript should verify high school graduation, class rank and cumulative grade point average.
Remember to register before you have records sent to the NAIA Eligibility Center.
If you are a home schooled or GED student, click here for more information.
When should I have my school(s) send official transcripts?
High School Students:
If you are a U.S. student with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) after the completion of your junior year or a 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) midway through senior year and you met the standardized test score requirements, please have your high school administrator send an official transcript as soon as possible.
If you are home schooled, an international student, or your cumulative GPA does not meet the early decision requirement (at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale after junior year or 2.5 on a 4.0 scale midway through senior year), please have your school administrator send a final, official transcript immediately after high school graduation.
*International students must also have the school provide proof of graduation.
College transfer students should only send transcripts once having completed all course work from the current institution. College transfers should send all completed course work from all previous institutions at the time of registration.
Can I receive a final eligibility decision before high school graduation?
Yes. U.S. high school students who complete their junior year with an overall 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or who have at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale midway through senior year) and score at least 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT may receive an early eligibility decision from the NAIA Eligibility Center. You must 1) register with the NAIA Eligibility Center, 2) have your high school send an official transcript to the NAIA Eligibility Center, and 3) contact ACT or SAT to have your test scores sent to the NAIA (Code 9876).
At this time we are unable to provide early decisions for transfer, home schooled or international students.
What are the costs?
Registration for students from the U.S. costs $70. Registration for international students costs US$120. This is a one-time nonrefundable registration fee, and all services of the NAIA Eligibility Center are included.
Is there an opportunity for a fee waiver?
Yes. The registration fee will be waived for students with demonstrated need. If you receive a fee waiver for the ACT or SAT test or qualify for the federal free or reduced-cost lunch program, contact your high school counselor. Your counselor can contact the NAIA Eligibility Center directly to confirm your eligibility for a fee waiver.
Transfer students or current NAIA students can qualify for a fee waiver based on receipt of a minimum of $4,500 in Federal Pell Grant funds.
Students seeking fee waivers must begin the registration process and get an EC ID# before their waivers can be processed.
My transcripts/test scores were sent several weeks ago, but my profile still says they have not been received.
It can take some time to process incoming documents, so if we received them recently, they may be in the queue and will be reviewed and uploaded within a few days. If your status continues to show as “Not Received” for much longer, please call or email the NAIA Eligibility Center.
Is the minimum score of 860 required on the SAT the combined total of all three sub scores on the SAT (reading, math, writing)?
You must score a minimum of 860 on the combined reading and math sections of the SAT. The writing score is not used to determine a student’s eligibility. Keep in mind that both components of the SAT score must come from the same testing date.
I registered, but never received my confirmation code in my inbox or junk folder.
It is likely that your IT system or spam blocker prevented the email from reaching your inbox. If you are able to adjust your settings to allow NAIA communications to be received, we recommend you do so. In the meantime, please contact us and we will be happy to help you confirm your email address so you can continue your registration.
Where can I find my NAIA ID#?
Each student who registers with the NAIA Eligibility Center has a unique identification number. You can find your number by logging in to your account at www.PlayNAIA.org and then looking in the red box in the upper right corner. Each ID# is seven digits, begins with a zero and contains only numbers. If you are using an ID# with letters in it, you may be looking at the email confirmation code you received. You will only use the confirmation code once to confirm your email address, and then you will not need that code again. Please reference your NAIA ID# when contacting us with any questions about your registration.
Why is my status still showing as “Pending”? I have submitted everything to you.
A status of “Pending” does not indicate any kind of problem or delay. “Pending” is the status that will appear on your profile until an Eligibility Manager begins evaluating your case. Due to the volume of registrants, the time it takes to make a determination varies greatly and thus we are not able to give a specific estimate for when you will receive a determination. Keep in mind that having all your information submitted and being on a school’s Short List will help greatly, but you do not need to have a final determination from the NAIA Eligibility Center to accept scholarships or a place on a school’s team.
I want to go to an NAIA school, but my coach says they won’t offer me a place on the team until I have a determination on my eligibility.
The NAIA Eligibility Center does not require you to have a final determination on your eligibility before a school can sign you or offer you a scholarship. Unless you meet the requirements for an early eligibility decision (3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, 18 on the ACT, 860 on the SAT) the first opportunity you will have for a final determination to be made is after we receive your final, official high school transcript confirming your high school graduation or your college transcripts confirming all academic work completed prior to the academic year in which you plan to participate.
What happens if I receive a determination of Not Eligible?
If you receive a determination of Not Eligible, you cannot compete at your NAIA school until you receive an updated determination of Eligible from the NAIA Eligibility Center. You will not need to pay the registration fee a second time, but you will need to update your online profile and send us any updated academic records that we will need to make a new determination. Updated records could include new ACT or SAT test scores or updated transcripts.
What happens if I don't end up attending an NAIA school after I receive my determination?
If you don’t attend an NAIA school, you will need to receive an updated determination from the NAIA Eligibility Center before you can compete at an NAIA school in a subsequent term. You will not need to pay the registration fee a second time, but you will need to update your online profile and send us any updated academic records that we will need to make a new determination. Updated records could include new ACT or SAT test scores or updated transcripts.
What happens if I don't play at the NAIA school I attend after receiving my determination?
If you receive a determination of Eligible, don’t play at an NAIA school but maintain continuous full-time enrollment at that same school, then you do not need to receive an updated determination from the NAIA Eligibility Center. Your eligibility will be reviewed at your NAIA school.
If you don’t play at an NAIA school, then you transfer to a different NAIA school, you will need to receive an updated determination from the NAIA Eligibility Center before you can compete at an NAIA school in a subsequent term. You will not need to pay the registration fee a second time, but you will need to update your online profile and send us any updated academic records that we will need to make a new determination. Updated records could include new ACT or SAT test scores or updated transcripts.
How do I know if the competitive experience rule is going to affect me? How do I know if I will be charged seasons of competition for playing sports outside of the collegiate setting?
Most students aren't affected. If you graduate from high school, enroll in college the next term and continue to play college sports, the rule won’t apply to you. Competition during the summer after high school graduation does not count. There are three main situations when the rule can apply and seasons could be charged:
Students who take time off between high school and college.
Students who go to college but don’t play college sports for one or more years while enrolled.
Students who leave college for one or more semesters after first enrolling.