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.
Every student interested in playing championship sports at NAIA colleges for the first time needs to register and receive an eligibility determination. This applies to:
• High school seniors
• Current NAIA students who will play sports for the first time at an NAIA school
Yes. U.S. high school students who complete their junior year with an overall 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale (or who have at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale midway through senior year) and have scored at least 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT may receive an early eligibility decision. The student must 1) register with the NAIA Eligibility Center, 2) have his or her high school send an official transcript to the NAIA Eligibility Center and 3) contact ACT or SAT to have 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.
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. Only the registrant, the registrant’s immediate family or those upon whom the registrant is legally dependent may pay this fee.
Yes. The registration fee will be waived for students with demonstrated need. If a student receives a fee waiver for the ACT or SAT test or qualifies for the federal free or reduced-cost lunch program, the student’s high school counselor can provide confirmation of eligibility for a fee waiver to the NAIA Eligibility Center.
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.
To access your school’s PlayNAIA Manager at www.PlayNAIA.org, your Athletic Director must grant you access through NAIAHelp. Once the AD sets up your access, he or she will give you a password and you can log into www.PlayNAIA.org.
NAIA rules do not require an institution to withhold a scholarship or letter of intent offer until a final eligibility determination has been made. Each institution decides the point at which it will make offers of admission, scholarships and letters of intent. A student does not need to have a final determination from the NAIA Eligibility Center to accept scholarships or sign with a school.
The timeline for making determinations on a student’s eligibility has not changed with the opening of the NAIA Eligibility Center. In the past, your school could not certify a student’s eligibility without a final high school transcript, so institutions (and NAIA coaches) had to exercise judgment when reviewing a student’s qualifications to decide whether or not that student would likely be eligible after high school graduation. We encourage you to continue this practice so that students who do not qualify for an early decision but will very likely be eligible after high school graduation have the chance to play with your team.
You must place the student on your Short List to receive email notifications when there is an update in the student’s eligibility determination status.
If the student is not on your Short List, you can still see the student’s status by logging in to PlayNAIA Manager and searching that student’s ID# under the “Search/Add Students to Short List” tab. You do not have to add the student to your Short List to view their status in PlayNAIA Manager.
No. The NAIA Connections Service is separate from the eligibility determination process. NAIA Connections does not automatically update you about the student’s eligibility. To receive automatic updates regarding a particular student, you must put the student on your Short List.
There may be a couple of reasons you are not able to pull a student up in a search. First, try searching the student by NAIA ID# only; this is the best way to find a student. If you prefer to search by name and sport, at least a partial last name is required. PlayNAIA Manager will pull exact matches to the text you enter, so be sure to check your spelling. Partial names will generate more results.
If you are searching by NAIA ID# only and PlayNAIA Manager still doesn’t find the student, it may be because the student has not indicated any form of payment (paid by credit card or requested a fee waiver). Please confirm with the student that he/she has moved past the payment page in the registration process.
We are aware that some NAIA users are having trouble logging in if they have not set up a security question and answer previously. Please contact the NAIA Eligibility Center to have your password reset. Once you have logged in, click on “Return to my Profile” in the upper right corner to set a security question and answer and change your password, if you choose. If you forget your password in the future, you will be able to follow the “Forgot Password?” prompts to retrieve it using your security question response.
International students have the option of having certified copies of their records sent from either the school they attended or from the admissions office at the NAIA school they plan to attend. The NAIA Eligibility Center offers the option for records to come from an NAIA school because we recognize that it is sometimes difficult and/or expensive for students to have multiple copies of their records sent from their international school. Keep in mind the following when sending us records on behalf of an international student:
• The records must arrive to us in a sealed, official school envelope showing that a school official was the last person to handle the document.
• The records must not come from the school’s athletic department.
• The records should be accompanied by a letter on school letterhead from a school official who can verify that the records are true copies of the originals and are being sent from the admissions/records/registrar’s office.
• Visit the International Students page for more information about specific documents required.
If a student-athlete receives a determination of Not Eligible, the student cannot compete at an NAIA school until s/he receives an updated determination of Eligible from the NAIA Eligibility Center. The student will not need to pay the registration fee a second time, but s/he will need to update his/her online profile and send us any updated academic records that we need to make a new determination. Updated records could include new ACT or SAT test scores or updated transcripts.
If a student-athlete doesn’t attend an NAIA school, the student will need to receive an updated determination from the NAIA Eligibility Center before s/he can compete at an NAIA school in a subsequent term. The student will not need to pay the registration fee a second time, but s/he will need to update his/her 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.
If a student-athlete receives a determination of Eligible, doesn’t play at your school but maintains continuous full-time enrollment at your school, then the student does not need to receive an updated determination from the NAIA Eligibility Center. The student’s eligibility will be reviewed by your school’s FAR.
If a student-athlete enrolls at an NAIA school but doesn’t play, then transfers to another NAIA school, that student will need to receive an updated determination from the NAIA Eligibility Center before competing at an NAIA school in a subsequent term. The student will not need to pay the registration fee a second time, but s/he will need to update his/her 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.