FAQs about NAIA

When does the year start in the USA College system?
First Semester: August – December
Second Semester: January/February – May
 
Can you get jobs while on your USA college scholarship?
You can get part-time work on campus through your coaches or the staff at the university! Any other job outside the college requires a social security number and a working visa. This all depends on what Visa you have. However, we do not suggest this as attending a USA college while on a student-athlete scholarship is already a full-time job!

What is a Redshirt?
A redshirt is a year where a student-athlete maintains their scholarship (academic or sporting) when they don’t compete for the team. The redshirt is applicable for 12 months.  

A redshirt can be enforced to:
• improve grades to meet university standards
• Improve playing ability for the next season
• Injured or sick on the basis you are recovering within 12 months!

Can you get a student loan?
You can not get a loan from NAIA. Also, every university is different, and some may help out students who are in desperate need of financial assistance, even after their USA College scholarship. The amount a student pays plays a role in their USA College selection, so please contact Platform and get started!

What will breach my amateur status under NAIA?
There are a variety of other activities related to playing or coaching sports that may affect your amateur status at a sports college. Below are some actions that violate amateurism rules in most cases:
• Receiving compensation that exceeds actual and necessary expenses ( travel or lodging for example) when competing as an amateur.
• Receiving payment for media appearances (radio and television for example) that exploit your athletic ability or fame.
• Expressly or implicitly endorsing commercial products or services.
• Accepting prize money that exceeds actual and necessary expenses.

What do you need to do to gain NAIA amateurism?

Athletes that compete in NAIA must meet 2 out of 3 of these requirements:
• Graduate an accredited school
• Gain a GPA of 2.00 out of 4.00 in high school
• Pass SAT (Minimum 860)

How do NAIA schools obtain commitments?
Prospective students can make written or verbal commitments to attend and participate in athletics at an NAIA member institution. An institution is free to develop and implement its process for obtaining commitments from a prospective student.

These methods can include, but are not limited to, formal financial aid agreements, signed estimated offers of financial aid and athletic letters of intent. NAIA eligibility rules do not require prospective students to make any commitment before participating in an NAIA recognised sport.

When can a student commit to a school or sign a letter of intent?
Prospective students can commit to an NAIA school at any time. The NAIA does not have arbitrary signing dates or time limitations on when a prospective student may commit to a school. While most signings occur in a prospective student’s senior year in high school, the NAIA does not prevent verbal or written agreements from happening earlier in a student’s high school career. Essentially a prospective student may reach an agreement with a school any time the student (and family) is comfortable with making such a commitment.

What can an institution include in its letter of intent?
The NAIA does not dictate what information must appear on a formal letter of intent. Institutions have the autonomy to develop forms unique to the institution and its academic and athletic philosophy. However, schools are prohibited from including in an agreement language that violates the NAIA Coaches Code of Conduct or the NAIA Code of Ethics. This prohibition includes deceitful promises, deceptive language or false statements about ramifications of a student’s commitment.

Does a signed student have to sit out if the student goes to a different school?
Letters of intent in the NAIA are agreements between a prospective student and the school. NAIA rules do not impose any penalties or suspension on a prospective student that breaks a contract with a school to attend a different institution. Therefore, if a prospective student signed with one institution but did not compete, the student may participate immediately should the student choose to attend a different institution.

How do signed letters of intent from non-NAIA schools apply?
The NAIA does not recognise letters of intent signed with non-NAIA schools or other athletic associations. A student who signs a letter of intent with a non-NAIA school will not face any penalties or suspension should the student choose to attend an NAIA institution instead.

Can a signed student talk to other schools?
Prospective students may communicate with an NAIA school even after signing a letter of intent with another institution. NAIA rules do not prohibit prospective or continuing students from contacting other institutions. However, an NAIA school, when approached by a student enrolled at another institution, must provide written notification to the student’s current school within ten days of the initial correspondence.

How does a conference letter of intent apply?
NAIA affiliated conferences may choose to establish a conference letter of intent recognition program. A student signing a conference-sanctioned letter of intent with one institution could be withheld from competition for some time before participating at a different conference member school. Institutions should advise prospective students about the applicability of any conference letter of intent regulations.