NAIA scholarship question

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Sep 26, 2023
From the NAIA page:

"Each sport has an overall limit on the amount of financial aid it can award to students who will compete in varsity contests in that sport. For example, the overall limit in baseball is 12 full grant equivalencies (total value of cost of attendance including tuition, room and board, books, fees and supplies). Financial aid can be awarded to any number of baseball student-athletes (for example, 1 full grant equivalency, 10 half grant equivalencies and 24 quarter grant equivalencies) as long as the combined total does not exceed the total amount of 12 full grant equivalencies.

Financial aid awarded to academically gifted students can be exempted from these limits if the student meets academic criteria established by the NAIA. Aid to students who play at the junior varsity level or who do not compete in varsity contests does not count in the overall limits."

From a practical perspective and my daughter's experience, her coach has 10 athletic scholarships to give. My daughter gets academic and athletic money. Because her GPA is above 3.6, her athletic money does not count toward her school's 10 scholarships to give. NAIA only counts players on the varsity squad toward the 10. And on the varsity squad, you don't count athletic scholarships for students over 3.6 gpa toward the 10. At the next tier of GPA which I believe is 3.0-3.6, they only count 50% of the athletic scholarship money toward the 10 total that are allowed.
I didn't realize this. My daughter will be coming in with a 4.0 and I'd expect would be on the JV squad to start out with at the very least. Sounds like there is a good chance she wouldn't count against their 10 scholarships then.
Jul 2, 2013
Would it be common for NAIA athletic programs to give money to help recruit students to the school more than to the team to help increase enrollment? She was hoping to be able to make the team and didn't expect any type of offer. She was offered about 10% of what full tuition would have been but with her academic scholarships, the athletic ended up covering about 1/3 of what was left to pay. The scholarship would make this college the cheapest of those that she has interest in, so I'm not really sure if the why matters but I'm still confused since they are limited in the amount of scholarship money they have. Would this be something that colleges commonly do?

I've found it is getting more and more common at the NAIA level. One of the better NAIA programs in our area has carried 30+ for quite some time. They have 3 tiers of players. Varsity, JV (called varsity reserve now), and a few players that aren't technically either.

DD plays at an NAIA school that has historically carried a roster in the low 20s. The coach told her during recruitment that she has been told by admin that she is to have 35 on her roster by next year and field a JV team. I spoke with a friend who has coached at a couple of NAIA schools in the past and he said it is all about enrollment. DD's school is one of those that probably has 80+ percent of students in some sort of extracurricular.

I had no idea that money given to "non-varsity" players didn't count against their scholarship totals. That makes even more sense as to why they can keep adding to the overall program numbers without running into scholarship issues.

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