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No1 for American Sports Scholarship Funding

3
Sep

NAIA Soccer (Football) Scholarships

Do you dream of playing soccer in an American college or university? If you are talented and dedicated, then the good news is that there are many soccer scholarships available. In addition to NCAA and NJCAA soccer scholarships, there is also the NAIA.

naia soccer scholarships

 

Why Consider an NAIA Soccer Scholarship?

When talking about USA soccer scholarships, it is usually NCAA Division 1 which comes to mind. While the NCAA D1 is definitely the most elite of the college sports, it isn’t for everyone.

First off, there is the issue of whether you will even make the cut. As talented as you might be, there are also many other talented youths out there and Division 1 NCAA is very competitive. The reality is that you might be much better off aiming for a lower-level soccer scholarship.

As far as NAIA soccer goes, it is still very competitive and you will play alongside talented athletes. It is on par with the NCAA D2.

Another benefit of choosing the NAIA is that it is made up of smaller colleges (as opposed to the large universities which mainly make up the NCAA). The atmosphere is much more intimate and personal. For foreign athletes coming to study in the USA, this atmosphere can be much more inviting and easy to adjust to.

 

NAIA Soccer Scholarship Amounts

NAIA schools are allowed to give out 12 scholarships per team. The average team size is 28 (for men) and 20 (for women). The scholarships can be divided up into partial scholarships.

The amount of scholarship you will receive varies on the school and your athletic abilities. In 2014, the average NAIA soccer scholarship amounts were:

  • $6,473 (men)
  • $6,982 (women)

This is considerably less than the average NCAA D1 scholarship amount. However, it is on par with the amount given at the NCAA D2 level.

 

NAIA Eligibility

In the past, NAIA scholarships were awarded by the individual schools. Now, the rules have changed and student athletes must first register with the NAIA Eligibility Center. It is very important that you register right away! Otherwise, your scholarship won’t be funded. You won’t even be allowed to play on the team until your eligibility is cleared – you could be forced to watch on the sidelines while your teammates play just because you didn’t register on time.

Don’t worry that you will get awarded an NAIA scholarship only to find out later that you aren’t eligible. The eligibility requirements are pretty simple and straight-forward.

To be eligible for the NAIA, you must meet TWO of these three requirements:

  • Achieve a minimum of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT (Critical Reading and Math only.)
  • Achieve a minimum overall high school GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Graduate in the top half of your high school class.

USA students are allowed to apply for NAIA eligibility when they are midway through their senior year. International students must wait until they have finished high school to apply. By this point, you should already have a scholarship offer and know where you are going to college.

Note that you must pay a fee to apply for NAIA eligibility. For the 2015-2016 season, the fee is currently:

  • $75 for US and Canadian high school students
  • $100 for US and Canadian college transfer students, or students who have had more than a summer break after graduating from high school
  • $130 for international students

 

NAIA Soccer Schools

There are current 197 schools offering men’s soccer and 197 schools offering women’s soccer (not all schools offer both men’s and women’s soccer, so the total number of NAIA soccer schools is over 200).

Top NAIA Men’s Soccer Schools

  • Davenport (Michigan)
  • Northwestern Ohio
  • Marymount (California)
  • Lindsey Wilson (Kentucky)
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Ashford University (Iowa)
  • University of Texas at Brownsville
  • Rio Grande (Ohio)
  • Missouri Valley College
  • Grand View (Iowa)

Top NAIA Women’s Soccer Schools

  • Lindsey Wilson (Kentucky)
  • Northwestern Ohio
  • Concordia (Oregon)
  • Embry-Riddle (Florida)
  • Westmont (California)
  • Northwood (Florida)
  • Spring Arbor (Michigan)
  • Martin Methodist (Tennessee)
  • William Carey (Mississippi)
  • Cumberland (Tennessee)

Want to know whether you qualify for an NAIA golf scholarship? Fill out the free assessment form here.

 

Image credits:Aquinas Saints Men’s Soccer NAIA Playoffs November 05, 201120 by Steven Depolo, work found at Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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