Amend Bylaws Article V, Section C, Item 2c as follows:

  1. An entering freshman student must meet two of the three entry-level requirements below. Students not meeting at least two of the three standards shall be denied athletics participation at a member institution for the first full year of attendance (two semesters, three quarters, or the equivalent) that such a student is identified with any institution(s). The three entry-level requirements are as follows:

c. Rank in the upper half of the student’s high school class, as it appears on the final high school transcript after the student’s date of graduation. The class rank must appear on the student’s transcript, leaving certificate or other academic document. If the student’s class rank does not appear on the above-mentioned documents, the rank can be provided to the NAIA Eligibility Center via the NAIA High School Portal.

EXCEPTION 1: Completion of nine institutional credit hours prior to identification at any institution of higher education can be used in place of a qualifying class rank. The credit hours must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. The coursework must be accepted as institutional credit on the certifying NAIA institution’s official transcript. The coursework must also be shown as earned prior to the term in which the student wishes to compete, as indicated on an official transcript. For CLEP or AP credit, official documentation issued by the testing service noting the date the exam was taken will suffice.

For purposes of this rule, the NAIA does not recognize a +/- attached to a letter grade. Consequently, a C+, C, and C- shall count as a C.

EXCEPTION 2: As an exception and in accordance with policies found in the Membership Guide to the NAIA Eligibility Center, a letter from the student’s principal or headmaster, assistant or vice principal, guidance counselor or registrar, written on the school’s letterhead and with the school’s official seal, stating that the student meets the class rank requirement can be accepted.


Intent: To create an exception to the initial eligibility class rank criterion that would allow a student who is unable to provide a qualifying class rank to satisfy the criterion by instead presenting successful completion of nine institutional credit hours earned prior to initial identification.

Effective date: May 1, 2020

Submitted by: Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives

Co-sponsored by: Athletics Directors Association


2 Responses to “19-B-07: Initial Eligibility – Class Rank Exception”

  1. Does this course work include dual credit classes taken by high school students or is it course work taken after high school graduation but before identification with an institution?

    • Chesney Sallee says:

      Yes, it could include dual credit coursework. The key is whether or not the dual credit coursework appears on your NAIA transcript satisfying the definition of institutional credit (appears with a grade and earned hours awarded), is earned with a grade of C or better, and can be shown to be earned prior to the beginning of the term in which the student will compete.

      There is no requirement that the coursework must be earned after high school graduation.