5 Top NAIA Basketball Schools (Req, Duration, FAQs) | 2023

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a group that supports under-the-radar collegiate athletic programs that use sports as a means of imparting important life lessons to their student-athletes.

The NAIA governs college sports, and one of its main goals is to ensure that academics come first.

This article will provide potential student-athletes with information about the best basketball colleges the NAIA offers, including details on admissions requirements, degree completion timelines, and other important tips that student-athletes may find helpful.

Admission Requirements For NAIA Basketball Schools

How Long Does It Take To Finish NAIA Basketball Colleges?

A bachelor’s degree may be completed in four years at NAIA basketball schools, while a master’s degree takes an extra year or two.

NAIA Basketball Institutions

About 200 four-year colleges that offer basketball are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Some of the best schools in the NAIA for basketball student-athletes are listed below:

1. The University of California, Merced (Merced, CA)

UC Merced is the newest campus of the University of California and is dedicated to advancing knowledge through teaching, research, and public service. It is one of the NAIA Basketball Schools.

To achieve this goal, UC Merced places a premium on fostering a welcoming environment for people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Graduate and research opportunities at UC Merced complement those available to undergraduates at the nation’s first 21st-century student-centered research institution.

UC Merced is a leader in promoting interdisciplinary research and learning.

The sports department encourages student-athletes to be leaders on and off the field.

The university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams go by the name “Bobcats” and play in the Western Division of the California Pacific Conference.

The average out-of-pocket expenditure for a student-athlete to attend UC Merced is $13,896 after aid.

Yet, there are scholarship opportunities available to interested students.

2. Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN)

Initially established in 1920 as Marion College, Indiana Wesleyan Institution (IWU) is a Wesleyan Christian comprehensive university.

The mission of Indiana Wesleyan University is to prepare students to make a difference in the world through their Christian faith, character, and pursuit of academic success and leadership.

Its residential campus, online and regional education programs, and Wesley Seminary serve approximately 13,000 students.

The Higher Learning Commission has recognized IWU as a top-tier institution, and its accreditation extends to all of IWU’s degree levels.

Students at Indiana Wesleyan University come from all over the world and represent a wide variety of Christian faiths and ten different countries.

Through its intercollegiate athletics program, Indiana Wesleyan seeks to develop Christ-like leaders while helping student-athletes succeed in the classroom and on the field.

The basketball teams are known as the Wildcats and participate mostly in the Crossroads League.

After considering financial aid, the average out-of-pocket cost for an IWU student-athlete is $20,946.

However, those who are interested can get funding through scholarships.

3. Concordia University, Nebraska (Seward, NE)

Concordia University, Nebraska, is a privately funded, coeducational university founded in 1894 by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It is one of the NAIA Basketball Schools.

Seward, Nebraska, a town of about 7,200 people 25 minutes west of Lincoln, is home to the school’s campus.

To prepare men and women for lives of service, learning, and leadership in the church and the world, Concordia University in Nebraska is a thriving academic and Christ-centered community.

Concordia University, which is consistently ranked as one of the top value institutions in the Midwest, will provide students with a meaningful education at a cost that is competitive with that of the region’s public universities.

To provide students with a richer and more meaningful college experience, they are given the tools to equip them at the intersection of their academic pursuits, personal growth, and faith in Christ.

Students who complete the Lutheran education program will leave school with more than just a degree and a set of marketable skills; they will also have a clearer awareness of their Christian calling and future goals.

Concordia offers over a hundred graduate and undergraduate degree programs where students may study with leading experts in their disciplines and gain the practical knowledge and experience they need to make a difference in the world.

The Bulldogs are the nickname of Concordia University’s basketball teams, which compete mostly in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.

Concordia University, Nebraska, has an average annual out-of-pocket cost of $20,763 for an athlete.

Nonetheless, those that are interested might find a variety of scholarship options to consider.

4. The University of Michigan – Dearborn (Dearborn, MI)

In 1959, UM-Dearborn opened its doors to its first students. It is one of the NAIA Basketball Schools.

The University of Michigan–Dearborn places a premium on individualized attention, small class sizes, active professors, and making a difference in the region around Detroit.

Before they even leave school, today’s students are well-equipped to impact business and society positively.

By conducting ground-breaking studies, forging innovative partnerships, and actively engaging with the community, the University of Michigan–Dearborn is actively working to solve regional problems.

Many original and influential minds may be found at the University of Michigan–Dearborn, who consider Dearborn their home.

Henry Ford’s visionary spirit of enterprise and teamwork lives on this stunning campus that was once his.

Students at UM-Dearborn cherish and promote an inclusive culture based on mutual respect and honesty, despite representing more than 50 nations and various backgrounds.

Students and faculty work together to foster mutual learning and understanding.

Challenged courses, top-tier professors, state-of-the-art facilities, and solid linkages to the business world all work together to give students a head start in their chosen fields.

The Department of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Michigan–Dearborn is committed to creating a campus community whose academic and athletic achievements are consistent with the goals and ideals of the institution.

The Wolverines are the University of Michigan’s basketball team, and they compete mostly in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.

Despite financial help, the typical cost of attendance for a student-athlete at the University of Michigan-Dearborn is $11,473.

But there are scholarships out there for those who are serious about it.

5. Marian University (Indianapolis, IN)

The Franciscans have a strong connection to Marian University, which is why it is a Catholic institution.

The university’s mission is to deliver a world-class education that produces leaders who can effect positive change.

The institution’s goal is to become a preeminent Catholic research university committed to advancing knowledge via education, investigation, and scholarship grounded in the Franciscan and liberal arts traditions.

Students of all faiths are welcome at Marian University, which provides an education centered on the Franciscan values of respect for the inherent worth and sanctity of every person, the promotion of social and economic justice, the promotion of racial and religious harmony, and the promotion of ecological sustainability.

Reflection on the life of Jesus Christ and prayer shape the university’s understanding of these ideals.

To make a Marian University education accessible to as many people as possible, the university offers generous financial aid packages.

Various financial aid options, such as grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans, are accessible.

Marian University is a small, supportive community that cares deeply about each student and their individual development as learners, people, and community members.

More opportunities to take charge in areas that genuinely fascinate them and discover new passions will be available to students.

The goal of the sports program is to help each athlete become the best they can be.

The Knights and the Lady Knights basketball teams compete mostly in the Crossroads League.

After considering financial aid, the typical cost of tuition for a student-athlete at Marian University is $19,658.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About NAIA Basketball Schools

Is NAIA the same as DI?

No, the NAIA is a far smaller group than the NCAA. It has two separate divisions (Division I and II), and Division I in the NAIA is similar to Division II in the NCAA.

Are NAIA players paid?

NAIA players can make money if they secure brand ambassador roles.

What is the minimum GPA for NAIA?

To join NAIA, a student must have a minimum GPA of not less than 2.0 in high school.

How many teams make up NAIA basketball?

There are presently more than 200 NAIA basketball colleges.


Several NAIA institutions field basketball teams that compete at Division I and Division II levels.

The colleges mentioned above are only a small sample of the various opportunities the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has to offer student-athletes who have a passion for basketball and demonstrate academic success.

There are specific criteria that prospective students must satisfy to be accepted into these institutions.

As a basketball student-athlete, the NAIA offers various competitive college alternatives.

However, to be a top-tier student-athlete, you must commit to a rigorous training regimen and a healthy diet.

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Abasiofon Fidelis
Abasiofon Fidelis

Abasiofon Fidelis is a professional writer who loves to write about college life and college applications. He has been writing articles for over 3 years. He is the Content Manager at School and Travel.

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