NAIA and NCAA DII

What’s the difference between NAIA and NCAA DII? This is a commonly asked question by institutions trying to determine the best athletic affiliation for their school. While many of the demographics for top performing schools in the NAIA and the NCAA are similar, there are some key differences that set the NAIA apart.

  • DII schools spend 70% more than NAIA schools to offer quality athletic programs.
  • NAIA schools spend significantly less to be nationally competitive. The median athletics budget difference between the NAIA Top 100 Directors’ Cup schools and all NAIA members was $400,000. For DII schools, the difference was $2.4 million.

 

NAIA Institutions

NAIA Institutions Enrollment Student-Athletes Operating Budget Total Budget
75th percentile 1,566 397 $2.3 MM $5.2 MM
Median (50th) 1,013 273 $1.6 MM $3.2 MM
25th percentile 676 158 $1.0 MM $1.8 MM

NCAA DII Institutions

NCAA DII Institutions Enrollment Student-Athletes Operating Budget Total Budget
75th percentile 4,670 489  $4.8 MM  $7.4 MM
Median (50th) 2,436 359  $3.4 MM  $5.5 MM
25th percentile 1,446 263  $2.5 MM  $4.1 MM

Source of the data includes EADA, IPEDs, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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