NEW ORLEANS — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced on Tuesday that the Council of Presidents has approved the applications of four institutions for membership, which will be effective July 1, 2022. Formal approval was voted upon by the NAIA Council of Presidents on April 10 at the NAIA Convention COP Business Meeting. All four schools received unanimous recommendations from the NAIA Membership Committee.

New members include: Indiana University Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC), North American University (Texas), Oakwood University (Ala.) and Southern University at New Orleans (La.).

SUNO is re-starting its athletics program and returning to the NAIA. The institution has also been approved for membership in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.

The NAIA has now added 15 new members since 2020, including five institutions that are former members that have returned from the NCAA.

The association has shown to be a better fit for a number of NCAA schools, operating their athletics programs at a much lower cost and improving the school’s bottom line through net tuition revenue.

“As the landscape of college athletics continues to shift, we are proud to add these four new members to our association,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “Each of these schools bring something unique to the NAIA and we are happy to add institutions that are such a good match within out five core character values.”

The NAIA reviews member applications based on two cycles. Schools can apply by July 1 to receive a decision in October, or they can apply by October 1 to receive a decision at the spring convention. Schools must meet membership criteria that include financial stability, sports sponsorship, accreditation, and a commitment to character-driven athletics. Athletics facilities, enrollment numbers, retention rates, and overall financial commitment to athletics are also taken into consideration.

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ABOUT NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS (NAIA) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. NAIA members provide more than 77,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earn $800 million in scholarships and compete in 27 national championships.

{Courtesy: release from SUNO}