7 NAIA Schools in Ohio | How To Get In

Aspiring to become a student-athlete? Join me as I highlight all of the NAIA schools in Ohio that allow you to keep pursuing your passion for sports and other athletics while studying for an academic degree. You will also find guidelines on how to get in.

If you have always been a sports person from your high school days and want to further your education into college while still being a sportsperson then it is possible. There are specific colleges and universities designed to give you the opportunity to pursue both careers at the same time so that when you graduate, you can have a diversified option to either continue in sports or join the workforce using your degree.

The NAIA is one of the organizations that makes this possible, by merging with small colleges and universities, they can help students merge their passion for sports and get a prestigious academic qualification at the same time and they help sponsor your college education.

The NAIA stands for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. It is a collegiate athletics association for small colleges and universities in North America that oversees more than 77,000 student-athletes from over 250 colleges in the US and offers up to $800 million in scholarships annually. If you are aspiring to be a student-athlete then an NAIA college will be best for you.

You can pursue academic degrees in agriculture & environment, architecture, business, education, communications, engineering, social sciences & law, and the arts.

While we have published other posts on the NAIA colleges in Texas for residents of Texas, NAIA colleges in Michigan for those who live there, and NAIA colleges in Florida to give you as many options as possible. But it is best you attend an NAIA college in your resident to increase your acceptance of getting accepted into the school as a student-athlete.

And now, this post is about the NAIA schools in Ohio for those living in the state who want to become student-athletes. When you get accepted, you can get an average scholarship of $7,000 to support your education. Also, there are other soccer scholarships in the US that you can apply for if you are a student-athlete whose sport is soccer.

Every year, the NAIA sponsors more than 15 different sports in men, women, and co-ed categories and conducts 22 championships that are aired on major US sports channels. This presents an opportunity for student-athletes to bring their talents to maximum capacity and catch the eye of big teams.

The NAIA, as well as, the students and colleges involved live up to five core values which are integrity, respect, responsibilities, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.

As an aspiring student-athlete, if you play any of the sports below whether male or female, you can go ahead to apply for one of the NAIA colleges in Ohio.

  • Baseball
  • Bowling
  • Competitive cheer
  • Competitive dance
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming/diving
  • Tennis
  • Indoor track & field
  • Outdoor track & field
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Beach volleyball
  • Flag Football

Before we continue, it is worthy of note to mention that we have written many other interesting articles like free online MIT courses and a host of other free online courses for those who would like to take up an online program from the comfort of their home. Aspiring art students can check our post where we highlighted some of the best art schools in the world to find a befitting place where they can pursue an art degree program.

With that, let’s continue with the topic…

How To Get Into NAIA Schools in Ohio

There are certain requirements that you must meet in order to get accepted into any of the NAIA colleges in Ohio. Still, first, you must have a track record of playing one of the sports listed above and be applying for a degree program at one of the NAIA schools, then go ahead to satisfy the others below:

  1. You must have completed high school or be accepted as a regular student in good standing at the enrolling institution.
  2. Meet two out of three entry-level academic requirements below:
  • Test score: minimum score of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT (critical reading & math section only); or
  • Minimum overall high school GPA of 2.0 on a scale of 4.0; or
  • Class rank – top 50% of high school graduating class.
  1. Must be making normal progress towards a bachelor’s’s degree
  2. Must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours
  3. May only compete during four seasons
  4. May only compete during their first 10 semesters/15 quarters
  5. Must meet transfer eligibility requirements (if applicable)
  6. Complete NAIA official eligibility certificate and NAIA certificate of clearance to compete.

To learn more and apply, click here.

NAIA schools in Ohio

7 NAIA Schools in Ohio

Below are the NAIA schools in Ohio where aspiring student-athletes can purse a degree and a sports career at the same time. All of these colleges are recognized by the NAIA and we have included the individual sports and other athletics games that are played at each of the colleges to find one that fits your passion.

  • Wilberforce University
  • Lourdes University
  • The University of Rio Grandes
  • Mount Vernon Nazarene University
  • University of Northwestern Ohio
  • Ohio Christian University
  • Shawnee State University

1.     Wilberforce University

On our first list of NAIA schools in Ohio is Wilberforce University, a historically black university located in Wilberforce, Ohio affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. All in all, it is a Christian school and the first college to be owned and operated by African Americans. If you are looking for a faith-based university to pursue an academic degree and play sports, then you should add Wilberforce University to your list.

And since it is a historically black school, preference would be given to African American students. It is part of the NAIA collegiates in Ohio and also a member of the Mid-South Conference. Its teams are the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs. They have won 24 scholar-athlete awards. Some common sports are played here in men’s and women’s categories, they are:

  • Baseball (men only)
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Indoor track & field
  • Outdoor track & field
  • Women’s volleyball

Learn More

2.     Lourdes University

Lourdes University is another religious university in Ohio that is part of the NAIA collegiates. It is a private Franciscan institution of higher learning located in Sylvania, Ohio, and also a member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. Since it is a catholic school, Catholics and other Christians will be given preference in admission.

Its athletic team the Gray Wolves have won 368 scholar-athlete awards and there are so many sports here in men’s and women’s categories, they are:

  • Baseball (men only)
  • Bowling
  • Competitive cheer
  • Competitive dance
  • Softball (women only)
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Outdoor track & field
  • Volleyball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Wrestling

Learn More

3.     The University of Rio Grandes

The University of Rio Grandes is a private higher institution in Ohio and one of the NAIA colleges in the state. It is part of the River States Conference and its team, Redstorm, have won 191 scholar-athlete awards. Varieties of sports are played here in men and women categories, these sports are:

  • Baseball (men only)
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Indoor track & field
  • Outdoor track & field
  • Soccer
  • Swimming/diving
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Softball (women only)

Learn More

4.     Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private Christian university founded in 1968 by the Church of the Nazarene. It is one of the NAIA universities in Ohio where you can pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree while playing one of the sports listed below.

The Cougars and Lady Cougars, the team at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, have won 550 scholar-athlete awards. The team is also a member of the Crossroads League. The sports played here are:

  • Baseball (men only)
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Indoor track & field
  • Lacrosse
  • Outdoor track & field
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Competitive cheer
  • Softball (women only)

Learn More

5.     University of Northwestern Ohio

The University of Northwestern Ohio is one of the NAIA schools in the US and part of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. The athletic team are called the Racers and they have won 134 scholar-athlete awards.

If you want to be part of the Racers, you must be applying for a degree program at the institution and also be playing one of the sports below for male and female categories.

The sports are not many but they are some of the common ones. The sports are:

  • Baseball (women only)
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Softball (women only)
  • Women’s volleyball

Learn More

6.     Ohio Christian University

Ohio Christian University is a private Christian institution of higher learning in Circleville, Ohio affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. It is one of the NAIA universities in Ohio and part of the River States Conference. The athletic team, Trailblazers and Lady Trailblazers have won 213 scholar-athlete awards.

The sports and athletics here are for men and women ranging from tennis and cross country to gold and basketball.

Learn More

7.     Shawnee State University

On the final list of NAIA colleges in Ohio is the Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. The institution is also one of the Mid-South Conference. The Bears, the athletic team, have won 384 scholar-athlete awards.

The sports here include golf, swimming/diving, tennis, bowling, volleyball (women only), and cross country.

Learn More

These are all 7 NAIA colleges and universities in Ohio and I hope, from this list, you can find the right school for you to pursue your careers.

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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.

When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.

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