Rules FAQ: Identification

Article V, Section B, item 7 of the NAIA Bylaws:
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 1, 2004 (applies only to terms of attendance subsequent to August 1, 2004)

"7. Identification: Representing an institution in an intercollegiate contest or enrolling in twelve (12) or more institutional credit hours with a minimum of nine (9) institutional credit hours at the NAIA member institution in any given term (excluding summer session) and attending any regularly scheduled class.

INTENT: To align the NAIA definition of identification with the common definition used for financial aid, Full Time Enrollment, and athletic competition in other associations.

Interpretation
The most common question we have gotten deals with terms that occurred prior to August 1, 2004. Simply put, this definition cannot be retroactively applied. Any terms that occurred prior to August 1, 2004, are governed by the old definition of identification. Therefore, any student who enrolled in 9 or more hours and attended a class in any semester, quarter, or trimester (not including summers) prior to August 1, 2004, will be charged one of their allowable 10 semesters, 15 quarters, or 12 trimesters. There will be no exceptions granted based on this new definition.

The second most common question that has arisen deals with the new phrase that states "with a minimum nine (9) institutional credit hours at the NAIA member institution." A little bit of history surrounding this language should be helpful. The original amendment submitted by the GSAC simply changed the number of hours required for identification from 9 to 12. At the 2004 National Convention many questions and concerns were raised by NAIA members regarding the ramifications upon some of their academic programs. It seems many NAIA member institutions have agreements with sister institutions or neighboring institutions where students will enroll in 9 hours at the NAIA institution and 3 or more at the sister institution. Under the old definition the student was identified and also met the 12 hour rule for participation. This new amendment eliminated that possibility.

The GSAC, seeing that an amendment that they felt was very important may fail, decided to amend their amendment with the language you now have. Therefore, a student is still identified with an NAIA institution if they are enrolled in at least 9 hours at the NAIA school and at least 3 hours of institutional credit at another institution of higher learning. It is important to note though that this concession only applies to NAIA institutions. A similar scenario at an NCAA or NJCAA institution will not identify the student and therefore, not charge them a term of attendance.

In a nutshell, this definition comes down to the following: after August 1, 2004, a student must be enrolled in 12 hours and attend a class or represent an institution in an intercollegiate contest to be identified. If a student is at an NAIA institution they may be enrolled in 9 or more hours and at least 3 hours at another institution and still be considered identified. Here a few quick examples which will detail whether or not a student is considered identified. Please keep in mind these scenarios are based on terms beginning in the Fall of 2004.

Student A attends ANY INSTITUTION and is enrolled in 12 hours and attends class: IDENTIFIED

Student B attends NAIA school and is enrolled in 9 hours and 3 hours at neighboring institution: IDENTIFIED

Student C attends NAIA school and is enrolled in 8 hours and 4 hours at neighboring institution: NOT IDENTIFIED

Student D attends NAIA school and is enrolled in 11 hours and 1 hour at neighboring institution: IDENTIFIED

Student E attends NAIA school and is enrolled in 11 hours: NOT IDENTIFIED

Student F attends JUCO and is enrolled in 9 hours: NOT IDENTIFIED

Student G attends JUCO and is enrolled in 11 hours: NOT IDENTIFIED

Student H attends JUCO and is enrolled in 9 hours and 3 hours at neighboring institution: NOT IDENTIFIED

NOTE: If you participate in an intercollegiate contest you are identified no matter how many hours you are enrolled.