School Membership Criteria

NAIS is the leading resource for school leaders. Any school can join. We offer various categories of affiliation for all types of schools.

When your school joins NAIS, every staff and faculty member of your community—from teachers to trustees—gains access to NAIS benefits throughout the course of one school year (July 1-June 30). Learn more about NAIS membership and benefits.

Join now for the 2024-25 school year to receive free membership through June 30, 2024.

Requirements of Membership

NAIS member schools are preschool-13, nonprofit, independent schools of all types and sizes located in the United States. 

To be eligible to be an NAIS full member, a school must demonstrate in the application process that it meets the requirements below. If your school does not meet the criteria below you can still join NAIS as a Premium or Standard Subscriber school.

  • Has 501(c)(3) nonprofit status
  • Is governed by an independent board of trustees*
  • Has been fully accredited by an approved organization** 
  • Has demonstrated a commitment to diversity in compliance with state and federal law, as evident in all nondiscrimination policies for admission and hiring
  • Agrees in spirit with the NAIS Principles of Good Practice
*The school is not run or controlled by an outside entity (church, foundation, etc.) that may undermine the independent operations of your board.

**If your school is not yet accredited but is actively working toward it, you may still be eligible to be an NAIS candidate member. Candidate members have full access to NAIS benefits, with the exception of voting at the NAIS Annual Membership Meeting. 

Note: Independent schools in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands may choose to apply for membership OR to become a Standard or Premium Subscriber.

Annual Membership Dues

NAIS full and candidate membership dues are based on student enrollment, and there are K-13 and pre-K rates. Any student who is enrolled at your school should be counted as part of your school’s enrollment. This is regardless of whether the student attends full time or part time, or in person or online.

The 2023–2024 dues rate is $17.42 per student in grades K–13, and $8.71 per preschool and pre-kindergarten student. Dues will not exceed $14,745 or be less than $415. Schools that join NAIS between April-June 2024 will pay dues for the 2024-2025 school year (which begins July 1, 2024). With this payment, schools will receive complimentary membership through June 30, 2024.

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For more information, please contact us through our Help Center or call (202) 973-9700.