Students and Families Resources
Students and Athletes and the NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a member-led organization dedicated to the well-being and lifelong success of college athletes. It organizes the athletic programs of over 1,1000 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. NCAA programs are divided into Divisions I, II and III. In addition to governing over 40 college sports, the NCAA deals with financial aid for athletes, recruitment, and determining athletes’ eligibility. Students wishing to compete in collegiate sports can use the NCAA portal to research schools and find which would best fit their interests and abilities. Priorities to consider when researching NCAA schools are their Division, athletic programs, playing for a certain coach and possible scholarships in addition to school size and location.
Division I: on average, these schools enroll the most students, manage the largest athletics budgets, offer a wide array of academic programs and provide the most athletics scholarships.
Division II: these schools provide growth opportunities through academic achievement, high-level athletic competition and community engagement. Many participants are first-generation college students.
Division III: here, the experience provides an integrated environment that focuses on academic success while offering competitive athletics and meaningful non-athletics opportunities.