Log In Sign Up
April 23, 2019

Different Divisions

Save to my locker
Photo by SB Nation JUCO - Aaron Rodgers, QB, Butte Community College —> Cal Rodgers was only offered by Illinois as a walk-on out of high school and turned it down to stay local. He still gives Butte a shoutout on Sunday Night Football.

It is essential to know the different types of division levels and have an understanding of what division will fit your needs for the next four years of your life. Let’s take a look.

NCAA Division I—This level is considered to be the highest level of play as well as the most competitive level. To play at this level, you will need to be an outstanding athlete, fearless and not afraid of hard work. DI schools have the best facilities with large budgets. They also have the most athletic scholarships. You will also travel nationally to compete. Your life will be practice, train, travel and study. This includes weekends.

Sports Conferences in this division are, SEC, Big 10, ACC and Pac 12

Ivy Leagues Institutions are also DI, they do not offer athletic scholarships. However, there is financial aid which is based on need determined by the Financial Aid office at the school that you are interested in.

List of Ivy League schools, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania.

NCAA Division II—There are around 300 schools that makeup DII sports, so it is important to research schools that you are interested in as well as choosing one or two that are not on your radar. Researching a mix of schools even if they are in a different division can open your eyes to other options. Most DII athletes receive partial athletic scholarships. Their budgets are not as large as DI budgets.

NCAA Division III—DIII schools do not offer athletic scholarships, but they can receive merit-based money and financial aid. The competition level is high, but you will have a balanced college experience since there is a high focus on academics as well as athletics. The practice seasons are shorter which will allow you to engage in college activities. You will receive a well-rounded balanced lifestyle. Playing for a smaller school will give you the opportunity to know your professors due to small class sizes.

NAIA—There are around 260 private institutions and more than 60 thousand student-athletes compete. The sports are considered to be at the same level as the DII sports. You will have a well-balanced life.

NJCAA— Also called JUCO, junior college. This is a two-year institution that some athletes might want to look at if they need a better sense of their academics and athletics. They can then confidently transfer to a four-year college. Working on your eligibility and trying to save money would be a good reason to attend a JUCO college.