Why Choose Division III?

View the Division III Identity video to learn more about the values of Division III, as well as the six attributes of Division III: Proportion, Comprehensive Learning, Passion, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, and Citizenship.

Visit the NCAA Division III Website



From www.collegestudentathletes.com

Competing at a quality academic Division III institution that cares equally for it's academics and athletics is the purest example of being a college student-athlete. The idea of playing a sport because you want to, instead of because you have to, is much more invigorating to an athlete whether the success is great or in moderation. At a Division III institution the choice to compete is at the digestion of each individual. The management of time is important to all college students, and the sooner it is learned the easier it is to survive in a competitive environment.

The biggest myth about Division III athletics is that it is just an extension of High School. This is farthest from the truth. Competition at the D-III level can rival many of the other divisions in quality and competitiveness. Division III allows an athlete to grow, mature and gain confidence so that the athlete can reach his/her potential. There are many athletes, male or female, that are competing at the D III level that after a year or two in college can play at any level but chose to stay at D III to enjoy the full experience of a college education.

It has been said many times that only part of a college education stems from the classroom experience. The part, and arguably the most important part of a college education, that comes from the out of classroom experiences is extremely valuable. If you are competing at a Division I institution you are bound to that sport during the entire year. Hence, leaving little time for extracurricular activities that may enhance a college education. Learning comes in all forms, and should be investigated by all students during their college experience.

Division III athletics are an integral part of our educational system and should be considered by all student-athletes that seek to get a quality education while competing in the sport that they enjoy. Take time to investigate all options and make an educated decision on what best fits you.


To govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.


Follow your passions and discover your potential. The college experience is a time of learning and growth – a chance to follow passions and develop potential. For student-athletes in Division III, all of this happens most importantly in the classroom and through earning an academic degree. The Division III experience provides for passionate participation in a competitive athletic environment, where student-athletes push themselves to excellence and build upon their academic success with new challenges and life skills. And student-athletes are encouraged to pursue the full spectrum of opportunities available during their time in college. In this way, Division III provides an integrated environment for student-athletes to take responsibility for their own paths, follow their passions and find their potential through a comprehensive educational experience.


Proportion appropriate relation of academics with opportunities to pursue athletics & other passions
Comprehensive Learning opportunity for broad-based education and success
Passion playing for the love of the game, competition, fun and self-improvement
Responsibility development of accountability through personal commitment and choices
Sportsmanship fair and respectful conduct toward all participants and supporters
Citizenship dedication to developing responsible leaders and citizens in our communities




  1. Comprehensive educational experience. Division III institutions develop student-athlete potential through a holistic educational approach that includes rigorous academics, competitive athletics and opportunity to pursue other interests and passions.
  2. Integrated campus environment. About one-quarter of all students at Division III institutions participate in athletics. Those participating in athletics are integrated into the campus culture and educational missions of their colleges or universities:

    This integration of athletics allows the student-athlete to take full advantage of the many opportunities of campus life and their entire collegiate experience.

  3. Academic focus. Student-athletes most often attend a college or university in Division III because of the excellent academic programs, creating a primary focus on learning and achievement of their degree. The Division minimizes the conflicts between athletics and academics through shorter playing and practicing seasons, the number of contests, no red-shirting or out-of-season organized activities, and a focus on regional in-season and conference play.
  4. Available financial aid. Three-quarters of all student-athletes in DIII receive some form of grant or non-athletic scholarship. Student-athletes have equal opportunity and access to financial aid as the general student body – but are not awarded aid based on athletic leadership, ability, performance or participation.
  5. Competitive athletic programs. Student-athletes do not receive any monetary incentive (athletic scholarship) to play sports in college. They play for the love and passion of the game and to push themselves to be their best, creating an intense, competitive athletic environment for all who participate.
  6. National championship opportunities. Division III has over 155,000 student-athletes competing annually in 36 different national championships. These competitions provide an opportunity for student-athletes to compete at the highest level and fulfill their athletic potential.
  7. Commitment to athletics participation. Division III institutions are committed to a broad-based program of athletics because of the educational value of participation for the student-athlete. The division has a higher number and wider variety of athletic opportunities on average than any other division in the NCAA, emphasizing both competitive men’s and women’s sports.