College Sports Info

NCAA: Division 1 vs. 2 vs. 3

NCAA divisions separate schools by the level of competition and the resources of their athletic departments. Most collegiate sporting events you see on television, from March Madness to the College World Series, are competitions between Division I schools. Division I offers the highest level of competition while Division III is the lowest level of competition in the NCAA. Full athletic scholarships are more common in Division I; most Division II athletes receive partial athletic scholarships. A key difference in Division III is that there are no athletic scholarships. However, a majority of the athletes are on some form of academic or need-based aid.

NCAA Eligibility Requirements

All prospective student-athletes who want to play NCAA Division 1 or 2 intercollegiate athletics, must be certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse to be eligible to play. 

*If you are planning to attend a Division III school, you do not need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Division III schools set their own admissions standards.

How to Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center

1.Create your account for the NCAA Eligiblity Center. Go to: www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org. Once you have created your account check your email and login to finish the registration process.

2. Now that your account is created you will have several more steps to submit your transcripts, test scores and answer your amateur status questionnaire before you are finished.  *Please note, you cannot send transcripts or test scores on your own. They need to be sent by your high school and testing center.

3. You can log on to the following page to make sure you have completed all the steps: http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/eligibility_center/Student_Resources/Registration_Checklist.pdf

4. It is your responsibility to request your test scores be sent directly to NCAA Clearing House through your testing center (i.e . www.collegeboard.org or www.actstudent.org). 

Other Intercollegiate Sports Associations

Besides the NCAA, there are two other governing bodies for intercollegiate sports, the NAIA and the NJCAA.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, or the NAIA, has about 300 member institutions. NAIA schools are smaller and are roughly on par with Division III schools. However, unlike NCAA Division III, NAIA schools do offer athletic scholarships The NAIA doesn't have the prestige of the NCAA, but it offers an alternative for smaller schools that want to compete.

The National Junior College Athletics Association, or NJCAA, is the governing board for sports at two year colleges. Members of the NJCAA can also offer athletic scholarships.