Life in the Balance
Higher education has lasting importance on an individual’s future success. For this reason, the emphasis on the student‐athlete experience in Division II is a comprehensive program of learning and development in a personal setting. The Division II approach provides growth opportunities through academic achievement, learning in high‐level athletics competition and development of positive societal attitudes in service to community. The balance and integration of these different areas of learning opportunity provide Division II student‐athletes a path to graduation, while cultivating a variety of skills and knowledge for life ahead.
Enrollment at DII Active Members
Median Total Expenses by Quartile
|Schools:||With Football||Without Football|
|1st Quartile of Schools||$8,024,000||$6,814,000|
|2nd Quartile of Schools||$5,976,000||$4,466,000|
|3rd Quartile of Schools||$4,766,000||$3,478,000|
|4th Quartile of Schools||$3,196,000||$2,432,000|
Division II Talking Points
- Traditional rivalries with regional institutions dominate schedules of many Division II athletics programs.
- Division II teams usually feature a number of local or in-state student‐athletes.
- Many Division II coaches perform other jobs or functions at their institutions, including teaching.
- Many Division II student‐athletes pay for school through a combination of scholarship money, grants, student loans and employment earnings.
- Division II athletics programs are fully integrated into the institution's operations and budgets, like other academic departments on campus.
- The Division II membership is focused on an "academics first" philosophy, and the division’s commitment to academic excellence supports the primary mission for NCAA schools: We are preparing student‐athletes to go pro in something other than sports.
- Division II student‐athletes consistently graduate at a higher rate than the overall student body at Division II schools. This past year, Division II student‐athletes on average graduated at a six percent higher rate than the total student population at Division II schools.
- Division II has a diverse membership, with two active member institutions in Alaska and four in Hawaii. Additionally, it is the only division that has member institutions in Puerto Rico and the only division that has expanded its membership to include an international member institution.
- A regionalization philosophy is used to select teams for Division II national championships brackets from four, six or eight geographic regions of the country. This emphasis on being the best team in your geographic area helps schools prioritize scheduling of regional opponents, limit missed class time and manage travel expenses.
- Division II athletics events are affordable, fans are in close proximity to the action and the environment is "fan friendly."
Division II "Firsts"
- Division II initiated the championships festival concept in the NCAA with a spring festival in May 2004, conducted its second sports festival in the fall of 2006 in Pensacola, Florida, and its third and fourth festivals in the spring of 2008 and winter of 2009 in Houston, Texas. Louisville, Kentucky, hosted both the Fall 2010 and Spring 2012 Festivals and Birmingham, Alabama, hosted the Winter 2013 edition. Division II is currently the only division conducting these Olympic‐type events where multiple sports gather in the same city to determine national champions. Future festival sites include Louisville, Kentucky—Fall 2014; Denver, Colorado—Spring 2016; and Birmingham, Alabama—Winter 2017.
- The Division II Student‐Athlete Advisory Committee initiated a fundraising campaign with the Make‐A‐Wish® Foundation and is currently finishing its ninth year in partnership with the program. In 2012‐13, Division II student‐athletes raised $517,465 for the Make‐A‐Wish® project, bringing the total raised to just over $3 million.
- Division II distributed more than $1,000,000 in diversity grants to institutions and conferences in 2012‐13 to help hire full‐time athletics administrators and coaches.
- Division II has partnered with the CBS Sports Network to create a unique relationship to bring Division II regular season football and basketball games to national television and broadband audiences.
Division II Attributes
Learning: Multiple opportunities to broaden knowledge and skills.
Service: Positive societal attitude toward contributions to the community
Passion: Enthusiastic dedication and desire in effort.
Sportsmanship: Respect for fairness and courtesy; ethical conduct toward others.
Resourcefulness: Versatile skill set drawn from a broad range of experiences.
Balance: Emphasis on collective knowledge; integration of skills.
Download the 2014 Facts and Figures PDF