Division II is a collection of 300 NCAA colleges and universities that provide thousands of student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a high level of scholarship athletics while excelling in the classroom and fully engaging in the broader campus experience. This balance, in which student-athletes are recognized for their academic success, athletics contributions and campus/community involvement, is at the heart of the Division II philosophy.
What makes Division II unique
Diverse Membership – Division II schools are located in 44 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. In addition, Division II has one school in the District of Columbia and three schools in Puerto Rico.
Only International Member – The division also expands its membership into Canada with the NCAA’s only international member institution, Simon Fraser University.
High Graduation Rates – 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 graduated on average at a 7 percent higher rate than the total student population at Division II schools.
Partial-Scholarship Model – Division II’s unique financial aid model allows most student-athletes to fund their college experiences through a mix of athletics scholarships, academic aid, need-based grants and/or employment earnings.
Highest Championship-Participant Ratio – Division II has the highest ratio in the NCAA – one championship opportunity for approximately every seven student-athletes.
Fully Integrated Athletics Programs – Division II athletics programs are fully integrated into the institution’s operations and budgets, like other academic departments on campus. Many Division II coaches perform other jobs or functions at their institutions, including teaching.
Regionalization Philosophy – This philosophy, which focuses on being the best team in your geographic area, helps schools prioritize scheduling of regional opponents, limit missed class time and manage travel expenses.
National Media Presence – Division II has a long-standing partnership with a national television provider to broadcast regular-season football and basketball games. In addition, all Division II championship finals are broadcast live on national television or live- streamed on NCAA.com. New opportunities for coverage of additional sports/championships continue to be explored.
Partnerships with Make-A-Wish and Team IMPACT – In 2003, the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee created a partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, and has since become one of its largest and most consistent contributors. Division II has raised more than $3.5 million and has helped grant more than 470 wishes. In addition, Division II has actively engaged with Team IMPACT, an organization that matches children, who are often Make-A-Wish children, with a college team to cultivate long-lasting relationships and support for one another.
National Championship Festivals – Division II is the only division that hosts Olympic-type championship events in which teams from multiple sports gather in the same city to determine national champions. Eight festivals have taken place since 2004, with the most recent one occurring in fall 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. Future festival sites include Denver, Colorado, in spring 2016 and Birmingham, Alabama, in winter 2017.
Military Partnership – In 2014, a national partnership between Division II and the U.S. military was initiated with the ultimate goal of developing future leaders who serve our communities and our nation.
Diversity Grants – Division II has budgeted more than $1,000,000 to allocate in diversity grants to institutions and conferences to help hire full-time athletics administrators and coaches. In addition, a new Internship Grant was approved to start as a pilot program in 2015.