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Institutional Characteristics of NCAA Member Schools

Since 1973, NCAA members have classified their athletics programs in one of three divisions – I, II or III. When those divisions were established more than 40 years ago, the goal was to group like institutions for the purpose of leveling the playing field not only for competitive reasons but also for establishing policy and operating principles.

In addition to collecting extensive data on numerous aspects of the student-athlete experience at member colleges, the NCAA research staff also compiles data on the non-athletics characteristics of NCAA member schools, revealing comparisons that go beyond sports. The data indicate that schools within each division, as a group, have different attributes and missions. An examination of these factors can help prospective student-athletes and their families find the type of institution that best fits their educational, athletic and social needs.