Division III Academics
Academics are the primary focus for Division III student-athletes. The division minimizes the conflicts between athletics and academics and keeps student-athletes on a path to graduation through shorter practice and playing seasons, the number of contests, no redshirting and regional competition that reduces time away from academic studies. Student-athletes are integrated on campus and treated like all other members of the general student-body, keeping them focused on being a student first.
The NCAA has collected and reported graduation rates since 1991 for all students (using the six-year federal methodology) and for all student-athletes receiving athletically related financial aid. Division III is currently engaged in a voluntary collection of data to calculate the Academic Success Rate – the percentage of non-scholarship student-athletes that either graduated or left the school in good academic standing prior to graduation. The Academic Success Rate includes student-athletes that transferred into the school. 2014 marked the fifth year of this this program. Before 2010, a separate report on student-athletes in Division III was absent because the division does not award athletics grants-in-aid. While many Division III institutions and conferences have tracked the academic success of their student-athletes, they have used a variety of criteria (for example, graduation, grade-point average, class rank). But now, the reporting program has produced data from a representative sample consistently showing that Division III student-athletes graduate at higher rates than those of their student-body peers.