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Division II Facts and Figures

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.

Download the Division II 2016 Facts and Figures

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 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 rates higher than their student body counterparts.

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 (even higher in some sports).

Fully Integrated Athletics Programs – Division II athletics programs are fully integrated into the institution’s operations and budgets, like other academic departments on campus.

Regionalization Philosophy – This philosophy, which focuses on being the best team in a given geographic area, helps schools prioritize scheduling of regional opponents, limit missed class time and manage travel expenses.

National Media Presence – Division II’s media agreement for 2015-16 is a “hybrid” model that combines the value and reach of traditional over-the-air cable and network programming with other digital platforms. Division II also has launched to enhance coverage of regular-season and championship events.

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 $4 million and has helped grant more than 500 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 Championships 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 May 2016, and Birmingham, Alabama, in March 2017.

Military Partnership – Division II has involved U.S. military groups in community engagement with the ultimate goal of developing future leaders who serve our communities and our nation.

Diversity Grants – Division II allocates more than $1 million in diversity grants to institutions and conferences to help hire full-time athletics administrators and coaches.

Division II Characteristics

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.

  • 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.
  • Division II athletics events are affordable; fans are in close proximity to the action; and the environment is entertaining, civil and family friendly.

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.