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.  From 2010 to 2020 Division III 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. 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).  The voluntary reporting program produced data from a representative sample consistently showing that Division III student-athletes graduate at higher rates than those of their student-body peers. Beginning with the 2021 reporting cycle, all Division III institutions were required to submit data for their non-scholarship student-athletes, allowing for the calculation of the Academic Success Rate.