About Division III

NCAA Division III

Division III is the largest division in terms of number of institutions and number of participants in the NCAA. As a Presidents Council, we help ensure over 195,000 students at 446 institutions representing 44 conferences, can further their athletic careers while earning a degree. Division III is unique in not awarding athletic scholarships due to its unwavering commitment to the academic success of every student-athlete. The opportunity to play sports in college is a privilege, but we often forget taking part in collegiate athletics is also a choice. When high school seniors decide to be Division III student-athletes, their choice illustrates their passion for the sport and pursuit of an education. Division III student-athletes compete not for financial reward, but quite simply, for the love of the game.

Division III student-athletes are fueled by passion. They strive to do their best on the field and in the classroom because they realize the value in athletics lies beyond a scoreboard. From early morning practices and study sessions on the road, they learn dedication. From adjusting how they play the game according to their peers, they learn teamwork. From supporting others through ups and downs of a season and academic year, they learn what it takes to become a leader.

Colleges and universities that subscribe to the Division III Philosophy enable students to integrate – and balance – their athletics experience with academic interests and other co-curricular activities. It is not unusual to see a standout student-athlete serving as a peer student mentor or starring in a school play. Division III student-athletes are special because their identities they develop playing college sports propel them far beyond the court, track, or rink. In some cases, they do move on to successful careers as professional athletes. Often, however, they become leaders in our schools, hospitals, and governments. Division III alumni who are now working professionals look back on their participation in intercollegiate athletics as a critical part of their development, and something that will continue to shape them for the rest of their lives.