NCAA Division III (DIII) is where the true student-athlete studies and competes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the main governing body of collegiate sports, dividing levels of classification into three divisions. DIII institutions are largely regarded as leading academic institutions and do not offer athletic scholarships. Still, athletics in DIII is highly competitive. There are over 136,000 athletes at over 430 DIII colleges and universities and each one is studying to earn a valuable degree in preparation for the workplace while playing the sport that he or she loves.
For DIII athletes, sports have been an integral part of our lives since our youth. From elementary school through high school, sports have complemented our educational experience.
And as college looms, we want to continue playing the sport we love while receiving an education from a first-rate college. A DIII school is that fit.
Competing at a quality academic Division III institution that cares equally for it's academics and athletics is the purest example of being a college student-athlete. The idea of playing a sport because you want to, instead of because you have to, is much more invigorating to an athlete whether the success is great or in moderation. At a Division III institution the choice to compete is at the digestion of each individual. The management of time is important to all college students, and the sooner it is learned the easier it is to survive in a competitive environment.
The biggest myth about Division III athletics is that it is just an extension of High School. This is farthest from the truth. Competition at the D-III level can rival many of the other divisions in quality and competitiveness. Division III allows an athlete to grow, mature and gain confidence so that the athlete can reach his/her potential. There are many athletes, male or female, that are competing at the D III level that after a year or two in college can play at any level but chose to stay at D III to enjoy the full experience of a college education.
It has been said many times that only part of a college education stems from the classroom experience. The part, and arguably the most important part of a college education, that comes from the out of classroom experiences is extremely valuable. If you are competing at a Division I institution you are bound to that sport during the entire year. Hence, leaving little time for extracurricular activities that may enhance a college education. Learning comes in all forms, and should be investigated by all students during their college experience.
Division III athletics are an integral part of our educational system and should be considered by all student-athletes that seek to get a quality education while competing in the sport that they enjoy. Take time to investigate all options and make an educated decision on what best fits you.
Athletes at DIII colleges and universities receive no financial aid on the basis of athletic merit, although substantial financial aid and academic merit scholarships are available at most DIII institutions.
DIII schools place highest priority on the overall educational experience; athletics is a complement to academics and overall residential experience.
DIII student-athletes are well rounded and take advantage of extracurricular activities in college. At the DI and DII levels, athletics are a student's life and they have limited availability to college life outside of their respective sport.