Are Division 3 athletics a Good Option?
Division 3 athletics have no scholarships so it must be full of poor athletes who all must be rich to afford school without an athletic scholarship. Do you believe that? In another post I talked extensively about NCAA Division 3. Now I want to come back to Division 3 and talk more specifically about whether or not Division 3 is a good option financially and athletically.
Is there talent in Division 3 athletics?
Division 1 or 2 athletics may be more prestigious. If prestige and reputation will help you be fulfilled, definitely go this route. However, Division 3 schools have characteristics that might be very attractive to you. If you are not destined to become a Division 1 star, you may be more satisfied playing at a level where you can earn a starting position and a lot of playing time.
Division 3 athletics are not full of mediocre players. The players are very good and the competition is great. Division 3 athletes come from great club teams. Often they were the best players on their club and high school teams. You will be surprised if you believe that you can succeed at the Division 3 level with little work or talent.
The players you typically find at Division 3 are players who excelled during the high school years. They are dedicated athletes who understand that they are at college to first and foremost get a great education. In Division 3 programs there are many athletes who could have gone Division 1, but decided to go to a small campus and maintain a focus on their education.
Division 3 Athletics Don’t Offer Scholarships. Does it Matter?
I want to reiterate as well that Division 3 can be a great option financially. I have often been surprised how many parents didn’t even let their children explore the Division 3 option when they found out there were not athletic scholarships. The reasoning was always the same,
“We can’t afford it without an athletic scholarship.”
What was overlooked or unknown was that Division 3 schools are competing for students just like every other college. If the amount the average student paid was higher than Division 1, Division 2 and NAIA schools, who would go there?
The piece many parents didn’t see is that Division 3 schools are offering just as much financial aid as their counterparts. The difference is that none of the aid is labeled “athletic”. The money is given out in academics, leadership, need, and various other ways.
If you are a good student, Division 3 schools can be very attractive. Without the pressure of athletic scholarships, colleges are free to reward good students. At any school, some students won’t get enough aid to be able to attend. Still, I coached many girls over my seven years in Division 3 that had full tuition scholarships or near full tuition because of their high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores.
NCAA Division 3 is often misunderstood. They struggle to get the word out that they have an attractive and affordable product. But now you know, and I encourage you to take a second look at Division 3 schools.
Another great article: Great Athletes Avoid Division 3 Schools. True or False?
Whether you want to participate in Division 3 athletics or anywhere else in college, you only get one shot at the recruiting process. It is time to take the steps necessary to be Noticed by college coaches.
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Then the How to Get Recruited Guide will give you a step-by-step plan to turn your talent into offers. There’s a lot to learn about the recruiting process. How to Get Recruited condenses mountains of advice, and converts it to simple action steps that will get college coaches calling.
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