How to Get Recruited Guide

Is NCAA Division 3 a Good Option Athletically?

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 their 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 no 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?

Next Step:

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.

Recruiting doesn’t have to be so confusing. It can be easy and even enjoyable.

If you are ready for Recruiting to be Made Easy, you are ready for the How to Get Recruited Guide. 


How to Get Recruited 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.

How to Get Recruited: Got Talent. Get a Plan. Get Recruited.



Here is another great article: Division III Scholarships But Not Athletic Scholarships






9 thoughts on “Is NCAA Division 3 a Good Option Athletically?”

  1. If a parent works on the campus as a volunteer, is there a possibility the cost of your child’s tuition can decrease greatly? I asked this question because I see a need at a D3 school to provide the students with spiritual mentorship. Is it worth the effort to pursue this idea?

    1. You could ask the individual school, but I doubt they will give you much assistance. It is definitely worth asking though. Usually it is just employees who get discounts on tuition for their children.

  2. I have twin daughters that both play softball in college. One plays for a Div.II and one plays for a Div. III. They both made the dean’s list their freshmen year and are in their second year of school. They both had similar ACT scores. My daughter who plays Div III will be $30,000 more in debt than her sister who plays Div II and the reason is there are no athletic scholarships. After talking to other parents who have students at Div III schools, they all say the same which is if you want less school debt don’t go Div III. The amount of an athletic scholarship is not based on the parent’s income where as if you get any type of aid from a DIII school, other than academic, it will be based on the parent’s income.

    Both of my daughters love the school that they are attending and love their teammates. Neither one of my daughters are planning on leaving.

    Both of my daughters are very good players. In fact, my daughter who plays Div. III made all conference her freshmen year. It’s unfortunate that DIII athletes don’t have an opportunity to reap some benefits. My daughter who plays DIII puts in a lot of time in between playing games, lifting, cardio workouts, practices, and fundraising. After you include school and homework, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for extra curricular activities that is promoted for DIII. The NCAA should really change the ruling and allow DIII players to receive athletic scholarships.

  3. I am a former D3 Athlete. I got accepted into NCSU, APP State, and about 7 other schools in NC. I had a 4.0 GPA and 1700+ SAT scores. I was a Dean’s List student during my time in college and maintained a 3.0, but D3 is not all that it is hyped up to be.

    After graduating w/ over $60,000 in debt with a Bachelor’s Degree when they average student loan debt is about $30,000, I was not pleased with my decision to play D3 Football. Parents/Athletes need to be informed on the real cost. Going to a Public School and taking out Loans through the government is a much better option financially.

    1. What about “leadership” awards/grants? Did you receive any? Your post leaves out important info regarding your grant awards, etc.

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