College-Bound Student Athlete

College-bound student athletes are interested in continuing their athletic journey into college. There are several different ways to do this. Monitoring student academic progress for qualifications is critical. Students should research the opportunities associated with athletics in college and best-fit opportunities within the college experience. There are two associations that both consist of divisions and conferences. The divisions are determined by the size of the institution, level of competition, and the funding of the athletic program.

NCAA Eligibility Center

National Junior College Athletic Association—NJCAA

Division I—The NCAA Division I consists of almost 350 institutions with specific sports offered in men's and women's athletics. This consists of large institutions that typically have large scholarship packages for recruiting.

Division II—The NCAA Division II consists of over 300 institutions and features the same sports as Division 1. These athletes are just as physically able to compete at the Division 1 level, but schools typically have less athletic funding. Division II student athletes typically receive a combination of athletic and merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid.

Division III—The NCAA Division III consists of 450 institutions. It is the largest division of the NCAA regulated sports. Competition is still high between division III teams and there is a wide variety of experiences for these athletes that includes a focus on academics, extracurricular activities, study abroad opportunities, and other college experiences outside of team sponsored activities. Students may receive financial aid or merit-based awards.

Club Sports—Club sports are not regulated by NCAA. Students can join a team and compete against other teams regionally and/or nationally. They are student-run and typically open to all. Some sports may have two different level of competitive teams for the same sport.

Intramural Sports—Intramural sports are not regulated by NCAA and typically run like an extracurricular club, open to all. The teams compete against each other, some at the same school and some neighboring schools. These sports often include sports that are not offered at the NCAA or club level.

A day in the life of a college athlete depends on the division/level the student is competing.