College Sports

NCAA

What is the NCAA?

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is an organization dedicated to

providing a pathway to opportunity for college athletes. More than 1,100 colleges

and universities are members of the NCAA. Those schools work together with the NCAA national office and athletics conferences across the country to support nearly half a million college athletes that make up 19,500 teams competing in NCAA sports.


The NCAA’s diverse members include schools ranging in size from those with

hundreds of students to those with tens of thousands. The NCAA’s current three-division

structure was adopted in 1973 to create a fair playing field for teams

from similar schools and provide college athletes more opportunities to participate in

national championships.


Among the three NCAA divisions, Division I schools generally have the biggest

student bodies, manage the largest athletics budgets and offer the highest number of athletics scholarships. The Division II approach provides growth opportunities through

academic achievement, learning in highlevel athletics competition and a focus on

service to the community. The Division III experience offers participation in a competitive athletics environment that pushes college athletes to excel on the field and build upon their potential by tackling new challenges across campus.


To learn more about the pathway that’s right for you, visit ncaa.org/divisions.

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Where do I start?

If you want to play sports at an NCAA Division I or II school, start by registering for a Certification Account with the NCAA Eligibility Center at eligibilitycenter.org. If you want to play Division III sports or you aren’t sure where you want to compete, start by creating a Profile Page at eligibilitycenter.org.
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