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
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.