Track and field and cross country athletes and their parents want to know the differences between Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3 schools (also known as D1, D2 and D3 schools) as they determine what college or university is the best choice to suit their academic and athletic interests.
If you are a high school track and field or cross country athlete or the parent of one, you have most likely wondered about the differences between the NCAA divisions and hopefully we can answer these questions for you.
To understand the differences between the three NCAA D1, D2, and D3 schools, please view the list below and and click on the links to learn more about ways to increase the potential for academic success at the high school level as preparation for the collegiate level.
NCAA Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3 Differences
- Division 1 and 2 colleges and universities may offer track and field athletic scholarships, while Division 3 may not.
- Academic eligibility requirements are different for each division. You could qualify for one and not the others.
- Athletic requirements are different for each division.
- The number of sports a school has overall is different for each division.
- How many sports are available for both men and women is different for each division.
- How many athletes or teams the school may have in each sport is different for each division.
- The number of contests it plays against schools in the same division may differ.
Who determines if my son or daughter is eligible to participate in athletics at the college level?
The NCAA Eligibility Center certifies the academic and amateur credentials of all college-bound student-athletes who wish to compete in NCAA Division 1 or 2 athletics. To assist with this process, the NCAA Eligibility Center staff is eager to foster a cooperative environment of education and partnership with high schools, high school coaches and college-bound student-athletes.
Ultimately, the individual student-athlete is responsible for achieving and protecting his or her eligibility status. If you plan to participate in Division 1 or Division 2 track and field, you will need to register at the NCAA Eligibility Center.