In America, there are over 3,500 accredited colleges. Three athletic organisations look after sport within the college system – the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Each of these separate organisations distribute money and relegate rules for collegiate competition. They also have their own conferences, tournaments and championships.
NCAA Division 1 holds the largest colleges in the college system. To become a Division 1 college, the NCAA must finance at least seven male sporting teams and seven female sporting teams. Division 1 colleges usually hold a student population between 15,000-50,000 on campus.
NCAA Division 2 is the second-largest division within the college system. To become a Division 2 college, the NCAA must finance at least five male sporting teams and five female sporting teams. Division 2 colleges usually hold a student population of between 3,000-15,000 on campus. Division 2 schools get slightly less athletic aid than Division 1 schools.
NCAA Division 3 is the smallest division within the college system. To become a Division 3 college, the NCAA must finance at least three male sporting teams and three female sporting teams. Division 3 colleges usually hold a student population between 500-3,000 on campus. Division 3 does not offer athletic aid; however, some of the top academic schools are included in this division, such as MIT, Boston College and New York University.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) are two-year colleges that provide sports scholarships. The reason for this is for those who do not get into a four-year college or fail eligibility rules. Once you pass junior college, the student will transfer out to a four-year college to cross-credit and complete their last two years of education.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a separate organisation from the NCAA. The size of the colleges is similar to NCAA Division 3. NAIA colleges offer athletic aid and cater to those athletes who do not meet NCAA eligibility requirements. As seen above, the divisions are based on the structure of the college rather than the sporting ability.
Our focus is not to place thousands of students in any university but placing a student athlete in the right college for them. When working with athletes, as expected they have different college goals in mind. This may be academically, financially, athletically or the location of the college.
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