The differences between a D1 and D3 School: What makes an athlete in both programs?

      If you are interested in sports, there is a likely chance that you heard of D1 and D3 schools. In terms of athletics in college, there are three main programs that give out scholarships to prospering athletic schools and these are: the NCAA (National College Association), the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association). Of the three, the NJCAA is considered the smallest as it only caters to two year community colleges, as opposed to the other two organizations that work with four year universities and colleges.

      Getting a spot onto these teams is very sought-after, and with three scholarships available for the NCAA, the competition becomes pretty fierce. Some of the most famous D1 schools are the notable Notre Dame and the University of Florida. D1 schools tend to offer an average of few thousand dollars to full ride scholarships, depending on academics and skill level. Being involved with a D1 sports team takes a lot of work and effort, and is considered by many, both those on and off the field, to be a full-time job in of itself. That is not to say there are perks to joining a D1 team – snazzy uniforms and TV coverage are included, along with 59 percent of D1 athletics receiving financial aid for being on a team – but you would be expected to show up to practices even when the season games are finished.

      In terms of where Eastern falls, Eastern is a D3 school and does not offer financial rewards to athletes. Within the athletic programs, D3 school athletes are still expected to train, but not to the intensity that D1 athletes have to perform. With over 450 schools participating in the NCAA Division III, there are about 190,000 students competing. They travel regionally rather than nationally. Another example that would factor into picking a D1 or D3 is the academic side of college and how athletics balance their school life alongside their studies. D3 athletes focus more on academics than athletics.


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