The NCAA, the major governing body for intercollegiate sports, separates its member institutions by divisions. Division II colleges are generally smaller and have fewer athletic department resources than Division I schools, but they're larger and more well funded than Division III institutions.
While Division II schools may not have the money or get the publicity of Division I institutions, many Division II colleges have passionate fan bases that show enthusiastic support for their sports teams, especially for those teams that regularly compete for championships.
In this article, I'll give you a basic understanding of Division II and a complete list of current Division II schools by state.
UPDATE: NCAA Changes Due to COVID-19
As a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, NCAA has made changes to player eligibility. First, prospective Division I and Division II players are no longer required to submit ACT or SAT scores (although submitting them is still highly recommended). Their academic eligibility will only be based on GPA and core course requirements. Additionally, the NCAA granted spring and fall 2020 athletes an additional year of eligibility and season of competition. You can find more COVID-19 NCAA updates here.
Why Are There NCAA Divisions?
The NCAA created divisions in order to have competitive balance and level the playing field in NCAA sports. The idea behind divisions is for schools to be competing against other schools of a similar size and with similar resources.
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What Makes Division II Unique?
Typically, the level of competition and caliber of athlete is lower than in Division I but higher than in Division III.
There are about 300 schools and thousands of students who participate in Division II sports. Division II schools offer athletic scholarships, but there is less athletic aid available in Division II than in Division I. The majority of athletes at Division II institutions are on partial athletic scholarships.
There are 23 athletic conferences in Division II in 47 states, one territory, and two countries.
Division II Fun Facts
- Division II student-athletes consistently graduate at a higher rate than other students at Division II institutions.
- Division II is the only division that has member institutions in Puerto Rico. It also has one Canadian institution.
- Division II schools have between 2,500 and 25,000 students, but 90% of member colleges have fewer than 8,000 students
2015 NCAA Division II Football Champions
How Should You Use This List?
If there's a college you're considering, you can determine if it's a Division II institution. If you're interested in a particular sport, check to see which colleges are Division II in that sport. Some Division II schools will compete in Division I for one or two sports.
Simon Fraser University
District of Columbia
University of the District of Columbia
Northwest Nazarene University
Upper Iowa University
Bowie State University
Frostburg State University
Montana State University Billings
Saint Michael's College
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
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Justin has extensive experience teaching SAT prep and guiding high school students through the college admissions and selection process. He is firmly committed to improving equity in education and helping students to reach their educational goals. Justin received an athletic scholarship for gymnastics at Stanford University and graduated with a BA in American Studies.