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.
Want to build the best possible college application?
We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League.
We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools.
Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.
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 24 athletic conferences in Division II. NCAA Division II offers championships in 14 men's sports and 15 women's sports.
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 has 12 schools with enrollments over 15,000 and 133 schools with enrollments below 2,500. The average enrollment of a Division II school is 3,848.
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.
Grand Canyon University
Simon Fraser University
District of Columbia
University of the District of Columbia
Northwest Nazarene University
Upper Iowa University
Bowie State University
Montana State University Billings
Le Moyne College
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:
Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
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.