D3 Colleges Continue to Offer Great Opportunities for Student Athletes
As we head down the final stretch toward the end of the school year, there are still thousands of senior student athletes wishing to continue their athletic careers but unlikely to receive D1 scholarship offers (Positive Transitions). Athletic scholarships are very hard to come by, as reports show that less than 5% of high school athletes will receive any kind of athletic scholarship (full or partial). While this can cause athletic pressure, the good news is that there are almost 450 D3 colleges and universities around the country that currently offer varsity athletics, creating a greater number of opportunities for student athletes to continue playing their sport at the next level.
While it may not be Ohio State, Notre Dame, or Stanford your family is entertaining during the college recruiting process, DIII schools offer quite a lot to prospective student athletes that might not be seen on the surface. If you have a son or daughter who still wants to play sports in college, but isnt likley to earn a DI scholarship, check out some of the advantages DIII schools offer:
- While DIII schools don’t offer athletic scholarships, they do offer financial aid (studies show that almost 75% of DIII student athletes do in fact receive financial assistance). In fact, families with hardship may be eligible for grants that would be the same as an athletic scholarship at a DI school.
- DIII schools have become very competitive in recent years. Long gone are the days where some DIII schools could barely field a team due to low student interest — today, DIII schools are full of incredibly talented student athletes! Without a doubt the competition level at DIII schools has increased in 2011 to levels never seen before.
- DIII schools have a different philosophy when it comes to the integration of academics and athletics – unlike DI programs that often overly-emphasize athletic commitment (sometimes at the expense of academics), DIII schools look to integrate a balance between academics, athletics, career, and social endeavors.
- The overall education at many DIII schools is quite impressive – sometimes ranking with some of the country’s best colleges! In fact, in some instances being a student athlete could be the final push over the top to help a student even get in to one of these schools.
- While it is a long shot, it is still possible that a DIII student athlete may still make it to the pros. Of course, it is true that most DIII student athletes will end their athletic careers after their college eligibility expires, but there are still a few unique examples of student athletes who have made it to professional sports.
- DIII schools may also provide for immediate playing time, unlike some of the big DI schools where a student athlete may not see the field until he or she is an upper-class student.
- Many DIII schools have amazing, multi-million dollar athletic/recreational centers. In fact, some schools have built these amazing structures in an attempt to “beef up” their athletic programs – great news for future student athletes!
It is important for families to take a wide lens view of college athletics, including DIII athletics. The good news is that DIII schools have a lot to offer, and can extend a student athlete’s atheltic career as well as provide for a fantastic education.