Having been a Division 2 athlete and coach, often times people think that the division of the school makes the program more or less competitive, but with increasing parity in collegiate gymnastics, that’s not always the case. There are several distinct differences to note. Below are some of the basics to keep in mind as you begin your search:
1. 12 full scholarships per year. This includes tuition, fees, books, room and board.
2. Schools tend to be bigger and have bigger budgets and more resources. This includes some with state-of-the-art training facilities, apparel, and transportation.
3. Academically, there may be more options for majors, and athletes may have access to priority registration, new technology, and tutors that work with the team.
1. Six full scholarships per year. These can be split and combined with academic and need based aid in order to help more student-athletes.
2. With only 6 Division II options, they tend to each have their own niche. They are smaller schools with more limited budgets.
3. Academically, there may be fewer options for majors or some specialized majors. These schools also offer priority registration and help from tutors and academic advisors.
1. No athletic aid granted. They provide grants and other need based aid, along with academic aid. Although Division I, the Ivy League schools of Penn, Brown, Cornell, and Yale also operate with no athletic aid.
2. Division 3 programs have shorter practice allowances, less travel, and focus less on revenue.
3. Academics are highly valued, as academic scholarships are largely needed. Student-athletes also have access to tutors and academic counselors.
With taking these differences into consideration, a prospective student-athlete can find a school and program that is right for them. It’s not just about the athletic aid. It’s about finding a “home” for your college academic and athletic career. Always let your heart guide you and be open to all your options. As you narrow down your search you will know when you step on a campus, meet the team and possibly sit in on some classes. It will all come together and your decision will be clear! I look forward to sharing my experience at the Division 2 level as it was the exact right decision for me.