Student-Athletes

NCAA Division II

Vision

To develop and prepare Division II student-athletes to graduate and thrive in their lives and careers.

Mission

Division II intercollegiate athletics seeks to provide value and significance for its members by supporting the mission of higher education and striking a balance among academic excellence, athletics competition and social growth.

Life in the Balance

Division II supports the educational mission of college athletics by fostering a balanced and inclusive approach in which student-athletes learn and develop through their desired academic pursuits, in civic engagement with their communities and in athletics competition. The Division II experience not only provides student-athletes the opportunity to earn scholarships based on their academic, athletic and leadership abilities, but it also offers the best championships-participant ratio among the NCAA’s three divisions, and it prioritizes preparation for life beyond graduation. Division II gives student-athletes the unique opportunity to compete in the classroom, on the field, in their career, for their causes and on their terms.

Division II shapes student-athletes who graduate with the skills and knowledge to be productive citizens. As such, Division II believes in a balanced approach that integrates athletics into the college experience and allows students to focus fully on their academic pursuits and participate in other campus and community activities. Division II students are able to play sports, be integrated in campus life, do well in the classroom and graduate with distinction. They are able to have a much more well-rounded experience,  because their commitment to athletics doesn’t have to be year-round.

Division II students have an excellent opportunity to be highly skilled and highly decorated athletes, but the balanced approach allows them to become marketable in their career because they’ll have time to focus on their academic pursuits, their grades, their internships and whatever else it takes to prepare themselves for life after graduation. 

Attributes

What we stand for

  • Learning: multiple opportunities to broaden knowledge and skills
  • Balance: emphasis on collective knowledge; integration of skills
  • Resourcefulness: versatile skill set drawn from a broad range of experiences
  • Sportsmanship: respect for fairness; courtesy; ethical conduct toward others
  • Passion: enthusiastic dedication and desire in effort
  • Service: positive societal attitude through contributions to community

Make it yours

What we are really saying when we say "make it yours"

  • It’s making graduation a priority.
  • It’s about earning scholarship dollars for your athletic ability and competing for national championships.
  • It’s making athletics participation truly part of the college experience rather than just one aspect of it.
  • It’s making lifelong friends at a campus whose size affords a more intimate setting.
  • It’s the university president seeing students on campus and being able to call them by name and ask how things are going.
  • It’s making the academic experience more personal.
  • It’s about professors, coaches and staff caring for you as a student.
  • It’s about an experience in which you can be an active participant.
  • It’s about a campus that is tight-knit enough to respond to individual student needs.
  • It’s about having coaches who help athletes develop their resumes as much as their athletics skills.
  • It’s about a custom-fit approach to athletics and education rather than a one-size-fits-all.

Key Continuing Eligibility Concepts

  • Full-time enrollment: To be eligible for practice, travel or competition, a student-athlete shall be enrolled in at least 12 units at all times. If a student-athlete is in the final semester of their degree program and wishes to be part-time, the student-athlete needs to have applied for graduation and met with Steven Winter, the faculty athletics representative.
  • Declaring a major: All student-athletes must declare a major by the start of their fifth semester.
  • Degree applicable units: A course is considered degree applicable if it meets an unfulfilled requirement of the student-athlete's degree, e.g., the yellow in-progress courses appearing on their ARR. During a student-athlete's first two years of enrollment, all credit hours earned toward any degree program are allowed. At the start of a student-athlete's fifth semester, only the credit hours earned toward the student's declared baccalaureate degree programs are allowed. Student-athletes are also permitted to count up to six credit hours per semester toward a declared minor. 
  • 10/4 "clock": Student-athletes are permitted to participate in intercollegiate athletics during their first 10 full-time semesters and for up to 4 seasons of eligibility per sport. A student-athlete is considered to have triggered the use of a semester if at any point between the first day of the term and the last day of the term, they are enrolled in at least 12 units or participate in any competition. A student-athlete is considered to have triggered the use of a season if they participate in any competition, regardless of duration (minutes, innings, strokes, DNF, etc.) However, some common exceptions include participating in the spring season only for men's soccer, women's soccer and women's volleyball; preseason exhibitions or scrimmages in initial year; and one alumni game or fund-raising activity per year.
  • Semester minimum: A student-athlete must earn a minimum of 9 degree-applicable units during each semester (fall and spring).
  • Regular academic year minimum: A student-athlete must earn a minimum of 18 units of degree applicable units during the regular academic year (fall + winter + spring).
  • Annual minimum: A student-athlete must earn a minimum of 24 units of degree applicable units annually (fall + winter + spring + summer).