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Articles / Applying to College / Athletic Scholarships in Division 3?

Athletic Scholarships in Division 3?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Nov. 21, 2011

Question: Can Division 3 colleges give out athletic scholarships?

No, Division 3 colleges cannot give out athletic scholarships. However, Division 3 schools CAN give out scholarships that are based on financial need or on other types of "merit." Usually this means academic merit but it could also be for arts, community service, etc.


Sometimes it seems to me that promising Div. 3 athletes get special consideration for merit grants (if they're at all qualified). And even though need-based aid is determined according to a formula that considers family income and assets, I've seen athletes given more grant (the good stuff that doesn't have to be repaid) and thus fewer loans than non-athletes might be offered. Since the amount of the entire aid "package" doesn't exceed what the student is entitled to receive as "need-based" aid, this doesn't count as an athletic scholarship, but it might help an athlete to enroll.

(posted 11/21/2011)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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