Can divIsion 2 give full athletic scholarships?

Can divIsion 2 give full athletic scholarships

When it comes to college athletics, scholarships play a crucial role in attracting talented athletes and providing them with the opportunity to pursue their athletic and academic dreams. While Division 1 schools are well-known for offering full athletic scholarships, there is often confusion surrounding Division 2 and its scholarship offerings. In this article, we will explore the question: Can Division 2 give full athletic scholarships?

Understanding Division 2 Athletics

Before delving into the scholarship aspect, it is important to have a clear understanding of Division 2 athletics. Division 2 is one of the three divisions of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), alongside Division 1 and Division 3. Division 2 schools are typically smaller in size and have fewer athletic programs compared to Division 1 schools. However, they still offer a wide range of sports, including popular ones like basketball, soccer, and baseball.

Division 2 schools are known for striking a balance between academics and athletics. They provide student-athletes with the opportunity to compete at a high level while also focusing on their education. This balance is often appealing to athletes who want to excel in both areas.

Scholarship Opportunities in Division 2

Contrary to popular belief, Division 2 schools do offer athletic scholarships. However, the number and value of these scholarships may differ from those offered by Division 1 schools. While Division 1 schools can offer full athletic scholarships, Division 2 schools have limitations due to NCAA regulations.

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According to NCAA rules, Division 2 schools are allowed to offer a maximum of 36 full athletic scholarships per sport. This means that if a Division 2 school has multiple sports programs, the total number of full scholarships across all sports cannot exceed 36. Additionally, Division 2 schools have the flexibility to divide these scholarships among their athletes, offering partial scholarships to a larger number of students.

It is important to note that not all Division 2 schools fully fund the maximum number of scholarships allowed by the NCAA. Some schools may choose to allocate their resources differently, offering a smaller number of full scholarships or focusing on other forms of financial aid.

Partial Scholarships and Other Financial Aid

While Division 2 schools may not always offer full athletic scholarships, they often provide partial scholarships and other forms of financial aid to student-athletes. These scholarships can still significantly reduce the financial burden of attending college.

Partial scholarships in Division 2 can cover a range of expenses, including tuition, fees, room, and board. The exact amount of the scholarship varies depending on the sport, the athlete’s skill level, and the school’s budget. It is not uncommon for Division 2 student-athletes to receive a combination of athletic scholarships, academic scholarships, and need-based financial aid to cover their college expenses.

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Additionally, Division 2 schools may offer other forms of financial support, such as grants, work-study programs, and student loans. These options provide further assistance to student-athletes who may not receive a full athletic scholarship but still want to pursue their athletic and academic goals.

Case Studies: Division 2 Scholarship Programs

To gain a better understanding of the scholarship opportunities in Division 2, let’s take a look at a few case studies:

Case Study 1: University of West Florida

The University of West Florida (UWF) is a Division 2 school that offers a variety of athletic programs. UWF provides a limited number of full athletic scholarships across its sports teams. For example, the UWF football program offers a maximum of 36 full scholarships, which can be divided among the players. The remaining athletes may receive partial scholarships or other forms of financial aid.

Case Study 2: Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is another Division 2 school known for its successful athletic programs. GVSU offers a combination of full and partial athletic scholarships to its student-athletes. The number of scholarships varies by sport, with some programs having more full scholarships available than others. GVSU also considers academic achievements when awarding scholarships, providing additional opportunities for student-athletes to receive financial support.

Read:Can colleges take away athletic scholarships?

Statistics on Division 2 Scholarships

While case studies provide valuable insights, it is also helpful to examine broader statistics on Division 2 scholarships. According to the NCAA, Division 2 schools awarded over $1.6 billion in athletic scholarships during the 2019-2020 academic year. This demonstrates the significant financial support available to student-athletes at the Division 2 level.

Furthermore, the NCAA reports that approximately 56% of Division 2 student-athletes receive some form of athletic scholarship. While not all of these scholarships are full athletic scholarships, they still contribute to reducing the overall cost of attending college.


While Division 2 schools may not offer full athletic scholarships to all their student-athletes, they do provide valuable scholarship opportunities and other forms of financial aid. The NCAA regulations limit the number of full scholarships that Division 2 schools can offer, but partial scholarships and additional financial support help bridge the gap.

It is important for student-athletes and their families to research and understand the scholarship programs at individual Division 2 schools. Each school may have different resources and priorities when it comes to allocating scholarships. By exploring the options available, student-athletes can make informed decisions about their college choices and pursue their athletic and academic goals.

Ultimately, Division 2 schools offer a unique blend of competitive athletics and academic excellence, making them an attractive option for many student-athletes. While full athletic scholarships may not be as prevalent as in Division 1, the scholarship opportunities and financial aid available in Division 2 can still make a significant impact on a student-athlete’s college experience.

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