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You Ask, We Answer: What is NCAA Division III?

Posted by:
February 22, 2023

This is a question that we get more often than people may think. While there are over 400 NCAA Division III colleges/universities across the country, there are only nine in the Pacific Northwest.

Yes, we are the NCAA division that does not offer scholarships based on athletic merit. However, we are SO much more. When talking about what your experiences will be like here at PLU, you really need to ask yourself more than “what”. The real question is why D3? Here’s what former PLU Men’s Golf student-athlete, Ryan Pearson, said about D3: “Division III has allowed me to develop in ways that go past just playing my sport. It has allowed me to focus on my academics that are needed to get into the field I want to enter post-graduation, allowed me to work in athletics between class and practice time, and allowed me to create meaningful relationships that will last longer than my time here.”

NCAA Division III Athletics provides the opportunity for skilled student-athletes to continue competing at a high level and in doing so, helps mold the individual and prepare them for a life after athletics in the workforce. Division III is the division where academics come first, and students are able to find balance in all aspects of their college career. PLU Women’s Track & Field athlete, Megan Barnhouse, shares this is key to her experience here at PLU. “Division III is an environment of competitive and fun athletics but with a focus on enjoying your college life outside of your sport as well,” she says. “I have become a better teammate and leader and my athletic experience at PLU has also given me the best second family I could have asked for.”

NCAA Division III checks all the boxes…

  • Academics first
  • High-level athletics
  • Balanced student-athlete experience

So actually, the real question is why not D3?


Guest blogger: Mike Snyder, Director of Athletics & Recreation