Is it better financially to play Div III?

<p>D has friends and aquaintances in her sport (track) who are not nearly as talented athletically or academically as others yet are receiving a much better financial deal going Div. III than she is, or than the top athletes she knows are who are going Div. I. (Obviously, we have to assume everyone is telling the truth here.) Even though the Div. III schools technically can't offer athletic scholarships, it seems that they actually do anyway. They just come up with some nebulous merit scholarship they can make fit the kid, or a supposed academic scholarship (which is shocking when you know the student's GPA), and voila--kid gets a great deal. I just spoke with a mom who I know to be a very truthful person. Her son is getting a full ride and by her own admission is mediocre athletically. He isn't even placing in the top 8 of his state sectional group for track. The coach called some alumni and they put together a terrrific package for the kid. Same story for several girls on D's team who are very average. </p>

<p>We are happy with the competitive and academic level of D's choice. However, I'm beginning to think that the scholarship money piece is not as much of an advantage of Div. I as people may think. D's friend from another state has been state champion all four years and is getting same package as D, so I don't think it's just that we were unlucky or stupid. Regardless, in track the average Div. 1 scholarship for women is around $9000. These Div. III kids are getting way more than that.</p>

<p>Interesting observations, GFG - do you mind sharing which conferences the DIII schools are in that are offering those packages?</p>

<p>From what I have found, D3 schools generally have a stricter GPA/SAT standards than D1, which allows them to justify the merit scholarship allowance in that the student generally will have the average GPA/SAT for opposed to D1 which in a lot of cases will accept a student on a lower criteria. In addition, for lower level sports at a D1, a coach usually has limited scholarship money ie" 10 scholarships for a team of 20, which would limit the amount of money that they would have to offer whereas with a D3, they don't have the "athletic scholarship" limits if it is all merit based.</p>

<p>In my son's sport, we have seen a lot of kids who you would expect at a D1 going Ivy or D3 and getting better money offers than those at D1 because they have the grades to get into the school despite being a great athlete.</p>

<p>I've heard of recruited athletes with not-so-great grades getting "leadership" scholarships at not-so-great DIII schools.</p>

<p>MAC Commonwealth and MAC Freedom conferences.</p>

<p>Royal73 - We've heard of "leadership scholarships" as well, just recently. It is for an athlete with very good grades, President of class, not economically challenged. I guess I would classify "leadership scholarship" as a discretionary funding that the school can use to entice someone they really, really want. In this case, I would not clasify the school as the top tier but it is a very reputable school. I would have no problem if my kids got in there. This was the ODAC conference.</p>

<p>Yes, some DIII schools cheat. I have reason to believe that Carnegie Mellon is one, but it is far more likely to happen at less selective schools.</p>

<p>We have good friends whose son received essentially a full ride to a state DIII here. He was highly recruited by them and good enough to play lower DI in his sport. His parents are upper middle income and were surprised when the coach came through with many merit and academic awards for their son. My daughter has likewise had many teammates who have (or currently are) competing at DIII schools - some quite nice, selective LAC's - where the coach has come right out and said, "I can get you some more money if you will commit." These parents all report dollars above their EFC's.</p>

<p>My D had a generous package from an ODAC. It looked like they were throwing some money her way for "merit" and they were requesting additional forms for additional "honors" money (yes her stats were above their middle-50 range). I would not have been surprised to see a leadership line in the final package. We did not fill out any financial aid forms. My D will be attending and playing at a Patriot League school. Financially the ODAC school would have been a bargain.</p>

<p>Agreed. They can't officially give you scholarships, but I'm pretty sure that if a coach really wants an athlete, they have enough pull to secure some sort of financial aid. I know (of) a kid who wasn't the best student, but who somehow managed to get a "student-athlete leadership" scholarship at Haverford. Hmmm....</p>

<p>"I know (of) a kid who wasn't the best student, but who somehow managed to get a "student-athlete leadership" scholarship at Haverford."</p>

<p>From the Haverford College website</p>

<p>"Haverford does not offer any financial aid on the basis of academic, musical, athletic, or any other evaluation of merit."</p>

<p>I'm pretty cynical about such things, but this is the kind of absolute statement that is too easy to show to be an embarrassing lie. Therefore, I suspect you are mistaken.</p>