Men’s basketball athletes interested in a less demanding, more well-rounded college experience should focus their efforts on Division 3 basketball colleges. About 1.4 percent of the nation’s 550,000+ high school men’s basketball athletes go on to compete on division 3 basketball teams, which is higher than those who go on to play at D1 and D2 basketball schools. Not only do D3 basketball colleges provide student-athletes with a more flexible schedule, they also allow recruits to pursue additional interests outside of basketball.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Division 3 basketball schools is that they do not offer scholarships, which makes some families steer clear of the division altogether. While it is true that D3 basketball colleges don’t offer full or partial athletic scholarships, don’t cross them off your list just yet! Basketball players interested in pursuing four-year degrees at D3 basketball schools should know that these institutions provide student-athletes with non-athletic scholarship and grants, in the form of financial, need-based aid, academic/merit-based scholarships, work-study grants and more.
Potential recruits should take note of the flexibility and sports-life balance offered at D3 basketball colleges. For example, while D1 and D2 recruits tend to be more separated from their non-athletic or even non-team peers, players on Division 3 basketball teams have a chance to be a part of a larger college community and pursue opportunities outside of their sport, such as adding a minor or double-major to their degree, studying abroad or landing a part-time job or internship. When are the AAU boys basketball tryouts?
However, this flexibility doesn’t mean that D3 basketball schools are any easier than those at the D1 or D2 level—top programs are recorded on D3 basketball rankings and potential recruits should still be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time and effort during practices, games and championships. Athletes who have excellent GPAs and test scores, match D3 basketball recruiting guidelines and want a college experience outside of basketball should check out our full list of Division 3 basketball colleges below. Get more information about Nike basketball camps.
Potential recruits looking to land a roster spot at one of the nation’s division 3 basketball teams are in luck. There are currently more than 400 Division 3 basketball schools in the nation—these 424 D3 basketball colleges make up the largest division level not only in the NCAA, but also among all four-year colleges.
When creating a target list of D3 basketball schools, basketball student-athletes should be prepared to factor in a school’s academic and athletic standards—along with a school’s average cost after athletic/academic aid—as well as their own personal preferences. For example, certain Division 3 basketball colleges may offer short and long-term study abroad opportunities, academic support in the form of tutors or study groups as well as a wide range of extracurricular activities, mentorships/internships from alumni and more.
Several organizations offer NCAA Division 3 men’s basketball rankings, including the NCAA, USA Today Sports and the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. Here are the top D3 basketball schools, according to the NCSA Power Rankings:
Although the NCSA Power Rankings provide a good overview of the best Division 3 basketball schools, student-athletes who want to compete at one of the 400+ D3 basketball colleges shouldn’t limit their search to only the top few schools who appear on D3 basketball rankings. Instead, potential recruits should consider several factors, including which of the Division 3 basketball colleges offer the best athletic, academic, social and financial fit.