Each university offering college sports must apply for an affiliation to a college sports division, the major ones being the ones below:
- Junior College (NJCAA)
The National College Athletics Association (NCAA) is the most well-known sports organization in the USA. The NCAA is the governing body for around 1200 schools. It consists of three divisions (Division I, II, and III).
Divisions I and II are the only ones which offer athletic scholarships whereas Division III can only offer academic scholarships.
NCAA Division I schools are mostly large public universities whereas NCAA Division II schools are mostly small private universities.
The NCAA D1 is very competitive and has stricter eligibility requirements. The NCAA D2 schools are somewhat more flexible.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) is the governing body for around 250 schools. It is mostly comprised of smaller private universities. The athletic and academic standards aren’t as high as with the NCAA.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) is made up of 2-year community colleges. In the United States, community colleges are usually small, and have few academic requirements for acceptance.
The NJCAA is a good option for students who didn’t get accepted to the NCAA or NAIA because of academics. The NJCAA is also a good way for foreign players to get noticed by NCAA coaches.