There are many reasons to choose a D3 college, and one of them is affordability. Student athletes might be looking for a school that is strong in both academics and athletics, but chances are you will also base your final decision on tuition costs. This article features a list of every D3 college and its location. Plus, we’ve got a write-up of the ten most affordable and best division 3 colleges in the nation. Looking for good D3 schools? We’ve got you covered!
What Are Division 3 Colleges?
Division III (D3) is a division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) consisting of colleges and universities with fewer resources than D1 and D2 colleges. NCAA D3 college athletic programs do not offer athletic scholarships. However, just because Division III does not offer athletic scholarships, student athletes can access the same opportunities for financial aid as the rest of the student population. While athletic scholarship opportunities are fantastic, there are also plenty of amazing scholarships that one can qualify for beyond athletic scholarships.
So, just how many D3 schools are there? Currently, there are 438 schools in NCAA D3, making it the NCAA’s largest division. Division 3 schools exist in 35 states. In this article, we’ve provided a comprehensive list of all the D3 colleges in the U.S.
Student athletes looking for a comprehensive list of the best NCAA D3 schools in the U.S. will find it right here. Following the list, we’ve also provided a brief write-up of the most affordable NCAA D3 colleges.
What Is the Difference Between Division 1, 2, and 3 Colleges?
To understand the difference between the divisions, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the NCAA. NCAA stands for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and it is the primary governing body of college athletics. There are over 1200 member schools in the NCAA, with each separated into a level of competition.
Division 1 schools have the highest competition levels and the most extensive athletic budgets. As a result, these teams have the student athletes you typically see competing on television. March Madness, for example, is a competition between D1 schools.
D2 and D3 schools usually have the lowest budgets and the least amount of competition in the NCAA. Schools themselves decide which division to join, and their decision is typically based on money. A school must meet specific requirements for membership into each division. Thus, becoming a D1 school requires a substantial athletic budget, whereas D2 and D3 schools have lower financial barriers to entry. If you’re looking for one of the best high academic D3 schools, you’ve come to the right place.
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Why Attend a D3 College?
Many students chose to attend Division 3 colleges because they focus on academics over athletics, thus allowing them to be scholars first and then student athletes. Rather than fulfilling an athletic scholarship, students can play for the love of the game while not losing sight of their educational goals. At the top D3 schools, athletes have time to participate in other college experiences (Greek life, for example) in addition to playing sports.
Whatever the reason behind the choice to attend a D3 college, with the large number of them, how do you find the best one at a realistic cost? We have researched all of the best D3 colleges and compiled a list of the 40 most affordable Division III colleges. They are ordered by in-state tuition costs from highest to lowest, to make your search easier. We’ve also included enrollment numbers for Division III schools, so potential students can also consider the size of the student body.
A Handy Tip Regarding Athletic Scholarships
Athletic scholarships are not as secure as academic scholarships. For example, you can lose your athletic scholarship if you have an injury or perform poorly at a game. However, academic scholarships will continue as long as you maintain your grades, even if you are unable to play.
For this reason, athletes are always encouraged to apply for as many scholarship opportunities as possible, no matter what your school’s division. Division III schools have a wide range of scholarship opportunities available to all students.
Complete List of Division III Colleges
|ALABAMA||Birmingham-Southern College||NCAA D3|
|ARKANSAS||Hendrix College||NCAA D3|
|University of the Ozarks (Arkansas)|
|CALIFORNIA||California Institute of Technology||NCAA D3|
|California Lutheran University|
|Claremont McKenna–Harvey Mudd–Scripps Colleges|
|University of California, Santa Cruz|
|University of La Verne|
|University of Redlands|
|COLORADO||Colorado College||NCAA D3|
|CONNECTICUT||Albertus Magnus College||NCAA D3|
|Eastern Connecticut State University|
|Trinity College (Connecticut)|
|U.S. Coast Guard Academy|
|University of Hartford|
|University of St. Joseph (Connecticut)|
|Wesleyan University (Connecticut)|
|Western Connecticut State University|
|DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA||Catholic University||NCAA D3|
|Trinity Washington University|
|GEORGIA||Agnes Scott College||NCAA D3|
|Wesleyan College (Georgia)|
|IOWA||Buena Vista University||NCAA D3|
|Central College (Iowa)|
|University of Dubuque|
|ILLINOIS||Augustana College (Illinois)||NCAA D3|
|Benedictine University (Illinois)|
|Concordia University Chicago|
|Dominican University (Illinois)|
|Illinois Institute of Technology|
|Illinois Wesleyan University|
|Lake Forest College|
|Monmouth College (Illinois)|
|North Central College|
|North Park University|
|University of Chicago|
|Wheaton College (Illinois)|
|INDIANA||Anderson University (Indiana)||NCAA D3|
|Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology|
|Saint Mary’s College (Indiana)|
|KENTUCKY||Asbury University||NCAA D3|
|LOUISIANA||Centenary College (Louisiana)||NCAA D3|
|MASSACHUSETTS||Amherst College||NCAA D3|
|Anna Maria College|
|Bridgewater State University|
|Clark University (Massachusetts)|
|Eastern Nazarene College|
|Fitchburg State University|
|Framingham State University|
|Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)|
|Massachusetts Maritime Academy|
|Mount Holyoke College|
|Regis College (Massachusetts)|
|Salem State University|
|University of Massachusetts Boston|
|University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth|
|Wentworth Institute of Technology|
|Western New England University|
|Westfield State University|
|Wheaton College (Massachusetts)|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute|
|Worcester State University|
|MARYLAND||Goucher College||NCAA D3|
|Johns Hopkins University|
|Notre Dame of Maryland University|
|St. Mary’s College of Maryland|
|Washington College (Maryland)|
|MAINE||Bates College||NCAA D3|
|Maine Maritime Academy|
|Saint Joseph’s College (Maine)|
|University of Maine at Presque Isle|
|University of Maine, Farmington|
|University of New England|
|University of Southern Maine|
|MICHIGAN||Adrian College||NCAA D3|
|MINNESOTA||Augsburg University||NCAA D3|
|Bethany Lutheran College|
|Bethel University (Minnesota)|
|College of Saint Benedict|
|Concordia College, Moorhead|
|Crown College (Minnesota)|
|Gustavus Adolphus College|
|Martin Luther College|
|North Central University|
|Saint John’s University (Minnesota)|
|Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota|
|St. Catherine University|
|St. Olaf College|
|The College of St. Scholastica|
|University of Minnesota, Morris|
|University of Northwestern–St. Paul|
|University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)|
|MISSOURI||Fontbonne University||NCAA D3|
|Washington University in St. Louis|
|Westminster College (Missouri)|
|MISSISSIPPI||Belhaven University||NCAA D3|
|Mississippi University for Women|
|NORTH CAROLINA||Brevard College||NCAA D3|
|North Carolina Wesleyan College|
|Salem College (North Carolina)|
|Warren Wilson College|
|William Peace University|
|NEBRASKA||Nebraska Wesleyan University||NCAA D3|
|NEW HAMPSHIRE||Colby-Sawyer College||NCAA D3|
|Keene State College|
|New England College|
|Plymouth State University|
|NEW JERSEY||Centenary College (New Jersey)||NCAA D3|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University, Florham|
|Montclair State University|
|New Jersey City University|
|Rutgers, State Univ. of New Jersey, Camden|
|Rutgers, The State Univ. of New Jersey, Newark|
|Saint Elizabeth University|
|Stevens Institute of Technology|
|The College of New Jersey|
|William Paterson University of New Jersey|
|NEW YORK||Alfred State College||NCAA D3|
|Buffalo State, State University of New York|
|College of Mount Saint Vincent|
|College of Staten Island|
|Farmingdale State College|
|John Jay College of Criminal Justice|
|Medgar Evers College|
|Morrisville State College|
|Mount Saint Mary College (New York)|
|New York University|
|Plattsburgh State University of New York|
|Purchase College, State University of New York|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)|
|Rochester Institute of Technology|
|Russell Sage College|
|Sarah Lawrence College|
|St. John Fisher College|
|St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn)|
|St. Joseph’s College (Long Island)|
|St. Lawrence University|
|State University College at Old Westbury|
|State University of New York at Brockport|
|State University of New York at Canton|
|State University of New York at Cobleskill|
|State University of New York at Cortland|
|State University of New York at Delhi|
|State University of New York at Geneseo|
|State University of New York at New Paltz|
|State University of New York at Oneonta|
|State University of New York at Oswego|
|State University of New York at Potsdam|
|State University of New York Maritime College|
|State University of New York Polytechnic Institute|
|The City College of New York|
|The State University of New York at Fredonia|
|U.S. Merchant Marine Academy|
|Union College (New York)|
|University of Rochester|
|York College (New York)|
|OHIO||Baldwin Wallace University||NCAA D3|
|Case Western Reserve University|
|Franciscan University of Steubenville|
|John Carroll University|
|Mount St. Joseph University|
|Ohio Northern University|
|Ohio Wesleyan University|
|The College of Wooster|
|University of Mount Union|
|Wilmington College (Ohio)|
|OREGON||George Fox University||NCAA D3|
|Lewis & Clark College|
|Pacific University (Oregon)|
|PENNSYLVANIA||Albright College||NCAA D3|
|Bryn Athyn College|
|Bryn Mawr College|
|Carnegie Mellon University|
|Cedar Crest College|
|Clarks Summit University|
|Delaware Valley University|
|Franklin & Marshall College|
|Grove City College|
|Gwynedd Mercy University|
|King’s College (Pennsylvania)|
|La Roche College|
|Lancaster Bible College|
|Lebanon Valley College|
|Mount Aloysius College|
|Penn State Berks College|
|Penn State Harrisburg|
|Penn State University, Abington|
|Penn State University, Altoona|
|Pennsylvania College of Technology|
|Pennsylvania State University, Erie|
|Saint Vincent College|
|University of Pittsburgh, Bradford|
|University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg|
|University of Scranton|
|University of Valley Forge|
|Washington and Jefferson College|
|Westminster College (Pennsylvania)|
|York College (Pennsylvania)|
|RHODE ISLAND||Johnson & Wales University (Providence)||NCAA D3|
|Rhode Island College|
|Roger Williams University|
|Salve Regina University|
|SOUTH CAROLINA||Bob Jones University||NCAA D3|
|TENNESSEE||Maryville College (Tennessee)||NCAA D3|
|University of the South|
|TEXAS||Austin College||NCAA D3|
|Concordia University Texas|
|East Texas Baptist University|
|Howard Payne University|
|Southwestern University (Texas)|
|Sul Ross State University|
|Texas Lutheran University|
|Trinity University (Texas)|
|University of Dallas|
|University of Mary Hardin-Baylor|
|University of St. Thomas (Texas)|
|University of Texas at Dallas|
|VIRGINIA||Averett University||NCAA D3|
|Bridgewater College (Virginia)|
|Christopher Newport University|
|Eastern Mennonite University|
|Emory and Henry College|
|Mary Baldwin University|
|Marymount University (Virginia)|
|Southern Virginia University|
|Sweet Briar College|
|University of Lynchburg|
|University of Mary Washington|
|Virginia Wesleyan College|
|Washington and Lee University|
|VERMONT||Castleton University||NCAA D3|
|Northern Vermont University-Johnson|
|Northern Vermont University-Lyndon|
|WASHINGTON||Pacific Lutheran University||NCAA D3|
|University of Puget Sound|
|WISCONSIN||Alverno College||NCAA D3|
|Carroll University (Wisconsin)|
|Concordia University Wisconsin|
|Maranatha Baptist University|
|Marian University (Wisconsin)|
|Milwaukee School of Engineering|
|Mount Mary University|
|St. Norbert College|
|University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire|
|University of Wisconsin–La Crosse|
|University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh|
|University of Wisconsin–Platteville|
|University of Wisconsin–River Falls|
|University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point|
|University of Wisconsin–Stout|
|University of Wisconsin–Superior|
|University of Wisconsin–Whitewater|
|Wisconsin Lutheran College|
|WEST VIRGINIA||Bethany College (West Virginia)||NCAA D3|
The Ten Best D3 Academic Schools Based on Affordability
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #10:
- Tuition: $7,717
- Enrollment: 15,314
The first most affordable Division III school on our list is the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. UW – Oshkosh is a Division 3 college with its main campus in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And there are additional campuses in Fond du Lac and Fox Cities. Established in 1871 as the Oshkosh State Normal School, it was the first such school in America to have a kindergarten. Upon merging into the University of Wisconsin System in 1971, it became the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.
The main campus in Oshkosh is 166 acres of a city setting, while the Fond du Lac campus is smaller. Over 250 majors, minors, and emphases are offered at the university. UW – Oshkosh has an acceptance rate of 79% and a student-teacher ratio of 23:1.
The Titans are UW – Oshkosh’s athletic team name. The Titans have won numerous NCAA division III championships across the 19-sport athletic programs. The University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Financial aid opportunities are available at UW-Oshkosh through the school’s financial aid office.
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #9:
New York, New York
- Tuition: $7,470
- Enrollment: 15,766
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice (John Jay College) is an affordable public D3 college in New York City. As the name suggests, the school is dedicated to criminal justice. It is a senior member of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. And it was the first liberal arts college in the U.S. with criminal justice and forensic focus. The institution was founded in 1964 as The College of Police Science (COPS) of the City University of New York. It is named after the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Jay.
The campus fits within a single city block in its 625,000-square-foot building. The university offers 35 majors, including bachelor’s, master’s, and two doctoral degree programs. John Jay has an acceptance rate of 37% and a student-teacher ratio of 19:1.
The school’s sports teams play as the Bloodhounds in 12 different athletics. They are members of the City University of New York Athletic Conference. And they are part of the NCAA Division III. John Jay College of Criminal Justice is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Financial aid opportunities are available at John Jay through the school’s financial aid department.
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #8:
New York, New York
- Tuition: $7,462
- Enrollment: 19,740
Baruch College (officially the Bernard M. Baruch College) is a Division 3 college located in the Manhattan area of New York City. It is a constituent and senior college of the City University of New York system. Founded in 1919 as The Free Academy, it was the first free public higher education institution in the United States.
The campus sits in Gramercy Park and occupies three acres of inner-city land. The college offers bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs, with the most popular major being business administration. Baruch has an acceptance rate of 41% and a student-teacher ratio of 20:1.
The school’s athletic teams, referred to as the Bearcats, are members of the City University of New York Athletic Conference. And they compete in Division III of the NCAA. Baruch College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Financial aid opportunities are available at Baruch College through the school’s financial aid services department.
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #7:
Brooklyn, New York
- Tuition: $7,440
- Enrollment: 17,735
Brooklyn College is an inexpensive D3 college located in Brooklyn, New York. The college is part of the City University of New York system. A founding member of the City College of New York, it became the first coeducational liberal arts college in New York City in 1930. This came about by combining the Brooklyn branches of Hunter College and City College.
The 26-acre campus houses five schools and the Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center. The center is a vital resource for the NYC waterways. The university offers 82 undergraduate and 74 graduate programs and 17 advanced certificates and diplomas. Brooklyn College has an acceptance rate of 50% and a student-teacher ratio of 17:1.
The Brooklyn College Bulldogs are members of the City University of New York Athletic Conference, an NCAA division. Brooklyn College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Financial aid opportunities are available at Brooklyn College through the school’s financial aid department.
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #6:
Bronx, New York
- Tuition: $7,410
- Enrollment: 15,091
Lehman College is a public, coeducational liberal arts Division 3 college located in the Bronx area of New York City. It is a senior college within the City University of New York system. The school was founded as Hunter College in 1931 and became an independent college within CUNY in 1967. It is one of the best academic D3 schools on our list.
The 37-acre campus is home to Collegiate Gothic and modern architecture and is located near the Jerome Park Reservoir. The university offers more than 40 master’s degree programs and over 50 major choices.
Lehman College has an acceptance rate of 47% and a student-teacher ratio of 17:1. The school’s athletic teams, the Lightning Bugs, participate as a member of the NCAA Division III. And they are members of the City University of New York Athletic Conference. Lehman College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Financial aid opportunities are available at Lehman College through the school’s financial aid department.
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #5:
New York, New York
- Tuition: $7,382
- Enrollment: 24,052
Hunter College is an affordable D3 public university located in New York City that also administers the Hunter College High School and the Hunter College Elementary School. Founded in 1870 as the Female Normal and High School, it is now a constituent college of the City University of New York system.
The inner-city campus is a modern complex of three towers housing four schools. The university offers 75 graduate programs and 70 BA/BS programs. It also provides 10 BA/MA joint degree programs. Hunter College has an acceptance rate of 40% and a student-teacher ratio of 15:1.
The school’s sports teams, the Hawks, are members of the NCAA. And they compete at the Division III level. They play in the City University of New York Athletic Conference. Hunter College is a DIII school accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Financial aid opportunities are available at Hunter College through the school’s financial aid office.
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #4:
Jamaica, New York
- Tuition: $7,358
- Enrollment: 7,784
York College is a public senior Division 3 college located in Queens in Jamaica, New York City. It is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Founded in 1966, it was the first college established under the City University of New York system. The 50-acre campus is home to the CUNY Aviation Institute and the Northeast Regional Office and Laboratory of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The university is organized into three schools that offer BA and BS degrees in over 44 programs. York College has an acceptance rate of 70% and a student-teacher ratio of 19:1.
The Cardinals’ athletic teams compete as NCAA Division III members of the City University of New York Athletic Conference. York is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a member of the Association of Colleges & Universities of the State of New York. Financial aid opportunities are available at York College through the school’s financial aid office.
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #3:
New York, New York
- Tuition: $7,352
- Enrollment: 5,237
Medgar Evers College is the third most affordable D3 school on our list. This public college is located in New York City and is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Established in 1970, the institution was named after the African American civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers. The inner-city campus is comprised of four buildings divided into four schools.
The university offers 28 unique undergraduate degrees within 25 majors within 15 distinct fields of study. Additionally, the school offers several courses and certificate programs through its continuing education component. They are offered through the School of Professional and Community Development. Medgar Evers College has an acceptance rate of 78% and a student-teacher ratio of 20:1.
The school’s athletic teams, the Cougars, participate as members of the NCAA Division III and are part of the City University of New York Athletic Conference. Medgar Evers College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #2:
New York, New York
- Tuition: $7,340
- Enrollment: 15,227
The City College of New York (CCNY) is the second most affordable Division 3 college on this list. It is located in Manhattan in New York City. And it is the oldest institution in the City University of New York system. It is also the CUNY flagship university. CCNY is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity”. With its founding in 1847, it was the first free public institution of higher education in the United States. It had the first evening program with a degree-granting capability also. Additionally, it was the first national fraternity to admit members regardless of religion, race, or color.
The 35-acre campus was designed by renowned architect George B. Post. And several of the buildings have been designated landmarks. The university’s five schools offer more than 1,750 programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees. CCNY has an acceptance rate of 51% and a student-teacher ratio of 15:1.
The school’s athletic department fields 14 varsity sports. The Beavers are members of the NCAA Division III. CCNY is an NCAA D3 school accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Financial aid opportunities are available at CCNY through the school’s financial aid office.
NCAA D3 AFFORDABLE SCHOOL #1:
Alfred, New York
- Tuition: $7,070
- Enrollment: 3,667
Alfred State College is a DIII school and public college located in Alfred, New York. It is the most affordable Division III college on our list. It is a member of the Rochester Area Colleges consortium. And it is part of the State University of New York system. Founded in 1836, it is among the earliest 19th-century colleges to enroll African American and Native American students. And it is the second oldest coeducational college in the nation.
The 150-acre campus includes a motorsports facility and an organic farm. 74 undergraduate degrees are offered at the university, divided into 53 majors within 21 broad fields. SUNY Alfred has an acceptance rate of 72% and a student-teacher ratio of 17:1.
The school’s athletic teams, known as the Pioneers, are members of the Division III level of the NCAA and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Alfred State College is an NCAA D3 college accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Financial aid opportunities are available at SUNY Alfred through the school’s financial aid office.