The NCAA includes three divisions of college sports. Division I and Division II colleges and universities, mostly large public institutions, offer athletic scholarships. Division III schools, primarily small colleges, do not provide financial assistance to student athletes.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), includes smaller public and private colleges and universities. The NAIA holds less stringent academic and athletic standards than the NCAA, offering students increased opportunities to play sports but with less exposure and financial support.
Students who play junior college sports participate in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Schools in the NJCAA, two-year community colleges, provide moderate amounts of funding to student athletes.
In addition to athletic scholarships through schools in the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA, student athletes may qualify for additional scholarships and funds through the associations themselves. The NCAA offers awards to student athletes pursuing a graduate degree or completing their undergraduate degree after exhausting all other athletic funding. The NCAA also provides support to Division I schools through its Accelerated Student Access Program to help student athletes succeed academically.