Every student who peruses a sports scholarship in America asks the same question: Which is the best association?

The NCAA (The National Collegiate Athletic Association), the NAIA (The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) are associations that have several main differences.

No one association is better than the next.

The needs of the individual student athlete  determines which association will be most suitable.


The NCAA is the oldest association formed in 1906; it is the largest association typically representing bigger colleges and universities. NCAA universities are categorized into three divisions: D1, D2, and D3.

Division 1: These schools are generally the larger universities; for both men’s and women’s athletics they compete in a minimum of 14 sports. These universities attract the top athletes both domestically and internationally. Many universities have world-class facilities, and obtain the most media attention.

Division 2: These schools are smaller than Division 1 institutions students often finance their education with a mixture of athletic and academic scholarships. Many Division 2 universities do offer stand out athletics programs to rival many Division 1 programs.

Division 3: These Universities or the smallest of the NCAA tree. Division 3 Schools do not offer athletic scholarships, only academic scholarships. Division three schools are not a common option for accomplished athletes.


The NAIA was founded in 1937. It is a smaller organization than the NCAA and is comprised with smaller universities than the NCAA. The NAIA is made up of two divisions, similarly decreasing in size and stature in the lower division. The size and stature of NAIA universities cam be comparable of NCAA Division 2 schools.


The NJCAA was founded in 1938. It is an association for Community Colleges and junior colleges. NJCAA colleges are 2-year colleges and comprised of three divisions. You cannot obtain a bachelors degree at these institutions you can work towards them via other courses. Many athletes complete two years at NJCAA institutions and transfer to a four year institution to complete the athletic career and studies. Going down the NJCAA route can often lead to transferring to an elite NCAA program as you have the competitive platform to shine and prove your talent.

There are equally talented student athletes in NCAA, NAIA and the NJCAA. Universities in every tier can offer exceptional opportunities in both education and athletic achievement. We are here to help you make the right decision.