Ask the college admissions experts Lynn Lillian & Sharon Davis: Can I Play Sports in College?

Can I Play Sports in College?

| 11 Apr 2024 | 11:44

The short answer is YES!! Most colleges offer varsity sports, club sports, and intramural sports. The goal for each student-athlete is to find the skill level and time commitment that matches you.

Colleges that offer athletic scholarships fall under NCAA Division I, II, or The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) schools. The 190,000 NCAA Division III student athletes receive no athletic scholarship money. While fewer than 2% of high school athletes are offered athletic scholarships, knowing the process and the time commitment can inform a high school athlete’s decision to pursue a competitive sport in college.

Compared to high school, college athletics are more intense. Teams are deep with talent and demand a great deal of time and commitment. According to the NCAA, Division I athletes spend 34 hours of their time on athletic training each week, whereas Division III athletes spend 17.5 hours of their time on athletic training each week. Knowing these time commitments help students know which pathway makes sense for them.

Serious high school athletes often discover Club sports in college, which allows them to continue playing in a competitive environment. Club sports differ from the less competitive intramural sports offered at most colleges. Club teams hold try-outs, compete against other college teams, and often compete in national championships. Club sports are funded and managed by students, allowing more autonomy and less stress and pressure. Purdue is an example of a college with a robust club sports program. For example, in past years their Women’s Club Volleyball team competed in tournaments at Ball State, Miami of Ohio, Marquette University, and University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. While the Purdue Division I Women’s Varsity Volleyball team roster comprises the best players from across the nation, their club teams offer a program for students with competitive high school volleyball experience to continue to compete.

Sports are one valuable way for high school students to transition to college. Investing time researching what a student values and wants from their college years is vital. To eliminate the risk of attending a school that does not offer a good fit for a student requires an investment in a robust college research process. The Independent Educational Consultants at College Mode Consulting can help you find that fit. Go to or call 845-704-1650 to schedule a free consultation.

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Lynn Lillian & Sharon Davis