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50-50 Highlights: NCAA D2 Colleges

Softball on a field representing D2 CollegesThe NCAA Division 2 is the smallest of the three NCAA Divisions. Division 2 colleges, like Division 1 schools, offer athletic scholarships. However, they do not offer as many scholarships in many sports and are not required to sponsor as many varsity teams as D1 programs. They also tend to offer more partial scholarships. However, since they aren’t required to offer headcount scholarships, you will often find D2 colleges actually sponsor more varsity teams than required.

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The competition at NCAA D2 colleges is generally considered lower than D1 schools. However, unlike D1 teams, D2 teams can offer tryouts to prospective athletes. The two divisions also have different academic requirements. But students in both divisions must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

What Kind of Colleges are D2

Of the 301 NCAA D2 (2018) colleges, 60 qualify as 50-50 colleges, these are US schools where at least 50% of the students graduate and have at least a 50% acceptance rate. This is an increase from the 40 from 2013. Only 18 of the 26 D2 athletic conferences have 50-50 schools and 9 of those have only 2 or fewer. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference had the most with 12, followed by the Northeast 10 Conference with 9, and the Great Lakes Valley Conference and Pacific West Conference with 5 each.

There are 25 pubic D2 50-50 colleges and 35 private ones. Pennsylvania has the most 50-50 D2 Colleges (14), followed by California with 8 and Missouri with 5. They range in size from under 600 full-time undergraduates to over 21,000. You’ll find the lowest average ACT at 20 and the highest at 30. For the SAT, the averages were 580 and 1380 respectively.

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Pay Attention to College Costs

Given that the chances of full-ride scholarships aren’t great, you’ll want to pay attention to test scores for more than just NCAA requirements. Total cost of attendance (out-of-state for public) starts at almost $24,000.  Three of the colleges are over $60,000. This means you need to have a way to make up the difference that isn’t covered by any athletic scholarships. And you should definitely have a plan in place should you stop playing. The higher your test scores, the more likely you are to qualify for merit aid.

The following table lists the D2 50-50 schools by conference as listed by the NCAA. Schools may compete in different conferences depending on the sport. As usual, the four-year graduation rate is used for private schools and the five-year rate is used for public schools. You can get a complete list of colleges in the DIY College Rankings College Search Spreadsheet.

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50-50 NCAA D2 Colleges with Graduation Rates

Name Type State NCAA Conference Full-time Under-grads 4/5 yr Grad Rate Total price for in-state students 2017-18 Total price for out-of-state students 2017-18 % Freshman Receiving Pell Grants (16-17) Avg Net Price After Gift Aid (2016-2017)
Ouachita Baptist University Private AR Great American Conference 1,499 59 $37,600 $37,600 33 $17,934
Azusa Pacific University Private CA Pacific West Conference 5,047 51 $52,396 $52,396 30 $28,784
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Public CA California Collegiate Athletic Association 21,644 53 $26,057 $37,937 44 $12,634
California State University-Chico Public CA California Collegiate Athletic Association 15,373 60 $24,420 $36,300 44 $14,185
Concordia University-Irvine Private CA Pacific West Conference 1,649 49 $50,180 $50,180 29 $25,094
Dominican University of California Private CA Pacific West Conference 1,133 57 $64,436 $64,436 29 $34,694
Fresno Pacific University Private CA Pacific West Conference 2,355 49 $43,115 $43,115 52 $14,235
Point Loma Nazarene University Private CA Pacific West Conference 2,573 62 $49,844 $49,844 22 $31,349
Sonoma State University Public CA California Collegiate Athletic Association 7,887 56 $26,034 $37,914 33 $16,807
Colorado School of Mines Public CO Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 4,596 73 $33,648 $52,698 11 $25,472
Regis University Private CO Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 2,369 50 $51,202 $51,202 28 $25,615
Eckerd College Private FL Sunshine State Conference 1,915 61 $59,200 $59,200 20 $33,918
Florida Southern College Private FL Sunshine State Conference 2,354 52 $49,900 $49,900 27 $24,888
Rollins College Private FL Sunshine State Conference 2,455 64 $67,775 $67,775 22 $35,522
Georgia College and State University Public GA Peach Belt Conference 5,448 58 $28,120 $46,834 19 $20,055
Bellarmine University Private KY Great Lakes Valley Conference 2,417 53 $59,306 $59,306 34 $24,711
Assumption College Private MA Northeast-10 Conference 1,938 72 $54,594 $54,594 18 $29,024
Merrimack College Private MA Northeast-10 Conference 3,323 68 $57,865 $57,865 20 $33,202
Stonehill College Private MA Northeast-10 Conference 2,473 76 $59,560 $59,560 14 $33,583
Grand Valley State University Public MI Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 19,305 60 $24,244 $29,314 29 $16,175
Michigan Technological University Public MI Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 5,478 61 $29,100 $46,344 21 $17,139
University of Minnesota-Crookston Public MN Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference 1,190 52 $23,866 $23,866 34 $13,962
University of Minnesota-Duluth Public MN Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference 8,904 56 $24,424 $29,542 23 $16,381
Maryville University of Saint Louis Private MO Great Lakes Valley Conference 2,387 57 $46,076 $46,076 27 $30,921
Missouri University of Science and Technology Public MO Great Lakes Valley Conference 6,158 54 $22,012 $38,684 25 $14,133
Rockhurst University Private MO Great Lakes Valley Conference 1,435 62 $51,631 $51,631 22 $23,291
Truman State University Public MO Great Lakes Valley Conference 5,131 70 $21,094 $27,878 22 $12,512
University of Central Missouri Public MO Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association 7,743 49 $19,564 $26,194 39 $12,711
University of Nebraska at Kearney Public NE Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association 4,068 51 $22,586 $28,486 35 $15,909
Saint Anselm College Private NH Northeast-10 Conference 1,925 69 $56,846 $56,846 16 $31,492
Southern New Hampshire University Private NH Northeast-10 Conference 19,785 49 $50,436 $50,436 46 $39,638
Adelphi University Private NY Northeast-10 Conference 4,897 57 $56,358 $56,358 34 $27,925
Le Moyne College Private NY Northeast-10 Conference 2,398 58 $49,995 $49,995 33 $24,146
The College of Saint Rose Private NY Northeast-10 Conference 2,429 49 $47,268 $47,268 46 $22,377
Ashland University Private OH Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 3,369 50 $33,954 $33,954 38 $20,201
Cedarville University Private OH Great Midwest Athletic Conference 3,111 59 $39,194 $39,194 22 $23,520
The University of Findlay Private OH Great Midwest Athletic Conference 2,493 52 $45,575 $45,575 33 $22,430
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 7,893 59 $24,270 $35,750 35 $16,501
California University of Pennsylvania Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 4,557 51 $26,356 $30,842 47 $17,755
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 5,567 55 $22,960 $34,640 43 $15,402
Holy Family University Private PA Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference 1,633 51 $46,850 $46,850 43 $15,723
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 9,540 51 $27,309 $32,461 44 $19,247
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 7,040 52 $27,031 $31,019 33 $20,278
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 1,662 50 $28,722 $38,414 47 $19,653
Mercyhurst University Private PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 2,378 60 $51,791 $51,791 29 $19,726
Millersville University of Pennsylvania Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 5,677 58 $28,867 $38,569 26 $19,731
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 5,184 54 $28,200 $36,300 35 $19,448
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 7,152 66 $24,377 $28,365 34 $17,557
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 2,700 51 $28,689 $39,933 30 $19,144
University of the Sciences Private PA Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference 1,251 63 $60,082 $60,082 28 $33,444
West Chester University of Pennsylvania Public PA Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 13,006 67 $26,773 $38,253 24 $19,348
Converse College Private SC Conference Carolinas 863 51 $34,190 $34,190 47 $19,245
Erskine College Private SC Conference Carolinas 569 59 $51,360 $51,360 44 $34,550
Southern Wesleyan University Private SC Conference Carolinas 816 50 $36,860 $36,860 49 $16,008
Augustana University Private SD Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference 1,679 54 $45,458 $45,458 21 $18,937
Union University Private TN Gulf South Conference 1,592 59 $51,790 $51,790 27 $25,162
Saint Edward’s University Private TX Heartland Conference 3,547 52 $58,700 $58,700 39 $25,669
Saint Michael’s College Private VT Northeast-10 Conference 1,774 73 $57,560 $57,560 16 $31,997
Seattle Pacific University Private WA Great Northwest Athletic Conference 2,784 56 $56,485 $56,485 25 $31,078
Western Washington University Public WA Great Northwest Athletic Conference 13,771 65 $23,555 $38,067 22 $16,117
50-50 Highlights: NCAA D2 Colleges

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