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Athletics - Headcount, Equivalency, and D3 athletic programs - What are the differences?

Updated: Mar 14, 2022


A sport that generates revenue for a University is considered a headcount sport, and most student-athletes receive full scholarships.

  • Men's Athletics - D1 Football (10 conferences), Basketball

  • Women's Athletics - Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, and Gymnastics

The remaining D1 and D2 sports are titled equivalency sports. As an equivalency sport, coaches have fewer scholarships to dole out than members on the roster. Even in these sports, the odds of playing Division 1 college athletics is over 50:1.

Let's look at D3 programs instead, as these programs do not offer athletic scholarships but can still pay off for students.

Love sports but not sure you want to commit the time required? Check out club sports instead.

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