Division I (D1) schools are the typical large universities. These D1 schools all compete in at least 14 sports for both males and females. D1 schools receive the most attention in the media, and are the schools that people are generally more familiar with. The nation’s best athletes usually attend D1 schools. To go to a D1 school, academic requirements include completing 16 courses, and graduating high school (from collegessportscholarships.com).
Senior Lucas Jones will attend the University of Eastern Illinois next year on a basketball scholarship. Although he was considering other options, Jones landed on his decision to attend Eastern Illinois last year.
“I like the town (of Charleston, Illinois) and coaches, and they have a good business school which is what I’m going to major in,” Jones said. “The size is also great, not too big but not too small.”
Jones has been playing on the varsity basketball team since his sophomore year. At first he wasn’t sure if he wanted to play in college, but the decision wasn’t hard for him to make after getting D1 offers.
“I just really love to play, and I can’t picture myself not doing anything so I want to continue to be active and play,” Jones said. “I’m a little nervous because I don’t know what it will be like, and I won’t really know anyone, but I can’t wait to start.”
Last December, senior Kyle Ball committed to play football next year at Kansas State University (K-State). Ball will begin as a greyshirt for the team, meaning that he will not be enrolled at the university or practice with the football team until next January. Next fall semester, Ball will attend Johnson County Community College, and once next spring comes, his full scholarship at K-State will begin. Ball was also considering football programs like the University of Kansas and the Air Force Academy, but K-State stood out to him most.
“I really loved the atmosphere down there,” Ball explained. “And I also like the the values that the team has.”
Ball is currently unsure what he wants to do after K-State football. Although he’s had a passion for the sport since a kid, he’s planning on playing through college and seeing what he wants to do then.
“I see college ball as a way to continue playing the game I love, and I’ll see where that takes me,” Ball said.
Division II (D2) colleges are required to sponsor a minimum of five sports for women and five for men. This has to include two team sports for both women and men. The NCAA sets maximum financial aid awards for every sport that a D2 school can’t exceed. D2 athletics programs are financed through the college budget like other academic departments on campus (From collegesportsscholarships.com).
Last year, with over a year of high school left, senior Corey Knabe committed to play golf at the University of Central Missouri (UCM). After talking with coaches and visiting the school, he knew it was where he wanted to go.
“I’ve been talking to the coach since the spring, and I took a visit down there in the summer and their facilities are really nice,” Corey said. “All the programs down there are great, and they just have an overall great system down there.”
Corey’s older brother Conner, an East graduate, is currently playing golf for K-State, and their dad, Billy Knabe, played golf at Central Missouri from 1985 to 1989. Family traditions have been one of the leading reasons for Corey’s commitment to UCM.
“College golf kind of runs in the family,” Knabe said. “I play with my dad and brother all the time, since I was a little kid. They’ve really influenced me to play in college more than anyone else.”
Billy Knabe noticed Corey’s early commitment to golf, but noticed his passion develop over time.
“I haven’t had to motivate him much at all,” Billy said. “I’ve been playing with him his whole life, but he’s always been able to motivate himself so he can get to the next level.”
Division III (D3) colleges must sponsor a minimum of five sports for women and five for men. D3 schools cannot offer athletic scholarships, and student athletes can’t get any financial aid related to their athletics. Division Three athletics encourages participation by maximizing the number and variety of athletic opportunities that are available to students. (From collegesportsscholarships.com).
Senior Jennifer Young never actually thought she would be a college athlete up until a few months ago. She plays for the East girls’ lacrosse team, and also plays for the KC Blue Lions club team. The Blue Lions recently traveled to St. Louis and Chicago for tournaments. When she got to Chicago, she started to consider playing in college.
“When I went to Chicago, it was a pretty big recruiting tournament called the Midwest Showcase, and we went up to Loyola and played for a weekend in November,” Young said. “I had several coaches, probably eight or nine, emailing me during and after the tournament about filling out a recruit questionnaire and if I was interested in playing.”
From that point, she landed on her decision to play lacrosse at Illinois Tech.
“It stood out to be because it was a technological school so they specialized in engineering and math and sciences, which is what I want to go into,” Young said. “All the other schools were liberal arts schools so it was more of the major of the school that was a deciding factor.”
Next year, Margaret Krause will attend Adrian College in Michigan to play lacrosse. After applying to over 15 schools, she received an acceptance letter from Adrian. Although she never really thought she would go there, her dad convinced her to take a visit up to the city of Adrian, Michigan, just to see what it was like.
“When I first visited it was like 9 degrees below zero and snowing, but there was something about the campus that just made me happy,” Krause said. “It’s gorgeous there. I also love how the teachers knew you well, but weren’t too in your business.”
Krause will get her major in business with a minor in fashion merchandising. Although she didn’t receive any scholarship money from the coaches, she did get student athlete scholarships.