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There are no extra incentives to push harder, to run faster and completely leave everything on the turf.

What do these athletes play for then? What puts the fuel in their tank?

Balance. Harmony.

And because without field hockey, something is missing.

These student-athletes seek all college has to offer – exploring every facet of their academic path but not willing to sacrifice their high school passion.

"College is a very short period of your life, yet it serves as a catalyst for your future career and helps you gain the tools necessary to succeed in life,” Dickinson College Head Field Hockey Coach Caitlin Williams says. “DIII focuses on athletics as a compliment to the overall academic experience."

These athletes are able to balance a diverse and full schedule – rewarding on and off the field. Many Division III student-athletes are afforded the opportunity to study abroad and become a part of the campus's Greek life. But the list is endless. Athletes are able play multiple sports, take on internships and participate in several clubs on campus. Student-athletes understand the importance of the entire collegiate experience that is being offered to them and work hard to take advantage of all the opportunities offered by the institution.


These opportunities are made possible because of the drastic difference in time commitment in season and out of season. While Division I schools hold a strict spring season schedule during the second semester, Division III schools typically do not have any spring season or a very limited spring season. Comparing several tournaments and roughly two months of practice to a spring schedule plan that may include only one tournament and three to five weeks of practice is a tremendous difference. The fall season can be a similar time commitment for DI and DIII; this often depends on the coach and the program. Generally, the in-season travel for a DIII school can be a lot less than a DI school; there can be fewer overnights on weekends and less class time missed for traveling.

Students are focused on another green item other than the pitch – money. DIII schools do not give out scholarships based on athletic skill. Before players and parents turn a blind eye to these schools, remember this division does give need based financial aid to those who apply and qualify to receive it. In addition, many schools have merit money to give, which is not need-based aid. Merit Scholarships are often awarded to students with high SAT scores, or who excel in certain areas of study such as language or science.

“If you are interested in applying for merit money then ask the admissions counselor at the school you are looking to attend and they can explain the procedures and how you can qualify,” Williams says.

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