NCAA Division 1 AA

What does Division 1 AA mean?

Division 1 AA is the conference made up of schools with football programs who compete in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). These teams are known as Division 1 AA and the schools within division one who compete in Division 1 A are classified into the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). This conference is only associated with football programs, no other Division 1 sports have an "A" or "AA" classification. There are strict requirements that justify whether a school can participate in the FBS or FCS. FBS programs are usually major football programs and dominate a school's budget. There are also different regulations that FBS must abide to, attendance (must average over 15,000 fans), schedule (60% against other FBS schools), and they must offer athletic scholarships. Another major distinction is that Division 1 AA uses a classic tournament style championship for postseason play, while Division 1 A schools compete in determining bowl games with only the four best teams in the country entering a playoff. The FCS currently has a 24 team bracket tournament and the winner is deciding in the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship. The 2018 Champion was North Dakota State and they look to defend their title against James Madison on Jan. 11, 2020.

How many Division 1 AA college football teams are there?

In the 2019 season there were 126 different football teams competing within the Division 1 AA (FCS). These schools are spread out across the United States and split up across 14 different divisions:

  • Big Sky
  • Big South
  • Colonial Athletic Association
  • Independants
  • Ivy League
  • Mid Eastern Atlantic
  • Missouri Valley
  • Northeast
  • Ohio Valley
  • Patriot League
  • Pioneer League
  • Southern
  • Southland
  • Southwestern Atlantic (East & West Conferences)

All leagues allow athletic scholarships except for the Ivy and Pioneer leagues. Some Notable Division 1 AA schools are:

  • North Dakota State Bison
  • James Madison University Dukes
  • Holy Cross Crusaders
  • Villanova University Wildcats
  • University of Albany Great Danes
  • University of Northern Iowa Panthers
  • Elon University Phoenix
  • Harvard University Crimson

What makes a college d1?

NCAA Division 1 is the highest level of athletic competition at the collegiate level. There are many different requirements schools must comply with including:

  • Offer at least 14 different varsity sports, (seven for men and seven for women, or 6 for men and 8 for women)
  • Offer two team sports for both mens and womens programs
  • Have fan attendance regulations for football and basketball
  • Provide athletic scholarships (Division 2 uses partial method, Division 3 does not offer athletic scholarships)
  • Students must maintain GPA minimums and a minimum number of courses taken

As of 2018 there were over 350 schools classified as Division 1 athletics. These are major athletics programs and can be responsible for bringing in millions in revenue for the institution. There were 231 schools with available data that generated a total of $9.15 billion in revenue in 2018 alone.

Is Ivy League a Division 1 football?

The Ivy League is Division 1 football and part of the FCS or NCAA Division 1 Football Championship conference. Within the conference, the Ivy League has its own division. Since Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships they are not allowed to compete in the FBS, but do still offer other non-athletic scholarships. There are currently 8 members of the Ivy League:

  • Brown University Bears
  • Columbia University Lions
  • Cornell University Big Red
  • Dartmouth University Big Green
  • Harvard University Crimson
  • University of Pennsylvania Quakers
  • Princeton University Tigers
  • Yale University Bulldogs

The Ivy League has a long outstanding reputation for academics and chooses not to allocate the majority of their financial resources to a football program like FBS schools do.