D2 Schools in Florida: Which is Best for You?

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What’s Covered:

 

NCAA Division 2 boasts teams from 45 states, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington D.C. Three teams from Puerto Rico also play in the NCAA as well as one team from Canada (Simon Fraser University, the NCAA’s only international member institution). In total, D2 comprises 310 college athletic programs, 13 of which are located in the sunshine state. Looking to avoid the winter while pursuing sports competitively as a D2 athlete? Keep reading to learn about the D2 schools in Florida. 

What is the NCAA Division 2?

 

Division 2 is one of three divisions of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a member-led organization focused on college athletics. The three divisions guarantee fairness and competitiveness for participating institutions by ensuring that schools within each division have athletes of similar ability levels and follow standards scholarships and admissions. 

 

Division 2 schools are typically mid-sized—the average enrollment of a D2 school is 2,428 students, though it ranges from schools with undergraduate populations of more than 25,000 to those with fewer than 2,500. D2 student-athletes are eligible for partial scholarships and most fund their college education through a combination of athletic scholarships, academic aid, need-based grants, and/or employment earnings.

D2 Colleges in Florida

 

Florida’s D2 schools range in terms of size and acceptance rate. Here’s the landscape at a high level:

 

School Name

City

Acceptance Rate

Barry University

Miami

91%

Eckerd College

St. Petersburg

68%

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Daytona Beach

65%

Flagler College

St. Augustine

57%

Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne

65%

Florida Southern College

Lakeland

50%

Lynn University

Boca Raton

70%

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale

79%

Palm Beach Atlantic University

West Palm Beach

95%

Rollins College

Winter Park

67%

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo

60%

University of Tampa

Tampa

47%

University of West Florida

Pensacola

42%

 

Barry University 

 

Location: Miami, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 91%

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,400

 

Originally founded as a women’s college by a pair of Adrian Dominican Sisters, today Barry University is coeducational, but still remains faithful to the Catholic intellectual tradition—integrating study, reflection, and action into intellectual life. The school is liberal arts-focused and emphasizes graduating well-rounded students prepared to affect positive change in the global community. 

 

Barry University plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 12 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s tennis

 

  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s rowing
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s volleyball

 

Eckerd College

 

Location: Saint Petersburg, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 68%

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,000

 

Founded in 1958, Eckerd College has developed an excellent academic reputation in its little over 60 years. The school is notable for its small class sizes and accessible faculty with a passion for teaching. At Eckerd, every student is paired with a faculty mentor. Of course, you can’t talk about Eckerd without mentioning its waterfront campus and white sand beach.  

 

Eckerd College plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 14 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s sailing
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s tennis
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s beach volleyball 
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s sailing 
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s volleyball

 

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

 

Location: Daytona Beach, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Undergrad Enrollment: 5,900

 

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest and oldest aviation-focused university. The school is home to both the nation’s first (and only) undergraduate Space Physics program and undergraduate Aerospace Physiology program. The university also has 99 instructional aircrafts split between its Daytona Beach and Prescott, Arizona campuses and is a Federal Aviation Administration-approved school. 

 

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University plays in the Sunshine State Conference and, along with coed cheerleading, fields 19 men’s and women’s varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s rowing
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s tennis
  • Men’s track and field
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s cross country
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s lacrosse
  • Women’s rowing
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s track and field 
  • Women’s volleyball

 

Flagler College

 

Location: Saint Augustine, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 57%

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,600

 

Founded just over 50 years ago in 1968, Flagler College is a liberal arts school steeped in history. Saint Augustine, home of Flagler College, has the distinction of being the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States, and the college’s Ponce de Leon Hall (formerly Hotel Ponce de Leon) is listed as a National Historic Landmark and now serves as a residence hall for freshmen women.  

 

Flagler College plays in the Peach Belt Conference and fields 18 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s tennis
  • Men’s track and field
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s cheerleading
  • Women’s cross country
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s lacrosse 
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s track and field 
  • Women’s volleyball

 

Florida Institute of Technology

 

Location: Melbourne, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,600

 

Known simply as Florida Tech, the school was founded by a physicist at Cape Canaveral (now NASA’s Kennedy Space Center) as a night school for the early “missilemen” of the U.S. space program. The school continues to honor its out-of-this-world roots and attracts students with an interest in science and technology—about half of the student body enrolls in the school’s College of Engineering and Science. 

 

Florida Institute of Technology plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 18 men’s and women’s varsity teams, along with coed cheerleading:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country
  • Men’s distance track
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s rowing
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s swimming 
  • Men’s track and field
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s cross country 
  • Women’s distance track
  • Women’s lacrosse 
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s swimming
  • Women’s volleyball

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Florida Southern College

 

Location: Lakeland, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,700

 

The sun (almost) always shines on Florida Southern College, with its hometown of Lakeland averaging 330 sunny days a year. Founded in 1883 as the South Florida Institute, Florida Southern College has the distinction of being the oldest private college in the state. The school is also notable for having the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world—its Historic District is designated a National Historic Landmark. 

 

Florida Southern College plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 22 varsity teams:


  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s swimming
  • Men’s tennis
  • Men’s track
  • Men’s water ski
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s beach volleyball 
  • Women’s cross country 
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s lacrosse 
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s swimming 
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s track 
  • Women’s volleyball
  • Women’s water ski

 

Lynn University

Location: Boca Raton, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 70%

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,200

 

Lynn University is known for its innovative approach to learning. The university’s iPad-powered learning program provides each student with a brand new iPad, which increases a student’s connectivity with classmates and professors, improves engagement, and reduces the expense of textbooks by up to 90%. Motivated students can further cut the cost of college with the school’s accelerated degree program which allows them to graduate in three years rather than four. 

 

Lynn University plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 19 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s swimming
  • Men’s track (distance)
  • Men’s tennis
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s cross country 
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s lacrosse 
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s swimming 
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s track (distance)
  • Women’s volleyball

 

Nova Southeastern University

 

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 79%

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,900

 

With programs spanning a wide variety of fields from accounting to theatre, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is renowned for research—in fact, it’s classified as a university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and has the nation’s only Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystem Research, a $50 million facility with a $15 million recurring federal grant. NSU is also one of just 50 universities that have received Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification.

 

Nova Southern University plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 16 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country 
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s swimming 
  • Men’s track and field 
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s cross country 
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s swimming 
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s track and field 
  • Women’s volleyball

 

Palm Beach Atlantic University

 

Location: West Palm Beach, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,800

 

Christian values play a central role in Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) life, with students required to attend a minimum of 24 chapel services throughout the year. PBA students are also expected to give back to their community, completing a minimum of 45 hours of service every year. To date, PBA students have performed an impressive 3.5 million hours of volunteer service. 

 

Palm Beach Atlantic University plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 18 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country 
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s tennis
  • Men’s track 
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s beach volleyball
  • Women’s cross country 
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s lacrosse 
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s track 
  • Women’s volleyball

 

Rollins College

 

Location: Winter Park, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 67%

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,500

 

Officially the oldest institution of higher education in Florida, Rollins was founded in 1885. The school is rooted in liberal arts and provides students with future-proof skills including problem-solving, critical thinking, collaborative spirit, and clear communication. The school’s stunning lakeside campus must be seen to be believed, consisting of historic buildings, an abundance of pathways, and an on-campus pool. 

 

Rollins College plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 21 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s rowing 
  • Men’s sailing
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s swimming 
  • Men’s tennis
  • Men’s water ski
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s lacrosse 
  • Women’s rowing
  • Women’s sailing
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s swimming
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s volleyball
  • Women’s water ski 

 

Saint Leo University

 

Location: Saint Leo, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,600

 

Founded in 1889, Saint Leo University is the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in Florida. The school remains rooted in the Catholic faith, the spirit of its Benedictine founders, and the four essential characteristics of a Catholic University: Christian inspiration, faith reflection, fidelity to the Christian message, and service to church and humanity.

 

Saint Leo University cultivates an ethnically diverse group of undergraduates, with over 40% of students coming from underrepresented populations.

 

Saint Leo University plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 21 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country 
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s swimming 
  • Men’s tennis
  • Men’s track 
  • Women’s acrobatics and tumbling 
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s beach volleyball
  • Women’s cross country 
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s lacrosse 
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s swimming
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s track
  • Women’s volleyball 

 

University of Tampa


Location: Tampa, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 49%

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,400

 

The University of Tampa is known for providing students with experiential learning—the school boasts more than 40 different experiential programs, including research and internship opportunities, study abroad, and service. In fact, service plays an essential role on campus; between students and faculty, the university has volunteered more than 300,000 service hours to 300 community organizations.   

 

The University of Tampa plays in the Sunshine State Conference and fields 20 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country 
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s swimming 
  • Men’s track 
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s beach volleyball
  • Women’s cross country 
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s lacrosse 
  • Women’s rowing
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s swimming
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s track
  • Women’s volleyball 

 

University of West Florida

 

Location: Pensacola, FL 

Acceptance Rate: 42%

Undergrad Enrollment: 9,700

 

A public university, the University of West Florida (UWF) offers qualifying students from neighboring Alabama a special tuition rate that is less than half of out-of-state tuition. The female-leaning UWF student population—61% of the student body is female—is a spirited community of learners and big thinkers who benefit from personal attention, small class sizes, and an engaged faculty. 

 

The University of West Florida plays in the Gulf South Conference and fields 15 varsity teams:

 

  • Men’s baseball
  • Men’s basketball
  • Men’s cross country 
  • Men’s football
  • Men’s golf
  • Men’s soccer
  • Men’s tennis
  • Women’s basketball
  • Women’s cross country 
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s softball
  • Women’s swimming and diving 
  • Women’s tennis
  • Women’s volleyball 

 

Wondering if you have what it takes to get into one of these Division 2 schools in Florida? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing engine combines quantitative data, such as grades and test scores, with qualitative factors like extracurricular activities (such as athletics) and honors to estimate your odds of acceptance. It will also highlight areas for improvement to better your chances of earning admission. 

 

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Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.

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