BATESVILLE, Ark. (February 8, 2022) – Lyon College Scots Athletics will transition to NCAA Division III (D3) for Lyon Scots Athletics in the next four years. This decision is one of many strategic initiatives focused on strengthening Lyon and its mission as a leading Arkansas higher education institution.
Lyon will take the first step in the process of transitioning by applying for an exploratory membership in D3. Once approved, the College will request for an expedited provisional membership to begin in the fall 2022 semester. Pending NCAA approval, the timeline for completion is 2025 or 2026. The College will negotiate a final conference membership in the next year.
While D3 programs are prevented from awarding athletic scholarships, all current student athletes at Lyon College will have their scholarships honored. The students’ athletic aid will be reconfigured with a combination of academic and institutional grants. For students moving forward, their financial aid will be reflected as Lyon grants. In addition, Lyon will retain all current athletic programs.
“I have been pleased with what D3 offers Lyon College and especially our students. The division has a dedication to academics consistent with the Lyon mission, and the transition will allow us to compete with similar selective colleges that have similar academic expectations,” said Lyon College Interim President Melissa Taverner.
NCAA describes Division III as home to more than 440 institutions and 195,000 student-athletes — the most in any division — who can earn the opportunity to compete in 28 national championships. The Division III philosophy ensures athletics are an integral part of a well-rounded college experience. The athletic experience allows students to focus on their academic programs and the ultimate goal of earning a degree. The four-year journey is designed to complement time spent in and outside of the classroom. While D3 does not permit athletics scholarships, roughly 80 percent of D3 student athletes receive some form of academic grants or need-based scholarships.
“This transition creates exciting new opportunities for our student athletes,” said Kevin Jenkins, director of athletics for Lyon College. “I look forward to working with our coaches, players and alumni in preparing our athletic programs for this new playing field.”
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