Just discovered on D3sports.com, (but it was announced a few weeks ago) that there will be 3 new schools going through the exploratory phase of reclassifying to D3 this year. http://d3sports.com/notables/2017/02/th ... to-join-d3
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
State University of New York-Delhi
Johnson & Wales-Denver (Colorado)
Mississippi University for Women
SUNY-Delhi is a juco (NJCAA) that's adding four year degrees. Johnson & Wales-Denver is transitioning from the NAIA. MUW is a state-run college that turned co-ed way back in 1982, but never bothered to change its name. It was a part of NCAA D2 but dropped athletics due to budget issues about 15 years ago. MUW will be starting its athletic program from scratch this fall.
The article also mentions 3 other schools that are continuing their transitions to D3.
Brevard College (North Carolina)
Pfeiffer College (North Carolina)
Dean College (Massachusetts)
Brevard and Pfeiffer are both dropping from NCAA D2. Dean College is another juco that is adding 4 year programs.
As for where these schools will end up, Brevard and Pfeiffer will both join the USA South Athletic Conference this fall. J&W Denver has been invited to join the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Dean College is located in the greater Boston area, and there are plenty of D3 conferences that have members in New England. SUNY Delhi seems to be a natural fit for the SUNYAC, and there are other conferences in the northeast if that doesn't work out.
MUW looks to be a real outlier, as there are only 2 other D3 schools in Mississippi. Rust College is a D3 independent. Belhaven College is in the American Southwest Conference, but 10 of the ASC's 13 members are located far to the west in Texas. To the east is the USA South, a monstrously huge conference that has will have 19 members, from Alabama to Virginia, this fall. Neither one of these conferences are really in need of members now. Would they take a chance on a school starting its athletic teams from scratch anyhow, with all the bugs, problems, and issues that usually happen with a brand new program?