If you’re a high school swimmer who wants to continue the sport at the collegiate level, you will face stiff competition for both a spot on the roster and a potential swimming scholarship. At SPIRE, we believe that the swimming recruiting process at the collegiate level is all about identifying the right school for you—athletically, academically, socially and financially. We have created this information to inform, educate, and support student athletes and their parents you during the recruiting process.
Swimming Scholarships—Understanding the Basics
If you’ve got your eye on a men’s or women’s swimming scholarship at the college level, starting with a basic understanding of terms with help you move forward and focus your time and energy where it makes the most sense for you.
College sports are classified as either head count or equivalency. Swimming at NCAA Division I and II schools is classified as an equivalency sport. This means that:
Division I coaches can divide their total allotment of swimming scholarships (14) in a variety of ways among the student athletes on their roster. At the NCAA Division I level, very few if any student-athletes receive full-ride swimming scholarships.
Division II swim team coaches can also divide their total allotment of swimming scholarships (8.1) in a variety of ways among their student athletes.
Division III level swim teams do not offer swimming scholarships. However, other forms of financial aid, including academic grants, can help you defray your overall college costs. If you have demonstrated leadership skills in high school, there are grants and other scholarships available to you at the college level as long as you maintain a certain minimum GPA.
NAIA schools also follow equivalency sport guidelines. NAIA programs have up to 8 scholarships.