The Most Competitive College Swimming Scholarships
By Andrew Otis
, last updated December 10, 2011
Searching for the most competitive college swimming scholarships can be a bit daunting. There are literally thousands of them, and every Division I school tends to offer several. Naturally, if you are after a swimming scholarship, you will be looking at Division I schools, as Division III schools do not give out scholarships for athletics. There are also a few Division II schools that you could look into too, although these tend to be fewer in number and less competitive or prestigious. Swimmers very rarely get full rides due to how the NCAA put limitations on the number of scholarships a school may give out. Swimming scholarships outside of universities are nearly unheard of, and you have to be recruited by a team to receive one.
National College Swimming Association (NCSA)
It is important to consider creating a recruiting profile at the NCSA to be considered for swimming scholarships. Creating a profile will increase your chances of standing out and being seen by potential recruiters who might want to send some scholarship money your way.
Make sure that you satisfy some of the basic requirements to be considered for a swimming scholarship. These include competitive swimming times on all of the various strokes and often high school GPA requirements.
Level Field Fund Scholarship
One of the most prestigious college swimming scholarships is one promoted by swimming all star Michael Phelps and sponsored by Speedo. Called the Level Field Fund, it only takes applications from swimmers who have demonstrable financial need. The Level Field Fund specializes in helping athletes to compete as they move up the athletic ladder, entering tournaments and competitions that become more costly and therefore harder to enter for poorer athletes. Grants are awarded to cover travel expenses, training, coaching, equipment and event participation. They are given out if the applicant displays financial need, strong athletic potential, and NCAA amateur eligibility status.
Individual College Scholarships
There are 134 NCAA Division I men’s' swimming teams and 54 men’s' Division II teams. As well, there are 192 NCAA Division I women’s' swimming teams and 73 women’s' Division II teams. There is a whole world of opportunity at these schools for swimming scholarships. Most of these scholarships are given to students that university coaches have scouted at national junior tournaments. Scholarships of note include UC Santa Barbara and Stanford.
University of California-Santa Barbara Men's Swimming Scholarships
The University of California-Santa Barbara Men's Swimming Team offers quite a lot in scholarship grant money. With over 29 swimmers on their team, they have expenses at about $2000 per swimmer, meaning that there is good opportunity for swimmers looking for scholarship money. More athletic information is available on Athletic Scholarships.com.
Stanford Swimming Scholarship
Stanford has one of the nation's most prestigious swimming teams. They have won national swimming contests nine times and offer good scholarships to their prospective students. Some lucky students even get full rides with Stanford's scholarship program. Not only does Stanford have an excellent swimming program, but it also one of the nation's most difficult to get into universities with an admissions rate under 10%. Swimmer Alexandra Gabor is an example of a student who has received a scholarship from Stanford. Her scholarship was 100% full ride, including room and board. Maybe you can be the net Alexandra Gabor.