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Colleges With Swimming Teams & 4 Tips For How Swimmers Can Get Recruited

  • Getting recruited to colleges with swimming is not easy. College swimming recruiting is a very competitive process. The level of competition is just as high, if not higher, than other sports in the NCAA. Roughly 330,000 student-athletes compete in high school swimming, yet only 25,000 of them will go on to swim in college. The two tables below show some of the statistics associated with college swimming.

    college swimming

    swimming colleges

    Swimming in College

    Swimming is a great sport to get recruited to in college. There are many college swimming programs, so be sure to research which one is the best for you. You can also network with coaches and other athletes in your area to find out about college swimming opportunities. And don’t forget to keep your skills up by participating in swim meets and swimming training camps! Below are some figures relating to the number of colleges with swimming, broken down by division.

    List of Colleges With Swimming

    Men’s Swimming Colleges – There are roughly 490 college swimming programs in the United States and these are broken down as shown below:

    143 NCAA D1 Swimming Colleges
    58 NCAA D2 Swimming Colleges
    200 NCAA D3 Swimming Colleges
    22 NAIA Swimming Colleges
    67 Junior Colleges Swimming Colleges

    Women’s Swimming Colleges – There are 627 colleges, universities and junior colleges supporting women’s swimming programs throughout the United States. Here Is the divisional breakdown:

    200 NCAA D1 Swimming Colleges
    77 NCAA D2 Swimming Colleges
    242 NCAA D3 Swimming Colleges
    31 NAIA Swimming Colleges
    77 Junior Colleges Swimming Colleges

    Colleges With Swimming: Comparisons Between Divisions.

    The various NCAA Divisions for swimming colleges differ in terms of how many scholarships they offer and what they prioritize when recruiting for swimming. Below is a brief outline of the differences between colleges with swimming in different NCAA divisions.

    Division 1 schools offer scholarships for both swimming and academics. Each swimming college is limited to awarding 9.9 men’s swimming scholarships and 14 women’s swimming scholarships.

    Division II schools are also able to offer both swimming and academic scholarships but are limited to 8.1 swimming scholarships for men and 8.1 swimming scholarships for women.

    Division III is the largest division which primarily focuses on academics, rather than swimming or athletics in general. While Division III schools do not offer swimming scholarships directly, 75% of Division III student-athletes receive some form of merit or need-based financial aid in order to help offset the cost of attending the swimming college.

    How to Get Recruited To Swim In College

    Swimmers can get recruited to swim in college by doing the following:

    1. Focus on Fit

    Properly evaluating swimming colleges as you navigate the college swimming recruiting process is extremely important and can have long term implications on your college experience and outcome. Just so you know, the 4-year graduation rate in the US is approximately 40%. This means that you are more likely to add additional years to your degree (or drop out of college) than to graduate in 4 years.

    In fact, about 39% of students transfer to another college or drop out altogether after freshman year. What is the reason for these statistics? Why is the transfer rate so high and the 4-year graduation rate so low?

    The answer is generally that many swimmers are making the decision to attend colleges that are not a good fit for them. This is usually the result of a flawed college swimming college evaluation process that does not consider the correct factors when determining which swimming colleges to attend, or in other words, which swimming colleges are a best fit.

    You should evaluate NCAA swimming colleges based on all of the important athletic, academic, social, geographical and financial factors. For more information, click here.

    Here is a great tool to help you find your best fit swimming college: search and filter tool.

    2. Creating a strong online presence.

    Swim teams look for swimmers who have a strong online presence. Ideally, you will want an online swimming resume that highlights all of your swimming achievements and information, as well as your academic and contact information. Athlete Match allows you to create a fantastic online swimming resume that can then be sent to college coaches using the Athlete Match system.

    3. Participating in organized swimming events.

    If you are able to participate in organized swimming events, such as state championships or regional meets, your skills will be showcased to the colleges with swimming programs that are likely to be in attendance. These swimming college coaches will have the opportunity to assess your capabilities. This is also a great way to make friends and network with other swim players.

    4. Attending college swim camps.

    Swimming camps are a great way for junior and high school swimmer to improve their skills and meet other collegiate athletes. Swimmers should research which colleges have swim camps available before enrolling in order to maximize their chances of being recruited by the colleges with swimming that they are interested in!

    College Swimming Rankings

    Here’s a look at some of the best swimming programs in the country.

    Top 5 Men’s D1 Swimming Programs

    1. Stanford University

    2. Harvard University

    3. Princeton University

    4. Yale University

    5. University of California

    Top 5 Women’s D1 Swimming Programs

    1. Stanford University

    2. Harvard University

    3. University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

    4. Princeton University

    5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Top 5 Men’s D2 Swimming Programs

    1. University of California – San Diego

    2. Colorado School of Mines

    3. Bentley University

    4. Rollins College

    5. Grand Valley State University

    Top 5 Women’s D2 Swimming Programs

    1. University of California – San Diego

    2. Bentley University

    3. Truman State University

    4. Colorado School of Mines

    5. Rollins College

    Top 5 Men’s D3 Swimming Programs

    1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    2. California Institute of Technology

    3. Johns Hopkins University

    4. Amherst College

    5. Swarthmore College

    Top 5 Women’s D3 Swimming Programs

    1. Johns Hopkins University

    2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    3. Emory University

    4. Amherst College

    5. California Institute of Technology

    Athlete Match & Swimming

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