First Things First


Okay… you’ve decided you might want to swim in college, so what should you be doing?

  • Start planning now!
  • Work hard to get the best grades possible.
  • Take classes that match your high school’s List of College Courses
  • Decide which type of school you might want to attend: NCAA, NJCAA, or NAIA.


NCAA Schools

Most colleges are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.  There are over 100 member colleges and universities of varying sizes that have swim programs. Division 1 schools are the largest (think University of Florida and Florida State), Division 2 schools are smaller (think Rollins College), while Division 3 schools are the smallest in student population. To be eligible to swim for an NCAA school, you will need to start the process through the NCAA Eligibility Center.

You can access and print your high school’s List of NCAA Courses at Click the NCAA CollegeBound Student-Athlete link to enter and then navigate to the “Resources” tab and select “U.S. Students” where you will find the link for the List of NCAA Courses.


Some colleges belong to the the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Over 60,000 student athletes play in the NAIA each year. To be eligible, you will need to register with the Eligibility Center here.


Junior colleges are known as two-year schools, whose students graduate and often transfer to 4-year schools. Many junior colleges have outstanding athletic programs that send well-prepared students to Division 1 programs. Click here for more information on junior colleges.

Some swim sites will tell you if you didn’t start this process by eighth grade, you’re already behind the eight ball – do not listen to them! Up to your junior year in high school, you’ve got time, so relax and get started!

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