Do Only Division I Schools Offer Scholarships?
Many people suffer from the misconception that only Division I schools have swimming scholarships to give. The truth is only a little more than half of the Division I programs are full funded (have the full compliment of scholarships- 14 for women and 9.9 for men). Many have just a handful of scholarships to work with and there are quite a few who don’t have any swimming scholarships to work with at all. Many Division II schools are in the same boat.
Although Division III schools don’t offer athletic aid, they have many ways to make school affordable for students. Many of them offer academic, merit and need based aid.
What Determines the Divisions?
There are no distinct levels in college swimming. The divisions are determined by size of the school, number of athletic teams and in many cases, the seating capacity of the football stadium. Unfortunately, swimming has very little to do with it.
How Many Collegiate Swim Programs Are There?
There are approximately 500 four year schools that offer men’s swimming and 600 schools that offer women’s swimming. If you looked at the top 50 to 60 swimming programs in the U.S. nearly 20 of them would be D-II, D-III and a few NAIA teams.
How Fast Do I have To Be?
Only the top 50 to 60 D-I schools are able to fill their teams with Junior National level swimmers or faster. The other 500 plus schools have to focus on swimmers with the potential to develop, so there is a fit for everyone!