There are thousands of scholarships offered in America that fall in to different categories based on the criterion for their award. Some are based on academics, some on financial need, and many others on athletic achievements. If you are looking to apply for swimming scholarships based on your competence in swimming you should have some basic knowledge about how they are awarded and how many of them are available.
Athletic scholarships are regulated by the NCAA in America. The NCAA has ranked swimming as an equivalency sport, which means that the college coaches can divide available scholarships among athletes. There are about 190 colleges for men at division I and division II offering more than 1,800 swimming scholarships, and for women there are about 3,100 scholarships offered by 240 colleges.
Division I institutes normally have 9.9 scholarships for men and 14 scholarships for women, and division II schools have 8.1 scholarships for both men and women. 1 scholarship means a full fee waiver, however as mentioned earlier coaches can divide these scholarships among different athletes.
In addition to the above mentioned scholarships some coaches may arrange a discount in tuition fee for you if you are not able to qualify for NCAA scholarships and the coach still wants you on the college team. Although there is considerable number of swimming scholarships available, the completion for these scholarships is generally very tough. The following factors are generally considered by college coaches while awarding these scholarships.
- The core competence in any swimmer is the ability to increase his or her times every year in college. Your performance in the sports is the most obvious thing coaches are looking for while awarding scholarships. You can present videos of your past performance or use previous achievements in any event as proof of your superior performance.
- The college coaches are also looking for diversity in athletes. If you can swim multiple styles and compete in multiple events you will be preferred over candidates that specialize in one style.
- The main criterion for the award is obviously your performance in swimming but academics are important as well. As an athlete student you are always expected to be at least an above average student together with a good athlete. You will have to show past academic performance to win scholarships.
Thousands of swimmers are competing for these scholarships, so try to elevate yourself from the competition. You can search for all the institutes offering scholarships for swimmers over the internet.