Swimming in the US College System

Swimming is very competitive within the US College system. Swimming is globally significant which means college coaches have an extensive database of athletes. Swimming is an equivalency sport meaning the college coach will not offer full scholarships but spread the amount allocated between athletes as they wish.

Number of scholarships allocated in Swimming:

Men’s
Division 1: 9.9
Division 2: 8.1
Division 3: 0
NJCAA: 15
NAIA: 8

Women’s
Division 1: 14
Division 2: 8.1
Division 3: 0
NJCAA: 15
NAIA: 8

College Coach requirements:

Swimming is measured by time, and college coaches use well-known swimming meets to gauge how well an athlete has done.

Here are ballpark meet times based on different divisions in the college system:

Female Swimmers:

50 Free
NCAA Division 1: <25.0
NCAA Division 2: <26.5
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <28.0

500 Free
NCAA Division 1: <5:06
NCAA Division 2: <5:18
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <5:32

100 Back
NCAA Division 1: <1:00
NCAA Division 2: <1:02
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <1.06

100 Breast
NCAA Division 1: <1:12
NCAA Division 2: <1:15
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <1:17

100 Fly
NCAA Division 1: <59.0
NCAA Division 2: <1:02
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <1:07

200IM
NCAA Division 1: <2:10
NCAA Division 2: <2:16
NCAA Division 3: <2:24

Male Swimmers:

50 Free
NCAA Division 1: <22.0
NCAA Division 2: <23.5
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <24.0

500 Free
NCAA Division 1: <4:45
NCAA Division 2: <5:00
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <5:05

100 Back
NCAA Division 1: <55.0
NCAA Division 2: <57.0
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <59.0

100 Breast
NCAA Division 1: <1:01
NCAA Division 2: <1:04
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <1:06

100 Fly
NCAA Division 1: <54.0
NCAA Division 2: <57.0
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <59.0

200IM
NCAA Division 1: <2:01
NCAA Division 2: <2:05
NCAA Division 3/NAIA: <2:08

Why the college system?

Swimming in the US college system is a great way to keep in the sport during your college years! It is also a great way to earn yourself a scholarship while competing in different parts of the US! The alternative is taking out a student loan in your home country and swimming now and then. So why not take an open opportunity and see how good you can get within the college system?

Can I get a full ride?

Swimming is an equivalency sport meaning the college coach will not offer full scholarships but spread the awards between athletes as they wish. However, if you have high SAT scores and a good Grade Point Average, depending on the college you good earn yourself a substantial academic scholarship that will reduce your costs on top of your athletic scholarships! Remember, if you have a flourishing athletic CV and have broken records at well-known swimming meets, a college coach will be crazy not to give you a good scholarship. So the bottom line is to make yourself recruitable athletically and academically, and you will be surprised what you can get!