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swimming and diving

The following section is dedicated to athletes that are looking to earn swimming and diving scholarships in the United States. 


U.S college swimming continues to be one of the most popular sports among young athletes. This is because many of the world’s best swimmers went through the college system. Elite swimmers such as Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin are some examples of successful swimmers who partook in collegiate swimming in America. Representing your University at national events is a great achievement for any athlete.


College swimming is an attractive opportunity for many international student-athletes. Swimming programs in the U.S are tailored to the physical and psychological needs of each athlete. Understandably, competition for places is very high, which is why SportUSA offer a real advantage. We encourage our clients to pursue a studying career at a college in the United States as this allows the athlete to combine education and sport. Although it is no secret that this won’t be the case for everybody, the ones that succeed will not only enjoy an incredible opportunity but continue on an upward trajectory within their swimming career. Additionally, our team of professionals will provide you with the best advice and guidance in helping you to find the right university, which in turn will bring you a once in a lifetime experience. 

The idea is to complete the four-year college education and from there progress towards becoming a professional. Here, at SportUSA what we are trying to do is to create that pathway together. 

Primarily, coaches look at three factors. The first one is time. How fast is the athlete in conference and NCAA events? What can the athlete add to the level of the team in terms of points- the more points an athlete can bring the more of an asset is for the team. Moreover, the number of events an athlete is able to swim will also be important. The second one is potentially a benefit for up-and-coming swimmers, as it’s estimating how much an athlete is going to improve and drop time with consistent training. Swimming full time allows athletes to improve progressively. The third one is the culture of a team. Is a swimmer going to improve the culture of a team? What aspect is the swimmer going to bring to the team, is it impressive times, good to grades to bring the team’s overall GPA up, a motivator, good recruiter? The best possible advice is to be a great teammate.

Lastly, in order to be considered by the top universities in the United States, athletes should compete at the most prestigious national tournaments at a younger age. This will show coaches that they are ready to compete in the U.S.

In terms of the scholarship itself, for female athletes the opportunity is even more attractive. The gender equity law requires for every university to spend the exact amount for men as for women, and as a result there are a maximum of 14 scholarships available per women’s team in Division one, compared to 9.9 in the men’s team (view table). 

Men’s Swimming

Number of colleges

Number of scholarships

NCAA Division I

136

9.9

NCAA Division II

77

8.1

 

Women’s Swimming

Number of colleges

Number of scholarships

NCAA Division I

199

14

NCAA Division II

106

8.1

Athletes who are granted a swimming and diving scholarship are expected to practice daily, sometimes more than once a day. Training sessions would be pretty much like a professional athlete and would consist of strength and conditioning practices as well as swimming and diving training. U.S universities have the best facilities in the world with Olympic pools and the last technology available to each athlete. Typically, many athletes from outside the US struggle to adapt to the physical demand of the competition, which is why SportUSA have a variety of nutritional programs, ITF support and training events that will help athletes to reach their potential. By following our personalized programs, international athletes will quickly adjust to the competition and gain an edge over other swimmers and divers. 



Sport USA can not only help find a university which will suit your individual requirements, but can also help you improve your tennis and grades before you go. We can assist with strength and conditioning programs, SAT tutoring, ITF tournament support and training weeks, all delivered by some of our elite partners from around the world.

Fill in our free assessment online and we will have one of our experts get in touch to discuss the possible opportunities. We only take a limited number of students each year, so if you are considering taking the next steps, start now!

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