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Men's Swimming

Swimmers Jumping

Swimming Scholarships

Swimming scholarships to the US are hard sought after. Athletes across the globe see the US as a stepping stone to going professional or even representing their respective countries at the Olympics. 


In NCAA Divisions I and II, men’s swimming scholarships are part of the category the NCAA calls the equivalency sport. The total allotment of scholarships may be divided in a number of ways among those on the men’s swimming team as long as the total number of awards doesn’t go beyond the NCAA’s scholarship limit. The budget can be spread out across a number of athletes, this is at the discretion of the coaches. NAIA swimming scholarships may also be divided in this way among team members. Junior college members of the NJCAA also have a men’s swimming scholarship process.


Division I Swimming

  • Total Men's Swimming Teams: 143

  • Maximum scholarships per team: 9.9


Even though D1 men’s swimming divides scholarships among athletes in various ways, there are still some world-class swimmers who will be given a full scholarship each year. This means many strong swimmers are fighting for limited opportunities at the D1 level.

There is a lot of variance from one D1 programme to another and finding a scholarship opportunity is about finding the school where your times are competitive with the current swimmers.


Obviously, the faster you can swim, the better the opportunity for a scholarship award. GPA and ACT scores are very important here, too. College scholarships are sometimes won or lost, not because of a few tenths of a second in the pool but because recruiters want a swimmer who will be able to carry the dual workload of successfully attending classes and swim practices

Swimming Pool

Division II Swimming

  • Total Men's Swimming Teams: 58

  • Maximum scholarships per team: 8.1

Like D1, those pursuing D2 men’s swimming rosters face a lot of competition for their scholarship award.


Interestingly, almost 16 percent of D2 swimmers are international athletes. This is twice the number of international swimmers at the D1 level and has a direct effect on the way schools distribute scholarship monies. While recruiters are a bit more lenient in what they are looking for in the area of swim times, it is still a highly competitive pace. Some D2 swimmers have the capability to compete with their D1 counterparts but have chosen the D2 route due to a greater scholarship award offered or other aspects of the particular school, like campus like and academics

Division III Swimming

  • Total Men's Swimming Teams: 200

  • Maximum scholarships per team: N/A

There are about the same amount of D3 men’s swimming programmes as D1 and D2 combined.


Swim times are still important for college recruiters and so are educational marks.


The higher your GPA and ACT/SAT scores, more opportunities in the college swim recruiting process may be awarded with academic-related monies to cut overall educational costs, since swimming scholarships are not available at this level


NAIA Swimming

  • Total Men's Swimming Teams: 22

  • Maximum scholarships per team: 8

Just like D1 and D2 men’s swimming, NAIA schools can divide scholarship funds as they see fit, as long as the total doesn’t exceed the NAIA allotment.


The average roster size for NAIA teams is 11 swimmers. The qualifying swim times for recruits are similar to D3, but the educational requirements (GPA, ACT/SAT) are less restrictive

Junior College Swimming Scholarships

  • Total Men's Swimming Teams: 67

  • Maximum scholarships per team: 15

Do not discount the junior college route as an entry point to men’s college swimming. A great number of college swim recruits for NJCAA and CCCAA schools receive full scholarships.


If your grades are not meeting the requirements of D1 or D2 level schools, but your swim times would be comparable, this may be the proper choice to make. Depending on your swim success, you could transfer to a NCAA or NAIA university


Contact Us


Jake Dykes

Ben Spelman

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