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Athletic swim scholarships

L's dadL's dad Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
I am a Canadian doing some research on behalf of my son who would like to swim for a Div one University. He has his sights set on somewhere hot which is not an option in Canada.... The trouble being that as a Canadian we need to foot the entire bill so it is not an option unless he can get some type of scholarship help. Academically he is a mid ninety percent A student on a science track and although he has not yet done his SAT's he is booked to take them in May. Apparently they can be retaken as often as necessary and he is studying and planning to sit them more than once to get his results as high as possible.
He has only been swimming and training competitively for two years and he just turned 16, but he posts times that put him tenth at U of Florida and third at U of Hawaii for his best swim.(he is a distance swimmer but does well at anything freestyle.) He is extremely hard working and motivated and we do not need to push him, so we will do all we can to facilitate his goals.
I am trying to get a sense of what if anything he may be offered if a school had an interest. I understand that full rides are out, but I also am told that even partial scholarships are rare for a new recruit as there is too much risk of them crashing out and wasting the investment. So I am hoping someone may be able to fill me in a bit on how the whole scholarship thing works, and whether we should steer him back toward a more affordable Canadian University.
Thanks for the help

Replies to: Athletic swim scholarships

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,579 Senior Member
    Swimming scholarships can be split among many students, and because the teams are large usually the scholarships are just a fraction of the a full scholarship. The bigger and more competitive the team, the smaller the scholarship.

    Your son would also be eligible for merit money at schools that offer it and that allow international students to have some of that merit, and if his grades are high enough, he can accept both athletic and merit money.

    UF might not give him enough money but every other D1 and D2 school in Florida has a swim team. He wants D1 but D2 might give him a better combination of merit and athletic aid. He'll get more money if he is 'top dog' at a school than if he is number 3 or number 10 on the depth chart.

  • fleishmo6fleishmo6 Registered User Posts: 564 Member
    As mentioned there are few fully funded Men’s Swim programs, so the idea of getting a large amount of swim money is very difficult. I believe the number per team is like 9.9 scholarships to be divided up amongst the top swimmers. Being tenth on the depth chart you would most likely not get offered anything.
    Like @twoinanddone said look st some D2 programs but also if he is really an academic standout some top D3 programs give Financial aid that can be pretty substantial as well as merit money.
    Go on collegeswimming.com
    See where he fits in each school swim wise and email the coaches with his times etc
    Good luck
  • L's dadL's dad Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thank you for the replies. I did not realise that international students were eligible for any funding other than athletic, but a quick search shows that I need to have a look at that as well. I have signed up at College swimming and we quickly got some interest but I am not sure if those are form emails or serious. I did not put much stock in them.
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 Registered User Posts: 1,182 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    Collegeswimming is a good start. Begin making a list of target schools, cast a wide net....where your S's times fit, where they are top of the heap, schools that give merit to internationals, etc. Make a spreadsheet to track it all.

    Also, make sure to fill out the online recruiting questionnaire for men's swimming on each school's athletic site, this is the most direct way to get your son's times in front of the coaching staff. Your S can email coaches stating his interest in the program, no matter what year he is in school. But, coaches can not contact him until his junior year (for DI and DII). Good luck.
  • L's dadL's dad Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    His Junior year being grade 12?
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 Registered User Posts: 1,182 Senior Member
    Junior year is grade 11 in the US, so two more years of high school to go. Sorry, I am not familiar with Canada's terminology.

    Here is NCAA's international site:

    Here is NCAA swimming info:

  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    A couple of things...

    - in the US we start with kindergarten and then 1st grade, second grade, etc, and the final year of HS is 12th grade. It's 13 years but we call the last year 12th. It's a bit confusing, so I want to make sure you have it right. Senior year is 12th, Junior is 11th, Sophomore is 10th, Freshman is 9th.

    - Check out your son's recruiting "score" and ranking on collegeswimming, and compare it to the 2018 or 2019 class. Look for where kids go to college that have similar times to your son. The lower ranked recruits at a school probably did not get a lot of money.

    - As mentioned above, the men's swim team has a maximum of 9.9 scholarships to spread among all of the boys. The bad news is a lot of men's teams are not fully funded so there is actually less than 9.9 scholarships to divide up.

  • L's dadL's dad Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thanks for the great information. I always wondered what a sophomore was!
  • L's dadL's dad Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    So my son will graduate in 2020. But when I plug him into college swimming he is compared to kids that I think are already in College? When I mentioned how he is positioned I refer to the how do I fit feature. They indicate Jr/Sr etc but I think that refers to their college year? So I am comparing him to kids that are quite a bit older. How do I compare to kids of similar age? I am not very familiar with the site and I do not find it very explanatory. Thanks again
  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    On collegeswimming to the right of the search bar is "recruiting". Pick your son's year, state, and "male", and you should be able to see him in the rankings for your state. I then would recommend looking at where similar kids from your state went to college.

    For example, the US state I live in produces a decent amount of talent, but lacks div 1 options. By doing the search above I had a few colleges that recruit my state and kid's with my D's times.
  • fleishmo6fleishmo6 Registered User Posts: 564 Member
    A really good way to see where your son fits in at a specific college is to type said college directly into the search bar at top of the page. Once on that schools page select TIMES, you can then look at each stroke and at every swimmers times from that year. This will give you a good idea of where your swimmer fits.
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 1,480 Senior Member
    Once you go to a college you can also use the "compare" tool (little logo that looks like a grad) and see where your swimmer compares to the current year. You may have to switch the year to 2018-2019 as I think it defaults to last year. There you will also see the year for each of the swimmers per stroke so you'll know if there are many coming graduates. But with all this being said, I wonder if this is only available in the paid version, which is something like $20 and well worth it.
  • planitplanit Registered User Posts: 159 Junior Member
    Will you have a chance to get him to a tapered meet at a SCY pool? Collegeswimming times are all in SCY, and if you're trying to attract attention, it will be easier if coaches don't have to do the conversions. Besides, depending on the swimmer, the conversion charts may either significantly under- or overstate his actual speed.
  • L's dadL's dad Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    He did water polo for a year and all the meets were in the US but his Swim program is strictly Canadian SCM and LCM.
    I appreciate all the help here and I will keep poking around and educating myself.
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