Dear EISF Sophomore,
The time to start thinking about your future in college swimming is NOW. It is important that you start educating yourself about various colleges of interest and thinking about what you want your college experience to look like. If you would like it to include swimming, there are choices to be made about how you set yourself for the type of experience you wish to have. For instance, if you want to swim for the University of Minnesota (or any other Division 1 school), you need to know what it will take to make the team in each event, and what would put you in a potential scholarship situation.
If you want to swim for Truman State (or any other Division 2 school) you need to find out what it would take to make the team, how well they are funded and what sort of academic support is offered (Division 1 has a giant support system for athletes, division 2 schools are more limited). If you want to swim for Grinnell (or any other Division 3 school), you need to look at the type of program offered and what the program expectations are as some are happy to have swimmers that were simply varsity high school swimmers and some are operating at a low Division 1 level.
These questions barely scratch the surface of the college question, though. The goal of this handbook, a condensed version of The American College Connection Handbook written by Director of Swimming Rick Paine, is to help you and your parents get started in the search to find the right collegiate fit academically, socially, demographically as well as athletically. I hope this will help you ask great questions about both yourself and your colleges of interest as well as help sell yourself as a great candidate for their school and team. Each year, the process and preparation begins earlier and earlier, so the sooner you and your parents become wise to the process, the better you will set yourself up for success. If you would like support, the American College Connection has a wealth of resources and can guide you through the entire process. Go to www.accrecruits.com and sign up for a free Profile Assessment. Congratulations on beginning your journey to college swimming!