Swimming in College
There are 142 Division 1 and 50 Division 2 colleges that offer swimming scholarships to Men. There are 185 Division 1 and 64 Division 2 colleges that offer scholarships to women. That’s a total of 1,810.8 swimming and diving scholarships for men in the NCAA alone. For women the total number in the NCAA is 3,108.4.
Swimmers who are capable of competing and contributing in several events and strokes are sought after more than one or two event specialists. Versatility is the key in the NCAA dual meet format where athletes can swim in numerous events and relays. Versatility is highly prized by smaller teams that struggle to fill lanes during dual meets. Larger teams are able to be more selective and recruit more stroke specialists.
Many good young swimmers are overlooked each year because they didn’t submit their swimming scholarship resume to the "right" colleges or left out vital information. It’s also a fact that many colleges simply don’t allocate all of their swimming recruiting funds because "suitable" athletes didn’t approach them.
The NCAA allows each Division 1 swimming program 9.9 scholarships for men and 14 for women. In Division 2 the ratio is 8.1 scholarships for men and 8.1 for women.
As a high school swimmer you should be aware that the standard of swimming at college level is very high. Attend a few meets to gauge the actual intensity of swimming at this level. Remember that only the absolute top swimmers will be approached with offers.
Most swimmers will have to market themselves. You can try to do this yourself or use a recruiting service.