For a Breakdown of What to Do year by year of High School: Getting into College 101 (click here)
Planning to Swim in College?
This information is intended to help NJW swimmers prepare for college level swimming.
The NJW Head Coach and other coaches can work closely and assist any NJW high school age swimmer during the college decision-making process, recruiting, and scholarship opportunities. All you have to do is let the coach know of your interest in college swimming.
First, High School swimmers must register with the NCAA by the end of Junior year, or they will be ineligible for Div. I or II university recruitment. All university coaches will first ask if you have registered. If not, they cannot talk with you.
There is often a misconception in the college search process that if you are not actively recruited or have not been offered a scholarship you must not be a good enough swimmer to swim in college. That view is completely false. The fact is that most colleges just do not have the finances available to offer every good swimmer a scholarship. Another fact is that most colleges do not find out a student-athlete is interested in their program until that student has made "First Contact."
Many families assume that colleges are going to call them first. The reality is that most collegiate swimming programs do not have the manpower to search for athletes. Most coaches rely on meet results from large meets such as Sectionals or High School State, prospective student questionnaires (usually available on a college swim teams website), and through professional recruiters (not sports agents) to whom a student-athlete pays a fee to have them send information to schools about them. There are also some websites available through which a student-athlete can also make information about them self available to college coaches.
With the scholarship limits that are imposed by the NCAA, most college coaches are going to be looking at a student’s academic ability. The vast majority of swimming student athletes receive financial aid through academic related scholarships, grants and student loans, not through athletic scholarships.
National Letter of Intent: The National Letter of Intent is administered by the Collegiate Commissioners Association (not the NCAA). When you sign the National Letter of Intent you agree to attend the institution with which you signed for one academic year in exchange for the institution awarding financial aid, including athletics aid, for one academic year.
FAQ Regarding "National Letter of Intent"
Athletic Scholarship: An athletic scholarship is a one-year contract between you and a Division I or Division II institution. Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships. A school can reduce or cancel a scholarship if you become ineligible for competition, fraudulently misrepresent yourself, quit the team or engage in serious misconduct. During the contract year, a coach cannot reduce or cancel your scholarship on the basis of your athletic ability, performance, or injury. An institution may choose to not renew a scholarship at the end of the academic term provided they notify you in writing and provide you an opportunity for a hearing.
Remember a coach cannot offer you a "four year full-ride scholarship." They do not exist. Each student athlete award is reviewed annually. It is important to ask current collegiate swimmers if they are still on scholarship. Parents, it is not uncommon for some college programs to offer and renew an athletic scholarship for the first 2-3 years of college and then ask the student to pay full tuition for the remainder of their college career.
Helpful Articles and Information
College Planning Resources
General College, Scholarship, and Financial Aid Information
· College MatchMaker
· FinAid! - Financial Aid, College Scholarships and Student Loans
· Savingforcollege.com - Funding College and 529 Plans
· CollegeApps.com - Get In To The College of Your Choice
· FastWeb - Scholarships, Financial Aid and Colleges
· Student Scholarship Search
· Degree Directory - Colleges, Universities, Career Schools and Online Degree Programs
· Vault Education Center
· National Association of Higher Education Loan Programs
· CampusTours - Virtual College Tours
· National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
· US Department of Education
· FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid
ACT, SAT, PSAT National Merit Scholar Testing
· College Board - SAT Registration, College Admissions, Scholarships
· ACT - Student Site for ACT Test
Achievement Testing Study and Preparation Links
· ACT - Student Site for ACT Test
· 4Tests - Free Online Practice Exams
· Number2 - Free Online Test Prep
· Barron’s Test Prep
· Kaplan Test Prep
· Test Prep Review
· Princeton Review
· How to Study - Study Skills/
· Guide to Finding the College That Fits
· How I Did on the SAT
· Who Needs Harvard?
· Pre-Pay Your Way to College
· Free Tuition for Smart Kids
College Search Sites
· Colleges of Distinction
· My College Guide
· XAP Student Center