College Information                                               NCAA Eligibility Center

Recruiting Seminar PowerPoint presentation

USA Swimming College Swimming 101(great resource)

Getting Started

Sample College Letter

2015-16 Recruiting Schedule

Official vs. Unofficial Visits

NCAA 2014-15 Guide to the College-Bound Student-Athlete



by Ben Davis, Wildcat Aquatic Club



                  There are 4 levels of swimming in college.  The N.C.A.A. has three (Division I, II, III) and then there is the    N.A.I.A.  There is only one level of N.A.I.A. for swimming.  Examples of each are:


                  NCAA I                       SEC schools, Stanford, Michigan, ACC, Big 10                                         Scholarships

                  NCAA I-mid major      Western Kentucky, Navy, Gardner Webb,  UNC Wilmington                      Scholarships

                  NCAA II                      Tampa, Oakland, Mich., Cal State Bakersfield                                           Scholarships

                  NCAA III                     Centre, MIT, Kenyon, Birmingham Southern                                              No Scholarships

                  NAIA                           U of Cumberlands, Berea, Delta St.                                                           Scholarships



         This is vague is some respects.  There are schools that have many degrees and those Liberal Arts schools that are generally smaller population wise.  Colleges come in all shapes and sizes.  You will have to do your research on this.  Things you need to think about.


Number and Types of degrees (Pharmacy programs for example Nebraska vs. South Carolina)

Do you know what you want to study or not? 

Class Size:  How many students per Professor

Scholarship money available- a billion a year in aid-find it!!

Location of school:  Hot, cold, north, south, etc.

Size of school:  Ohio State has 48,000 undergrads, Centre has 1100

Size of Campus:  Minnesota vs. Alabama


N.C.A.A.  (The big monster)

                  Lets start with the Clearing House.  You must be cleared by the Clearing House before you visit a school.  The Clearing House is an independent group that makes sure you are qualified under NCAA rules to participate in college.  It does not qualify you to get accepted into a school.   The rules in the NCAA are interesting to say the least.  Check with the schools that you are interested in if you have questions. 



                 Where do you want to fit in on a Team?  Do you want to be the big fish, the small fish, or in the middle

                  What level of swimming do you want?  NAIA is easiest to qualify for their Nationals, NCAA I is the hardest

                  What type of Team do you want?  Men’s only, Women’s only, or together

                  What type of coach are you looking for?  Male, Female, loud, laid back, etc

                  Are there swimmers already at the school that you like or don’t like



The first rule is, if after the first day of college, something happens and you can never swim again, ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR CHOICE OF SCHOOL?  If you are not, you’re at the wrong school. 

Do your research and make a list of schools by March of your Junior year in High School.  Do not wait until the summer before your Senior year to start.

Send letters to the schools you are interested in and send them to the Head Coach.  Then fill out the questionnaire on line and send it or download it, fill it out and mail it.  This gives the team to chances to see your name.  Plus they will probably make you send the questionnaire anyway.  

I will help you in any way I can.  I will not do the leg work for you.  I will answer any questions and make any phone calls or send emails once you have tried and tried again.


What is the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit?

Courtesy of

Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are unofficial visits.

During an official visit the college can pay for transportation to and from the college for the prospect, lodging and three meals per day for both the prospect and the parent or guardian, as well as reasonable entertainment expenses including three tickets to a home sports event.

The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an unofficial visit are three tickets to a home sports event.