College Swimming


This information is intended to help Redtail swimmers prepare for college level swimming. 
Redtails Head Coach and other coaches can work closely and assist any Redtail high school 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, HS 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. One such web sight is  This sight lets you create a free profile about yourself and your swimming career and also offers you access to lots of information about all the different colleges.  College coaches can view your information and contact you and you can send "first contact" to them to let them know you are interested.

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.

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

*      What Coaches Want: Traits most coaches look for in a swimmer.
*      The Big Trip. Tips for taking official visits to colleges
*      Narrowing the List: Going from many potential colleges to just a few.
*      Planning Your College Visit: Questions to ask the coaches and current athletes
*      Marketing Yourself: How to standout from the competition.
*      Tips for Choosing the Right College: Finding the right fit for you.
*      A Coaches Perspective: An interview with the Head Coach of American University 
College Planning Resources
*      First Contact Recruiting- free for swimmers!  Div I, II, and III. National college recruiting database. 
                                                       Get your info out to hundreds of college coaches at all levels.
*      Be
*      Swimming World Magazine "College Recruit rankings" (swimmers - join to get on the rankings list)
*      College Student Free - Division III Schools
*      College Recruiting (swimmers - add your name to the college recruiting database for free!)
GeneralCollege, Scholarship, and Financial Aid Information
*      GoCollege
ACT, SAT, PSAT National Merit Scholar Testing
Achievement Testing Study and Preparation Links
*      Kaplan Test Prep
*      Test Prep Review
*      Princeton Review
Miscellaneous Information
CollegeSearch Sites
A great thank you to, New Wave Swim Team,Dayton Raiders Swim Team,USA-Swimming, NCAA, Missouri Valley Swimming, King Aquatics, Club Wolverine, Cincinnati Marlins Swim Team and Rocky Mountain Thunder Swim Team for helping Longmont Swim Club with compiling such a great list of resources