“This will all pay off when they are in college on scholarship.”
This saying is common for parents of any athlete. As someone who invests time and money in their kids, this is their rational. While athletic scholarships to college are real, they are not as clear cut as they seem.
As collegiate sports go, swimming has one of the highest percentages of high school athletes continuing on to college. A staggering 7% of high school swimmers will go on to swim in college, with more than 3% of them at a Division 1 school. Though this may not seem staggering, take into account that only about 2-3% of all high school football players will continue on to a college at any level.
So while swimming has such a high amount of participation, the funding provided to the athletes is less so. Currently, the NCAA allows a total of 9.9 men’s swim scholarships and 14 women’s, yet the average swim team is between 22-26 individuals. It is common for this amount to be divided up, with scholarships cut into percentages. One swimmer may have 30% of a scholarship and another may have 10%. Full rides do exist, but they are nowhere near as abundant as pubic opinion of college sports suggest.
Nevertheless, this lack of funding has not deterred NCAA swimming from being the center of American swim culture. Swimmers are a different breed of people. They choose to put in their time, effort and dedication for reasons other than money. For swimmers who choose to go on to be a part of an NCAA program, it is because they love the sport and understand what it takes to get to the next level.
The NCAA provides swimmers with the opportunity to be part of a team consisting of individuals from all states, countries and backgrounds. This diverse group comes together with a common goal and purpose and strives to excel every day. To pursue college swimming goes beyond any monetary value. Athletic scholarships do matter- and are helpful- but at the end of the day, the vast majority of swimmers choose to continue their involvement in the sport simply for the sport itself.
For more college swim facts, check out this link:http://www.scholarshipstats.com/swimming.htm