College Water Polo Scholarships

Water polo is not a common program found in college so the competition to find a team and earn a water polo scholarship is fierce. Unless you are one of the top water polo players in the country, you will have a hard time finding a water polo scholarship. Water polo coaches are interested in recruits who fit well and can transition smoothly into the high level of college water polo.

Water Polo Scholarship Basics

There are tens of thousands of high school water polo athletes (approximately 17,000) and only 1,000 college water polo players. That means competition is tight for water polo players who want to find scholarships in college.

The NCAA sanctions a total of 78 men’s teams and 109 women’s teams in Divisions I, II, and III. And each of those teams receives 4.5 (men) and 8 (women) scholarships per team, to be divided among the athletes as the coaches wish.

Many college water polo players were also competitive swimmers in high school; coaches like to see the strength in their swimming and should be provided race times for those events.

Choosing the Right College

Student-athletes have many deciding factors in what they look for in a school. A college should offer them the right balance of not only water polo, but academics, social structure, and positive experiences. Being able to play water polo is just a part of what should help students pick the right school for them. Remember to take your time when looking at schools to ensure that you find the best fit for you, with or without a water polo scholarship.

Water Polo Teams and Swim Teams

College water polo coaches are interested in players who have also participated on high school or club swim teams. This demonstrates to the coach not only that they are dedicated to hard work and staying in good physical shape, but it also gives them a way to measure players against one another. If you are a strong fast swimmer, chances are you can be a strong water polo player. Water polo coaches are more likely to pursue an athlete when they have swim event times to use.

Get Prepared and Be Proactive!

Because college water polo is highly competitive and water polo scholarships are very difficult to earn, it is important for prospective athletes to be organized. This means collecting your water polo stats, video game footage, and swimming times, and your high school grades and test scores, and compile a resume to send to coaches. It’s going to take a lot of work to get recruited for water polo, so be prepared to go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to find a team.


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