College Water Polo Recruiting - How to Get a Water Polo Scholarship
Water polo is classed as an equivalency sport by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA permits only 4.5 water polo scholarships for men and 8 scholarships for women at Division I and Division II schools. Recruiting is very competitive and there are more scholarships available for women than men because of Title IX. Equivalency means that a coach can “share” the number of scholarships between a larger number of athletes. For example, a coach can recruit two student athletes and decide to split one full scholarship between them. Splitting is at the discretion of the college coach.
How to Get Recruited by College Water Polo Coaches
Your chances of being recruited and landing a full scholarship are small. Only the top 3-4% of high school players are recruited and gain full ride scholarships. There are 21,451 registered high school water polo players and only 1,670 players at college level. However, outside of full scholarships many great opportunities exist to get recruited and earn a partial scholarship or walk-on opportunity. 112 colleges and universities offer water polo financial aid at the varsity level. 36 NCAA Division I colleges and 12 Division II colleges offer water polo scholarships.
19 NCAA Division III universities have varsity water polo programs, but they do not offer athletic scholarships. However, other forms of financial aid may be available. Often times, the best recruiting opportunities are at Division 3 colleges where coaches can put together an enticing recruiting package for you.
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