Student-athletes looking for a unique college experience could find their dream school at a Division 3 college. Much like D2 swimmers, these athletes have more downtime and a less demanding athletic schedule. Those who want to pursue hobbies in the arts or join clubs on campus can do so at D3 swimming colleges. The lack of athletic scholarships does not mean there is no money available to help student-athletes offset costs. Grants and financial aid are available to student-athletes with good academics, as well as leadership skills.
Also, the recruiting process is less regulated for Division 3, so recruits and coaches can communicate with each other earlier – giving swimmers at this level more time to be actively engaged in recruiting. A lengthy communication process with a coach, as well as a few unofficial visits, can give a feel for the energy of the team and the campus life.
Division 3 women’s swimming boasts 242 programs to choose from. This is the largest number of programs in any division, so there are a multitude of choices for perspective recruits. Athletic scholarships are not available at this level, but there are other opportunities to help reduce the financial strain of college. Academic, along with other merit-based scholarships, are available. Financial aid is another a great way help pay for school.
Below are the NCSA power rankings for the 10 ten best Division 3 women’s swimming colleges.
NCSA’s list of best colleges incorporates factors that are not included in NCAA rankings. The average cost of tuition after financial aid is one example. This is especially important for D3, where athletic scholarships are not available but other types of financial aid are. NCSA creates these rankings to give a student-athlete a more holistic idea of the type of college experience different schools offer.