The NCAA sponsors 34 men’s Division I and II combined varsity fencing teams, as well as 43 NCAA DI and DII combined women’s fencing teams. Remember, Divisions I and II may offer athletic scholarships to the right athletes. The NCAA scholarship limits for varsity fencing teams break down as follows:
When you divide the number of permissible paid scholarships by number of varsity teams, you realize that there is not a huge abundance of NCAA athletic scholarships for fencing athletes. The ones that are awarded are given only to the very best of the best in their field. Nevertheless, the awards that are in place are given to some deserving student every year, and for a chance that it might be you it is worth applying if you qualify.
Division III schools are typically smaller than the others and consequently you will not find any pure athletic scholarships in this division. You will, however, find some very competitive fencing. Because there are only 77 men’s and women’s NCAA DI and NCAA DII fencing teams you might wonder where the masses of other college-bound fencers play, and Division III will be your answer.
The NCAA lists 15 NCAA DIII schools that offer women’s fencing and 12 that feature men’s fencing. Expect that competition for these teams is hot. Schools in this division may work very hard to find talented fencers who also come with impressive academics or with demonstrated financial need.
Remember, there are plenty of other types of scholarships a college may offer a prospective student athlete. NCAA DIII schools are unique in that they are able to keep their athletics robust and competitive are able to appeal to a wider student audience, so attracting talented athletes is in their best interest.