If you are a woman wanting to pursue the sport at the collegiate level, the advantage is in your favour when it comes to being offered college rowing scholarships. A major reason for this is the fact women’s rowing is a sanctioned NCAA sport. This allows talented female rowers the opportunity to pursue a university degree with financial support, whilst competing at the highest levels on the water.
Women’s rowing is an NCAA equivalency sport which means US universities with rowing programs are permitted to offer scholarships. The ‘equivalency’ distinction allows schools to offer scholarships which tally up to the equivalent amount of 20 ‘full’ scholarships. This means a college may offer you anywhere from a full scholarship to any size ‘partial’ scholarship amount.
There are a variety of partial scholarship offerings. For instance, you may be awarded half-tuition. Or, you may receive an offer paying for your room and meals. Or, the offer may be an allotment to pay for your books and lab fees.
Not all scholarship-eligible universities will offer athletic scholarships. The Ivy League schools such as Yale, Harvard and Princeton, choose not to offer athletic grants-in-aid. Like NCAA Division 3 schools, though, these schools will offer other forms of financial aid.
While the erg is not the only measure of a rower, it is used by many coaches to get an idea of an athlete’s capabilities. Many coaches recruit based on academic history combined with the athletic potential of the applicant. Rowers need to have stamina, good balance and timing, and lots of strength. Unlike other college sports, you don’t need any experience to join a rowing team in college. As long as you are willing to put in the hard work and the time, you can be part of a team as a novice.
Opportunities to earn college rowing scholarships are available for you. If you are a woman, there are many more such opportunities. There are approximately 90 NCAA Division 1 colleges and universities with rowing programs and many of them have women’s rowing scholarship monies available. Schools such as Ohio State, the University of Michigan, Stanford University and San Diego State provide women’s rowing scholarships (including full grants-in-aid) as a method of satisfying Title IX requirements.
The bulk of the universities and colleges which fund rowing programs are NCAA D1 institutions, with D3 schools more than doubling D2 rowing programs. Of the 88 D1 colleges, only 35 of them support a men’s rowing team. All 88 schools have women’s rowing programs. Similarly, only six of the D2 and 27 of the D3 colleges have men’s rowing programs.
Did you know 85 percent of collegiate rowers were members of either a high school or club rowing team? The remaining participants come from varied high school athletic backgrounds. It’s also important to realize the time commitment necessary to participate as a collegiate rower. It’s almost like a full-time job while attending college. Rowers can look to spend 28 hours per week in training and team-related activities in addition to an average 46 hours per week earmarked for academics.