Rowing Scholarships

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.


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To date, we've sent over 35,000 young men and women to the US. Securing over £300 million in scholarship awards and finding a place for every single qualifying applicant.

Every year, thousands of student-athletes and their families come face-to-face with the difficult challenge of securing a scholarship to an American university. What they often discover is that navigating university options is stressful enough, and adding sports into the mix brings it to a whole new level.

Even for those who do a little recruiting homework, they are often left with more questions, very few simple answers and an uneasy feeling they are somehow falling behind.

At FirstPoint, we understand what you’re going through. Many of us have experienced first-hand what the scholarship recruiting experience is like—as players and as coaches. And that experience, combined with our advanced online technology, expansive college coach network and proven recruiting methods, helps thousands of student-athletes and their families take control of their recruiting experience.

Whether you are a first-year high school student or a national ranked athlete, FirstPoint helps take the stress of uncertainty out of your scholarship journey by putting a plan in place to help you find your best university options in the USA.

HOW TO GET A SPORTS Scholarship

What our Student-Athletes say about us

Jude Swailes
"really helpful and cared"

I asked a few people on who to contact to help me with getting through to a scholar in USA, everyone mentioned First point USA! They were really helpful and cared from the start as I had a zoom meeting, not just caring but were really honest and thorough with what they do. I mainly spoke to Craig at first point... top bloke! He helped me with specific requests on where I wanted to go in America and within a matter of weeks I was where I wanted to be. Would recommend First Point USA to anyone trying to get a scholarship in America.

Jude Swailes

Katie Godden
"there is no comparison"

Have to say very impressed with the help and service we have received. Having had experience of another company who offer same service can honestly say there is no comparison. FirstPoint are genuinely interested in their athletes will walk you through the process and give you the best advise. Gemma is our contact and has been wonderful. Sign up early is best advise so you can understand what exams you should be taking for your best outcome. Playing footage is paramount.Would definitely recommend .

Sandra Godden

Josh Hendry
"I couldn't be happier"

I couldn't be happier with my experience working with Firstpoint USA. Having just graduated from university in South Carolina, I am so grateful for the life changing experience and opportunities that have been available to me as an NCAA DI student athlete. None of which would have been possible without the expertise and knowledge of the staff at Firstpoint USA. Would highly recommend FPUSA to anyone thinking about going to university in the USA

Josh Hendry

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

  • NCAA Division I has 88 colleges offering Scholarships.
  • NCAA Division II has 16 colleges offering Scholarships.
  • NCAA Division III has 41 colleges with athletic scholarships unavailable.
  • NAIA has 2 colleges offering Scholarships.

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.

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.

  • 7:10-7:20 (Elite)
     If you’ve recorded times within this range, you can expect to get a few phone calls from interested D1 coaches. To get to this stage of rowing, you will have completely absorbed the discipline of strength, aerobic and cross training as part of your daily routines. Add favourable GPA and ACT scores and you may be one of the elites and be on your way to successfully obtaining your college rowing scholarship.
  • 7:20-7:30 (Very Good)
    If you land in this range many college recruiters will place you in the 90thpercentile of the college rowing scholarship talent pool. Not quite at the level of the ‘elite’ status, but nonetheless you will have grasped the idea of what’s necessary in year-round training in order to perform at your peak conditioning in competitive rowing.
  • 7:30-7:40 (Good)
    If you’re clocking in around here the college rowing scholarship is still very much within reach. College rowing coaches sees you as having the potential to become a contributing rower after a season or two working out under collegiate conditions. Grades are always important, but if your timing fits here the better the grades the better your opportunity.
  • 7:40-8:00 (Above Average)
    It’s this erg range where your college rowing scholarship options are likely to be with a D2 sized program. Better GPA and ACT scores definitely come into play here, as it could also mean academic monies at the D2, D3 level institutions.

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.

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