Q: How many high school / age group swimmers swim in college in the US?
A: Only 1% of all high school / age group swimmers are good enough to swim in college.
Q: Of this 1%, how many swimmers will get financial aid?
A: Of the 1%, .2% will get a "full ride" (full financial aid), .8% will get partial financial aid. The other 90% will get no athletics related financial aid.
Q: What are the benefits of swimming in collage?
A: There are many benefits to swimming in collage. Here are just a few:
- Preferential class selection
- Support with classes (tutors)
- Family / team environment from your freshman year which helps in adjusting to college life
- A roommate that is a teammate
- Training meals (if you quality), room & board
- Travel to conference championships if you are in the proper program and make the traveling team
- Part time jobs (many times)
- Varsity letters
Q: Should I focus on Division I, Division II or Division III schools?
A: You should focus on the programs that are the best fit for you both academically and athletically. Remember that a lot of Division II programs are actually more competitive programs than those found in Division I. Not all programs are equal. Most of all, it is important to enter into a program where you will excel in.
Q: When should I begin the process?
A: At the end of your junior year speak to Coach Steve or Coach Eric. They will help you with the following:
- Creation of a personalized cover letter
- School and program research (based upon academics, athletics, etc.)
- Sending out a mass email to the programs where there is a fit (usually 50 - 70 schools)
- Follow up correspondence with all replies
Q: Will it be possible to the Kona Aquatics coaching staff to work with my high school counselors in school selection?
A: Yes! We are very happy to work with your school counselors in school recommendations based upon the progress you have been making in the pool.
Q: What are the steps after I send out my cover letters?
A: Coach Steve and Coach Eric will help you narrow down your selections to see where there is the best fit. Variables include:
- Conference championship times versus your best times
- Program philosophy
- Academic variables
- Note: it is better to go to a school where you will perform better academically and make the program's traveling team. Remember that you will be competing to enter into programs that are being approached by swimmers from around the world and not just the US.
Q: Should I visit schools?
A: It is best to visit only the schools you are interested in attending and swimming at after you have completed the mass emails / letters and have narrowed down your selections to your top 5 programs. If you visit before you have gone through this step you may get "swayed" or sold into a program where you may not have a good fit.
Q: After I have selected my top 5 programs, what should I focus on next?
A: This is super simple, be consistent with your academics, swimming practices and positive about the future. The times you do during your sophomore and junior years in high school (both short course and long course) are critical as are your grades. This is why we implement at college level swimming program for all of our swimmers AND keep track of your GPAs. The KONA Aquatics 3.6 Scholar Athlete dinners are a great measure and motivator for everyone.
Q: How many swimmers has Coach Steve successfully placed into a college programs?
A: Hundreds of swimmers at both KONA Aquatics and Punahou have swam in college programs across the US because of Coach Steve's efforts.