College Gymnastics & Scholarship Opportunities

Play your Sport in College!                        
 
* What are my chances of playing college sports? ***** What schools can I get into?
* Where can I find college athletic scholarships? ****** What's all this going to cost?


85 Schools sponsored varsity Gymnastics teams during 2017:
            Percentage of   Scholarship Average Athletic
  # of  # of teams Total Athletes  College Players Average team size limit per team Scholarship *
Division   Schools Men's Women's    Men       Women  Men Women Men's Women's    Men       Women     Men       Women 
NCAA I 63 15 61 305 1,068 94% 70% 20 18 6.3 12 17,923 17,777
NCAA II 7 - 7 - 132 - 9% - 19 5.4 6 6,057 7,319
NCAA III 15 1 15 21 315 6% 21% 21 21 - - - -
Totals  85 16 83 326 1,515 100% 100% 20 18         13,631 13,632

 Women's NCAA Division I gymnastics is a head-count sport for purposes of awarding athletic scholarships and is an equivalency sport for all other divisions, so partial scholarships can  be awarded to meet the limit per school.  For example, an NCAA Division II school can award 12 female gymnasts each a 1/2 scholarship and still meet the  limit of 6 per school.   See our page on scholarship limits for more information. Gymnastics is a separate and distinct sport from collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling.

*
Average Athletic Scholarship is the average award per athlete for ALL varsity sports sponsored by the specific school. Some athletes receive full awards, some receive partial and many receive none. Additionally some sports within a school may be fully funded, some partially and some sports provide no athletic scholarships. Private schools generally have higher tuition than public schools and the average award will reflect this.     2016
 
Athletic Scholarship Averages for NCAA I Gymnastics teams:
Women's NCAA I Gymnastic Teams Average Low  High
# of Scholarships Awarded 14 12 16
Average Scholarship per team  $      40,172  $          23,482  $        63,337
Men's NCAA I Gymnastic Teams Average Low  High
# of Scholarships Awarded 16 14 19
Average Scholarship per team  $     18,190  $        12,882  $        31,573

These are the results of our survey of NCAA I schools that sponsored varsity gymnastics teams during their 2016 fiscal years. Number of scholarships awarded is per team, so for 4 year schools typically only 1/4 or so will be available for incoming athletes. Data includes responding schools only, programs that do not award athletic scholarships are not included in these results.
 
Do you have the skills to compete in College Gymnastics?
What level of Gymnast are coaches looking for and who are you competing with for a roster spot? A good way to get an idea is to look at the high-school bios of Gymnasts currently on the roster of schools that interest you. Our tables below have links to all US College varsity  team sites ... click on individual schools & see how you might compare.

 

 

 Stats & Links to all US Colleges sponsoring varsity Gymnastics teams:

US Colleges with Varsity           Avr Scholarship * Annual Tuition & Fees SAT Math Percentile ACT Composite Admission
Gymnastics teams  2017: City State Division Teams Men Women In-State Out of State 25% 75% 25% 75% Rate
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage AK NCAA  I W   18,057   17,593 5,784 17,990 71%
Auburn University Auburn University AL NCAA  I W   32,519   30,194 10,696 28,840 540 650 24 30 78%
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa AL NCAA  I W   24,285   20,909 10,470 26,950 490 610 22 31 54%
University of Arkansas Fayetteville AR NCAA  I W   21,970   20,467 8,820 23,168 510 620 23 28 60%
Arizona State University Tempe AZ NCAA  I W   22,461   21,524 10,370 26,470 520 640 23 28 83%
University of Arizona Tucson AZ NCAA  I W   25,479   27,014 11,769 34,967 76%
Sacramento State (CSU) Sacramento CA NCAA  I W      9,505      9,933 6,900 18,060 420 540 17 23 67%
San Jose State University San Jose CA NCAA  I W   16,256   16,349 7,418 18,578 470 610 20 26 55%
Stanford University Palo Alto CA NCAA  I M W   27,653   28,243 47,940 47,940 700 800 31 35 5%
University of California-Berkeley Berkeley CA NCAA  I M W   12,109   13,275 13,509 40,191 640 770 30 34 17%
University of California-Davis Davis CA NCAA  I W   12,972   12,536 14,046 40,728 560 710 25 31 38%
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles CA NCAA  I W   20,774   18,180 12,920 39,602 600 760 28 33 17%
U.S. Air Force Academy Colorado Springs CO NCAA  I M W  full ride!   full ride!  -0- -0- 630 710 29 32 17%
University of Denver Denver CO NCAA  I W   25,178   33,348 46,422 46,422 560 660 26 30 73%
Southern Connecticut State University New Haven CT NCAA  II  W      3,689      3,623 10,054 22,915 410 500 18 22 65%
University of Bridgeport Bridgeport CT NCAA  II  W   14,800   17,149 31,630 31,630 420 500 18 23 52%
Yale University New Haven CT NCAA  I W             -               -   49,480 49,480 710 800 31 35 7%
US Colleges with Varsity           Avr Scholarship * Annual Tuition & Fees SAT Math Percentile ACT Composite Admission
Gymnastics teams  2017: City State Division Teams Men Women In-State Out of State 25% 75% 25% 75% Rate
George Washington University Washington DC NCAA  I W   18,606   24,898 51,950 51,950 600 700 27 31 46%
University of Florida Gainesville FL NCAA  I W   19,886   24,109 6,381 28,659 590 680 27 31 48%
University of Georgia Athens GA NCAA  I W   21,062   21,859 11,634 29,844 580 670 26 30 53%
Iowa State University Ames IA NCAA  I W   18,699   17,871 8,219 21,583 500 640 22 28 87%
University of Iowa Iowa City IA NCAA  I M W   17,186   16,020 8,575 28,813 540 690 23 28 81%
Boise State University Boise ID NCAA  I W   11,823   12,215 7,080 21,530 460 570 20 26 80%
Illinois State University Normal IL NCAA  I W   12,964   13,856 14,061 25,168 21 26 88%
Northern Illinois University Dekalb IL NCAA  I W   21,312   20,184 14,204 23,670 450 550 19 25 50%
University of Illinois  Champaign IL NCAA  I M W   25,346   25,292 15,058 30,680 700 790 26 31 66%
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago IL NCAA  I M W   11,787   17,911 13,664 26,520 520 670 21 26 77%
Ball State University Muncie IN NCAA  I W   18,257   17,653 9,654 25,428 500 590 20 24 61%
University of Kentucky Lexington KY NCAA  I W   22,374   26,251 11,484 26,334 510 630 22 28 89%
Centenary College of Louisiana Shreveport LA NCAA  III  W             -               -   35,430 35,430 490 610 21 28 67%
Louisiana State University  Baton Rouge LA NCAA  I W   32,146   28,331 10,814 27,491 510 640 23 28 77%
Springfield College Springfield MA NCAA  III  M W             -               -   35,475 35,475 470 580 20 26 64%
Towson University Towson MD NCAA  I W   13,819   13,286 9,408 21,076 500 590 21 25 73%
U.S. Naval Academy Annapolis MD NCAA  I M  full ride!   full ride!  -0- -0- 610 700 9%
US Colleges with Varsity           Avr Scholarship * Annual Tuition & Fees SAT Math Percentile ACT Composite Admission
Gymnastics teams  2017: City State Division Teams Men Women In-State Out of State 25% 75% 25% 75% Rate
University of Maryland College Park MD NCAA  I W   28,298   32,282 10,181 32,045 620 730 45%
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant MI NCAA  I W   12,347   11,102 12,150 23,670 430 580 20 25 69%
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti MI NCAA  I W   15,125   16,807 11,209 27,702 443 580 19 25 75%
Michigan State University East Lansing MI NCAA  I W   21,157   17,301 14,062 37,890 530 680 23 28 66%
University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI NCAA  I M W   27,238   22,029 14,402 45,410 660 770 29 33 26%
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo MI NCAA  I W   21,706   21,674 11,493 26,851 450 570 19 25 82%
Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter MN NCAA  III  W             -               -   42,840 42,840 67%
Hamline University Saint Paul MN NCAA  III  W             -               -   39,181 39,181 500 650 21 28 72%
University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN NCAA  I M W   15,272   13,368 14,142 23,806 620 740 26 31 45%
Winona State University Winona MN NCAA  II  W             -               -   9,075 14,772 495 655 20 25 62%
Lindenwood University Saint Charles MO NCAA  II  W      3,506      5,108 16,332 16,332 460 560 20 25 55%
Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau MO NCAA  I W      8,634      9,182 6,990 12,375 465 595 20 25 84%
University of Missouri Columbia MO NCAA  I W   18,523   21,495 9,518 25,892 530 650 24 29 78%
North Carolina State University  Raleigh NC NCAA  I W   18,924   23,744 8,880 26,399 590 680 26 31 50%
University of North Carolina  Chapel Hill NC NCAA  I W   19,443   18,390 8,834 33,916 620 720 28 33 31%
University of Nebraska Lincoln NE NCAA  I M W   18,442   18,601 8,537 23,058 500 660 22 28 76%
University of New Hampshire Durham NH NCAA  I W   16,462   18,541 17,624 31,424 500 610 22 27 79%
US Colleges with Varsity           Avr Scholarship * Annual Tuition & Fees SAT Math Percentile ACT Composite Admission
Gymnastics teams  2017: City State Division Teams Men Women In-State Out of State 25% 75% 25% 75% Rate
Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ NCAA  I W   20,319   19,506 14,372 30,023 580 700 58%
Cornell University Ithaca NY NCAA  I W             -               -   50,953 50,953 680 780 30 34 15%
Ithaca College Ithaca NY NCAA  III  W             -               -   41,776 41,776 67%
SUNY College at Brockport Brockport NY NCAA  III  W             -               -   7,928 17,778 470 570 20 25 53%
SUNY College at Cortland Cortland NY NCAA  III  W             -               -   8,106 17,956 51%
U.S. Military Academy West Point NY NCAA  I M  full ride!   full ride!  -0- -0- 610 710 26 31 10%
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green OH NCAA  I W   17,564   13,495 11,057 18,593 450 580 19 24 73%
Kent State University  Kent OH NCAA  I W   15,126   14,364 10,012 18,376 470 580 21 25 85%
Ohio State University Columbus OH NCAA  I M W   16,338   18,682 10,037 28,229 610 720 27 31 49%
University of Oklahoma Norman OK NCAA  I M W   25,599   17,776 10,881 25,203 540 670 24 29 78%
Oregon State University Corvallis OR NCAA  I W   20,015   20,985 10,366 28,846 490 630 21 28 78%
Pennsylvania State University University Park PA NCAA  I M W   22,427   22,275 17,900 32,382 560 670 25 29 51%
Temple University Philadelphia PA NCAA  I W   21,899   21,713 16,274 27,266 56%
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA NCAA  I W             -               -   51,464 51,464 700 790 31 34 10%
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh PA NCAA  I W   27,864   24,696 18,618 29,758 600 690 26 31 54%
Ursinus College Collegeville PA NCAA  III  W             -               -   49,370 49,370 83%
West Chester University  West Chester PA NCAA  II  W      2,529      1,874 9,720 20,812 490 580 21 26 59%
US Colleges with Varsity           Avr Scholarship * Annual Tuition & Fees SAT Math Percentile ACT Composite Admission
Gymnastics teams  2017: City State Division Teams Men Women In-State Out of State 25% 75% 25% 75% Rate
Brown University Providence RI NCAA  I W             -               -   51,366 51,366 690 780 31 34 9%
Rhode Island College Providence RI NCAA  III  W             -               -   8,206 19,867 400 510 16 21 72%
Texas Woman's University Denton TX NCAA  II  W             -        8,177 7,238 17,030 420 530 17 23 86%
Brigham Young University Provo UT NCAA  I W      9,419      7,609 5,300 5,300 580 680 27 31 48%
Southern Utah University Cedar City UT NCAA  I W      8,371      7,616 6,530 19,810 450 570 20 27 72%
University of Utah Salt Lake City UT NCAA  I W   23,836   23,872 8,518 27,039 510 660 21 28 81%
Utah State University Logan UT NCAA  I W   11,612   10,069 7,426 20,492 470 610 20 27 97%
College of William & Mary Williamsburg VA NCAA  I M W   16,561   16,523 21,234 42,274 630 730 28 32 34%
Seattle Pacific University Seattle WA NCAA  II  W   10,873   10,480 38,940 38,940 500 620 23 28 82%
University of Washington Seattle WA NCAA  I W   21,071   17,059 10,753 34,791 580 710 26 31 53%
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Eau Claire WI NCAA  III  W             -               -   8,812 16,385 22 26 85%
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse WI NCAA  III  W             -               -   9,091 17,612 23 26 80%
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Oshkosh WI NCAA  III  W             -               -   7,544 15,117 20 24 81%
University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie WI NCAA  III  W             -               -   9,395 17,141 20 24 93%
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Whitewater WI NCAA  III  W             -               -   7,650 16,223 490 590 20 25 80%
West Virginia University Morgantown WV NCAA  I W   21,296   16,540 7,992 22,488 470 580 21 27 86%
                             

 

Coach's Corner 

We asked some coaches from around the country to take time from their busy schedules and provide some brief input for high school & middle school gymnasts hoping to compete in College. Here are some thoughts we believe are particularly helpful:
 

 

Debbie Yohman, University of Pittsburgh (NCAA I)

The goal for gymnasts hoping to compete in college should be Level 10 (or better) skills / routines / execution and COMITTMENT as that is what most teams are  exclusively recruiting.  A good, recruitable Level 10 gymnast  should be strong, fit, competitive, and love to work hard – this increases their chances to stay healthy and compete consistently .   

There is a place for Level 9’s or lower and that is generally a club team at a university

I believe one of the biggest surprises to athletes / families about college gymnastics is that it's not as “easy” as they expected.  Programs  have a level of expectation that begins with coming in as good as you were when you were recruited (if not better) and then you must continue to earn that scholarship, or even as a walk-on , that spot on the team.  The training is different, the goals change from a developmental program to a highly competitive team environment,  the work is intense and the standards high.  While there is a limit on the hours you must spend in the gym, the number of people to help you achieve has increased: coaches, trainers, doctors, strength & conditioning experts, nutritionists, academic advisors, etc.  Schools invest a significant amount of funding and resources to help athletes succeed, so  it’s really not a “free” ride … you must do your part to deserve that investment. 

 NCAA gymnasts can expect to spend 20 hours a week training and conditioning. If they have injuries or prehab needs they can expect up to another hour per day in the training room before and/or after practice. That will decrease going into and throughout the season due to travel time, and as the focus changes from quantity to quality. 

A common mistake is for athletes to slack off once they get a scholarship or spot on a team. The gymnast that doesn't continue to progress, get stronger and  train to compete will come in lacking, and usually disappoint themselves, their coaches and their teammates.
 
 

Elise Ray, University of Washington (NCAA I)

Each program and coach has different needs for their team, but one thing is consistent: the athlete being recruited has to be good enough to better the team, it’s that simple. It’s important and valuable to communicate with the coaches of the programs you’re interested in and get feedback to find out what specially they’re looking for.  

One of the most common mistakes is waiting too long to begin the recruiting process. Unfortunately, recruiting has started so early …  much too early! It’s important to reach out to the schools and coaches you’re interested in, get on their radar and make yourself known.

 

NCAA rules require us to stay within a 20-hour limit for all athletic related activities. This means practice, conditioning, meetings, etc. Everything has to stay within 20 per week. For most gymnasts, this is actually a lot less than what they’re used to. But, the role of academics is more intense in college. To be perfectly honest, gymnasts are pretty incredible; they’ve learned at an early age how to balance a very time demanding sport while keeping up with school, family and friends. Gymnasts usually have a great foundation to be a very successful collegiate athlete.

 Being a student-athlete in any sport is a full time job. It takes incredible time management, commitment, sacrifice and discipline. It’s hard work and the student-athletes have very full days and busy schedules. Student-athletes are not regular college students by any means. It’s important to recognize the difference. But, student-athletes, in my opinion are some of the most impressive young people because they develop qualities and skills that set them up for a very successful life. There are countless benefits to being a student-athlete, you just have to be willing to work for it.

 
 
 

Mark Williams, University of Oklahoma (NCAA I) 

Recognize that coaches are seeking individuals who will push the team score on several events. Being able to do routines with 15+ start values is essential. And being able to compete on events that scores above a 14.00 will get you more attention from coaches. If you have an event that is more your specialty, highlight it with your recent competition standings and scores. Lastly, show that you are in good shape, strong on rings, swing well on pommel horse, and you are willing to train not only the gymnastics but the conditioning and cardio while remaining free of major injuries. 

Because there are very few college programs, NCAA coaches can be very selective about who are offered scholarships and roster spots. Normally, most programs will only have one or two scholarships to offer each year.

For boy’s gymnastics through middle school and high school, it is very important to be enrolled in the right club gymnastics situation as most high school programs do not have the necessary system in place for college preparation. Choosing a club program that produces gymnasts who regularly compete at the Junior Olympic Championships and the P & G Championships are preferred to recreational programs. Selecting a club that has a knowledgeable coach, who has experience as an athlete competing at an elite or collegiate level of gymnastics, is also helpful. The training that is received during the ages of 8-16 is vital to the preparation necessary to compete for a college team.

Send recruiting information directly to coaches prior to your junior year in high school. Most of the recruiting for men’s gymnastics is still done during the summer between  junior and senior year, and through the early signing period in November. Follow-up up with videos and results from your competitions through that season and ask for feedback concerning your chances of being recruited. Send links of competition routines and supplement these with things you might be working on in the gym. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the coach about what he is looking for in perspective student-athletes from both a  gymnastics and academic standpoint. Don’t wait until your senior year to reach out to coaches. Many spots will be taken by then.

 College gymnasts usually train about 20 a week throughout the year. Guys who compete on the Sr. national team and team USA will generally put in more hours than that. Though the collegiate season goes from January to April, most of my guys stay on campus through the summer and continue to train for the USA Championships. Therefore, we don’t have a lot of down time away from the sport. 

 

Paul Beckwith, Cornell University (NCAA I) 

The recruiting process in the Ivy League starts later than other schools as July 1st following the student’s junior year in high school is the earliest that an Ivy school may do an academic pre-read to determine admissibility. Most Ivies do all recruiting using the early decision application deadline of November 1, senior year. 

Ivy League schools compete  in NCAA Division 1 and go by all the recruiting rules, though due to the academic requirements there won’t be commitments made before the athlete is in 11th grade.  So while a coach might make a verbal commitment to an athlete during their sophomore year, it would be completely contingent upon the athlete being admitted. Ivy coaches cannot make an early verbal commitment with an athlete that prohibits the gymnast from visiting the other Ivy institutions, therefore, the athlete should visit all schools that are of interest during or just after their junior year.
 

Since there are no athletic scholarships offered in the Ivy League, athletes need to do a financial aid pre-read after their academic pre-read. All financial aid is based on demonstrated need, and though each school determines the amount of aid to be awarded independently, each Ivy will often match the best deal so that the student is not selecting among the Ivies based on cost of attendance.

Students hoping to a compete in gymnastics at an Ivy league school such as Cornell need to be taking a challenging load of classes ( AP’s and Honors) and the GPA needs to be near a 4.0 with class rank in the top 10%. The SAT or ACT needs to be taken at the first opportunity so that the test can be taken again to get the scores at a minimum in the 700 range on each part of the SAT or a 30 on the ACT.   

Most importantly, these  scores and GPA benchmarks are just rough guidelines for minimums and certainly do not guarantee admissibility to any particular institution!  Each school has its own admissions process, and it is up to the athlete to find out from the coach just what that institution’s process entails and how many athletes the coach can support. Additionally benchmarks coaches look for in some sports may also differ from benchmarks coaches look for in other sports within the same school.

Above all, the Ivy League schools are academically very difficult, and academics will always be the athlete’s number one priority in college! The student must be comfortable attending school where most students were at the top of their high school class.


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