Many people don’t even know what water polo is, but did you know there are actually water polo scholarships available for this sport? While water polo is still a niche sport in the United States, some colleges offer full ride NCAA athletic scholarships for the sport. There are many organizations and clubs established to help provide funding for students hoping to attend college based on their water polo merits. Water polo is a very localized sport, and isn’t as popular as some of the other major sports in the United States. As such, many colleges don’t have water polo teams, and therefore don’t offer scholarships for water polo. However, there are some schools, especially on the east coast, that have water polo teams and offer water polo scholarships for for college. These full ride scholarships are governed by the NCAA and require a high grade point average, as well as participation in water polo along with community service.
NCAA SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WATER POLO
There are a few schools in the country that offer athletic scholarships to prospective water polo players. Since the sport is so small, competition isn’t very high, and a great water polo player with a high grade point average has a decent chance of being awarded a polo scholarship. The NCAA allows schools that have a water polo team to hand out ten scholarships each year, while division II and division III schools aren’t allowed to hand out water polo scholarships. The best time to apply for NCAA scholarships is in the spring or summer of the year preceding the year you will attend college. Since these are NCAA sponsored, they are full ride, meaning 100% of your tuition is paid for.
INDIVIDUAL COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS
While the NCAA sets limits on the number of official NCAA scholarships that can be handed out, colleges are still allowed to hand out college based scholarships on the basis of water polo. Some schools, especially those on the Eastern coast of the United States, have very developed water polo teams and need to use athletic scholarships to attract the best prospective players. They must use their own funds to sponsor these students while they study and play on the water polo team.
WATER POLO CLUBS
There are many local water polo clubs scattered throughout the United States. Oftentimes, these clubs are where a prospective player will get their first experience at water polo, and they are a great way to find polo scholarships in the community. Some clubs even have funds setup directly to allow students aid for college. While the amount offered may not seem like much, don’t scoff at the amount of money, because financing college is a big task.
COLLEGIATE WATER POLO ASSOCIATION
The CWPA is an association that helps its members with financing college, finding local matches, and choosing the right college. In addition, they also have a water polo scholarship fund setup for those that are interested in playing water polo in college and demonstrate financial need. The CWPA stresses grades nearly as much as your performance in water polo, so having a high grade point average is essential when it comes to securing a scholarship. A GPA of 3.4 or higher is usually needed to secure at least some money, while a high GPA will get you more money for college.
USA WATER POLO
USA Water Polo is the national governing body of water polo in the United States. They have many resources to help students find Polo scholarships in the community, and they also have a fund setup to help students finance their college education. Students must demonstrate financial hardship, have an aptitude for playing water polo, and have great academic standings.
Unlike other sports, water polo doesn’t have many community scholarships to speak of. The sport is simply too small and too much of a niche sport for it to be accounted for in many local organizations and businesses. Ask your guidance counselor if he or she knows of any community water polo scholarships, you may get lucky and find one in your area.