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?

 

% of NCAA Gymnasts who competed on a club team in High School:
NCAA Female Gymnasts (All Divisions)   2018
   
Competed on Club team in High School 99%
Competed on High School team 11%
 
 Source: NCAA Goals Study    

 

Weekly Time Commitment for NCAA Gymnasts:
  Athletic Academic Total Hours
 Average Weekly Hours (In-Season)  Hours Hours per Week
NCAA I  Gymnastics 30 42 72
 
If you want to compete in College Gymnastics expect the athletic commit to require nearly as much time as the academic work load - nearly 2 full-time jobs! Developing effective time management skills is key to becoming a successful student athlete. Source: NCAA Goals Study

 

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 2018

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.
 

84 Schools sponsored varsity Gymnastics teams during 2017-18:
              Scholarship Average Athletic
  # of  # of teams Total Athletes  Average team size limit per team Scholarship *
Division   Schools Men's Women's    Men       Women  Men's Women's    Men       Women     Men       Women 
NCAA I 63 15 61 305 1,068 20 18 6.3 12 17,923 17,777
NCAA II 7 - 7 - 132 - 19 5.4 6 6,057 7,319
NCAA III 14 1 14 21 315 21 21 - - - -
Totals  84 16 82 326 1,515 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

 

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. Most varsity gymnasts on current rosters are level 10 ... or higher. Our tables below have links to all 84 US College Gymnastics team sites ... click on individual schools & see how you might compare.

 

 

 Stats & Links to all US Colleges sponsoring varsity Gymnastics teams 2018:

 Statistics compiled & edited by Patrick O'Rourke CPA  Washington, DC

All US Schools with Varsity            Avr Scholarship *     Annual Tuition & Fees    SAT Math Range ACT Composite Admission  Undergraduate Enrollment 
Gymnastics teams  2017-18: City State Division Teams  Men   Women     In-State   Out of State    25% 75% 25% 75% Rate  Men   Women   Total 
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage AK NCAA  I W     18,209      16,804         5,784       17,990 83% 3,099 3,461 6,560
Auburn University Auburn  AL NCAA  I W     33,155      28,784      10,696       28,840 530 640 24 30 81% 10,026 10,234 20,260
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa AL NCAA  I W     29,159      21,683      10,470       26,950 490 620 23 31 53% 13,038 16,033 29,071
University of Arkansas Fayetteville AR NCAA  I W     24,824      22,586         8,820       23,168 510 620 23 29 63% 9,277 10,497 19,774
Arizona State University Tempe AZ NCAA  I W     22,417      20,075      10,370       26,470 520 650 22 28 83% 22,020 16,741 38,761
University of Arizona Tucson AZ NCAA  I W     28,127      30,560      11,769       34,967 79% 13,909 15,140 29,049
Sacramento State (CSU) Sacramento CA NCAA  I W        9,606      10,479         6,900       18,060 420 530 17 22 72% 10,031 13,150 23,181
San Jose State University San Jose CA NCAA  I W     17,605      16,967         7,418       18,578 470 590 20 25 53% 11,298 10,271 21,569
Stanford University Palo Alto CA NCAA  I M W     28,499      28,526      47,940       47,940 700 800 31 35 5% 3,620 3,412 7,032
University of California-Berkeley Berkeley CA NCAA  I M W     12,920      14,706      13,509       40,191 650 790 31 34 17% 13,574 14,533 28,107
University of California-Davis Davis CA NCAA  I W     13,586      13,029      14,046       40,728 540 700 25 31 42% 11,582 16,962 28,544
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles CA NCAA  I W     22,858      18,101      12,920       39,602 590 760 28 33 18% 13,088 17,241 30,329
U.S. Air Force Academy Colorado Springs CO NCAA  I M W  full ride!   full ride!                -                  -    620 720 27 33 17% 3,178 1,059 4,237
University of Denver Denver CO NCAA  I W     26,835      37,864      46,422       46,422 560 650 26 31 53% 2,540 2,938 5,478
Southern Connecticut State University New Haven CT NCAA  II  W        3,555        3,564      10,054       22,915 410 510 18 23 64% 2,555 4,275 6,830
University of Bridgeport Bridgeport CT NCAA  II  W     14,339      18,025      31,630       31,630 420 500 18 23 58% 863 1,277 2,140
Yale University New Haven CT NCAA  I W               -                  -         49,480       49,480 710 800 32 35 6% 2,782 2,686 5,468
George Washington University Washington DC NCAA  I W     19,659      24,810      51,950       51,950 600 700 27 32 40% 4,333 6,010 10,343
University of Florida Gainesville FL NCAA  I W     19,478      23,855         6,381       28,659 600 690 27 31 46% 13,390 17,193 30,583
University of Georgia Athens GA NCAA  I W     25,651      29,094      11,634       29,844 570 670 26 31 54% 11,219 15,033 26,252
Iowa State University Ames IA NCAA  I W     18,805      20,579         8,219       21,583 520 660 22 28 87% 16,457 12,334 28,791
All US Schools with Varsity            Avr Scholarship *     Annual Tuition & Fees    SAT Math Range ACT Composite Admission  Undergraduate Enrollment 
Gymnastics teams  2017-18: City State Division Teams  Men   Women     In-State   Out of State    25% 75% 25% 75% Rate  Men   Women   Total 
University of Iowa Iowa City IA NCAA  I M W     17,789      17,057         8,575       28,813 540 680 23 28 84% 9,801 10,889 20,690
Boise State University Boise ID NCAA  I W     13,003      13,082         7,080       21,530 455 570 20 26 82% 5,855 6,495 12,350
Illinois State University Normal IL NCAA  I W     14,110      15,895      14,061       25,168 21 26 89% 7,658 9,762 17,420
Northern Illinois University Dekalb IL NCAA  I W     19,048      19,555      14,204       23,670 460 570 19 25 52% 6,188 6,135 12,323
University of Illinois  Champaign IL NCAA  I M W     26,951      28,416      15,058       30,680 705 790 26 32 60% 17,529 14,597 32,126
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago IL NCAA  I M W     12,103      17,591      13,664       26,520 510 655 21 27 74% 8,069 8,339 16,408
Ball State University Muncie IN NCAA  I W     19,741      20,224         9,654       25,428 490 580 20 24 62% 6,144 8,874 15,018
University of Kentucky Lexington KY NCAA  I W     23,114      25,928      11,484       26,334 500 630 22 29 91% 9,420 11,352 20,772
Centenary College of Louisiana Shreveport LA NCAA  III  W               -                  -         35,430       35,430 470 590 22 28 64% 205 268 473
Louisiana State University  Baton Rouge LA NCAA  I W     31,711      31,036      10,814       27,491 510 630 23 28 76% 10,896 12,140 23,036
Springfield College Springfield MA NCAA  III  M W               -                  -         35,475       35,475 450 570 24 28 66% 1,043 1,039 2,082
Towson University Towson MD NCAA  I W     14,690      13,340         9,408       21,076 490 580 21 25 74% 6,604 10,223 16,827
U.S. Naval Academy Annapolis MD NCAA  I M  full ride!   full ride!                -                  -    600 700 26 31 9% 3,349 1,177 4,526
University of Maryland College Park MD NCAA  I W     29,022      34,378      10,181       32,045 620 730 29 33 48% 13,815 12,359 26,174
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant MI NCAA  I W     13,058      11,802      12,150       23,670 440 570 20 25 72% 7,413 9,664 17,077
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti MI NCAA  I W     16,385      17,380      11,209       27,702 450 580 19 25 73% 5,119 7,595 12,714
Michigan State University East Lansing MI NCAA  I W     21,722      19,751      14,062       37,890 540 670 24 29 66% 17,245 18,035 35,280
University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI NCAA  I M W     27,932      24,293      14,402       45,410 670 770 29 33 29% 13,891 13,942 27,833
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo MI NCAA  I W     22,899      21,125      11,493       26,851 445 555 19 25 82% 7,662 7,337 14,999
Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter MN NCAA  III  W               -                  -         42,840       42,840 65% 1,032 1,187 2,219
Hamline University Saint Paul MN NCAA  III  W               -                  -         39,181       39,181 490 620 21 27 70% 838 1,241 2,079
All US Schools with Varsity            Avr Scholarship *     Annual Tuition & Fees    SAT Math Range ACT Composite Admission  Undergraduate Enrollment 
Gymnastics teams  2017-18: City State Division Teams  Men   Women     In-State   Out of State    25% 75% 25% 75% Rate  Men   Women   Total 
University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN NCAA  I M W     15,406      13,410      14,142       23,806 620 750 26 31 44% 13,827 14,955 28,782
Winona State University Winona MN NCAA  II  W        4,894        3,780         9,075       14,772 400 510 20 25 60% 2,481 4,139 6,620
Lindenwood University Saint Charles MO NCAA  II  W        3,241        4,300      16,332       16,332 470 580 20 25 55% 3,155 3,600 6,755
Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau MO NCAA  I W        8,636        9,204         6,990       12,375 458 583 20 25 83% 3,334 4,387 7,721
University of Missouri Columbia MO NCAA  I W     19,692      23,447         9,518       25,892 520 650 23 29 75% 11,470 12,590 24,060
North Carolina State University  Raleigh NC NCAA  I W     20,322      26,114         8,880       26,399 600 690 26 31 48% 11,323 9,495 20,818
University of North Carolina  Chapel Hill NC NCAA  I W     18,451      15,081         8,834       33,916 610 720 28 33 27% 7,361 10,467 17,828
University of Nebraska Lincoln NE NCAA  I M W     19,781      19,512         8,537       23,058 510 650 22 28 75% 10,022 9,359 19,381
University of New Hampshire Durham NH NCAA  I W     16,477      18,284      17,624       31,424 500 610 22 27 76% 5,616 6,799 12,415
Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ NCAA  I W     20,166      20,166      14,372       30,023 580 700 57% 16,991 16,948 33,939
Cornell University Ithaca NY NCAA  I W               -                  -         50,953       50,953 680 780 31 34 14% 6,949 7,512 14,461
Ithaca College Ithaca NY NCAA  III  W               -                  -         41,776       41,776 70% 2,536 3,563 6,099
SUNY College at Brockport Brockport NY NCAA  III  W               -                  -            7,928       17,778 470 570 20 25 55% 2,865 3,510 6,375
SUNY College at Cortland Cortland NY NCAA  III  W               -                  -            8,106       17,956 510 580 22 25 52% 2,731 3,456 6,187
U.S. Military Academy West Point NY NCAA  I M  full ride!   full ride!    -    -  600 700 26 31 10% 3,511 878 4,389
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green OH NCAA  I W     17,761      14,040      11,057       18,593 450 580 19 24 76% 5,661 7,450 13,111
Kent State University  Kent OH NCAA  I W     15,930      11,509      10,012       18,376 480 580 21 25 85% 7,337 11,697 19,034
Ohio State University Columbus OH NCAA  I M W     18,198      18,851      10,037       28,229 620 740 27 31 54% 21,559 20,107 41,666
University of Oklahoma Norman OK NCAA  I M W     26,957      21,204      10,881       25,203 540 680 23 29 71% 9,219 8,999 18,218
Oregon State University Corvallis OR NCAA  I W     19,832      20,445      10,366       28,846 500 620 22 28 77% 9,951 8,444 18,395
Pennsylvania State University University Park PA NCAA  I M W     24,568      24,321      17,900       32,382 560 670 25 29 56% 21,204 18,679 39,883
All US Schools with Varsity            Avr Scholarship *     Annual Tuition & Fees    SAT Math Range ACT Composite Admission  Undergraduate Enrollment 
Gymnastics teams  2017-18: City State Division Teams  Men   Women     In-State   Out of State    25% 75% 25% 75% Rate  Men   Women   Total 
Temple University Philadelphia PA NCAA  I W     25,892      25,664      16,274       27,266 52% 12,406 13,722 26,128
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA NCAA  I W               -                  -         51,464       51,464 700 800 32 35 9% 4,933 5,298 10,231
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh PA NCAA  I W     29,580      25,754      18,618       29,758 600 700 27 32 55% 8,716 9,413 18,129
Ursinus College Collegeville PA NCAA  III  W               -                  -         49,370       49,370 82% 719 820 1,539
West Chester University  West Chester PA NCAA  II  W        2,590        2,262         9,720       20,812 490 580 21 25 64% 5,136 7,658 12,794
Brown University Providence RI NCAA  I W               -                  -         51,366       51,366 690 790 31 34 9% 3,133 3,423 6,556
Rhode Island College Providence RI NCAA  III  W               -                  -            8,206       19,867 390 510 16 20 75% 1,776 3,786 5,562
Texas Woman's University Denton TX NCAA  II  W    -             8,735         7,238       17,030 420 530 17 23 86% 668 6,338 7,006
Brigham Young University Provo UT NCAA  I W     10,770        9,496         5,300         5,300 580 690 27 31 51% 14,524 13,488 28,012
Southern Utah University Cedar City UT NCAA  I W        7,942        8,312         6,530       19,810 440 570 20 26 72% 2,545 3,056 5,601
University of Utah Salt Lake City UT NCAA  I W     21,216      22,437         8,518       27,039 530 660 21 27 76% 9,286 7,795 17,081
Utah State University Logan UT NCAA  I W     12,583        9,856         7,426       20,492 490 610 20 27 90% 8,249 8,639 16,888
College of William & Mary Williamsburg VA NCAA  I M W     16,258      16,192      21,234       42,274 620 740 28 33 37% 2,630 3,576 6,206
Seattle Pacific University Seattle WA NCAA  II  W     11,480      10,891      38,940       38,940 490 610 21 27 87% 966 2,029 2,995
University of Washington Seattle WA NCAA  I W     21,325      20,272      10,753       34,791 580 710 26 32 45% 13,370 14,795 28,165
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Eau Claire WI NCAA  III  W               -                  -            8,812       16,385 22 26 78% 3,592 5,758 9,350
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse WI NCAA  III  W               -                  -            9,091       17,612 23 27 74% 3,960 5,182 9,142
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Oshkosh WI NCAA  III  W               -                  -            7,544       15,117 20 24 65% 3,447 4,817 8,264
University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie WI NCAA  III  W               -                  -            9,395       17,141 19 25 88% 3,715 3,089 6,804
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Whitewater WI NCAA  III  W               -                  -            7,650       16,223 470 590 20 25 69% 5,138 4,908 10,046
West Virginia University Morgantown WV NCAA  I W     21,652      20,574         7,992       22,488 460 570 21 26 76% 11,128 9,396 20,524
                                       

 

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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