SwimSwam Pulse: 71.5% of Swimmers Would Commit To One School For Guaranteed Scholarship

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam’s current and ex-college swimmer readership if they would be willing to commit to a school for four years if it meant they would be guaranteed scholarships:

Question: Current & Former College Swimmers: Would you take a guaranteed four-year scholarship in exchange for not being able to transfer?


  • Yes – 58.1% (71.2% of current/former swimmers)
  • No – 23.1% (28.8% of current/former swimmers)
  • I didn’t swim in college – 18.8%

Our latest poll targeted specifically for current and former college swimmers gauged interest in trading the inability to transfer for a locked-in scholarship throughout their career.

Transferring has become increasingly common in swimming & diving as the NCAA’s rules and restrictions have continued to loosen. Athletes having five seasons of eligibility due to the COVID pandemic has played a prominent role in the influx of transfers in recent years, but still, it’s much more common nowadays to see swimmers jump ship after a season or two if they feel the program isn’t the right fit compared to five or 10 years ago.

Only a team’s top swimmers will have surefire scholarships throughout their careers, with certain standards academically needed to be maintained as well.

Given that they’re hard to come by (and the price of college tuition), it’s no surprise to see the majority opt for the guaranteed scholarship in the poll, with over 71% of respondents who identified as current or former college swimmers selecting it.

Nearly 29% of current and former swimmers went the other way, opting for the ability to transfer over a guaranteed scholarship.

Of course, it’s a purely hypothetical question. If a swimmer isn’t able to transfer, what does that really mean? There would have to be a workaround, as they couldn’t be left with the option of either quitting the sport or staying somewhere where they’re miserable, whether it’s the coach or something unrelated to the swim team.

The workaround would have to be similar to the no-trade clauses we see in professional sports contracts, but the opposite, where the athlete would have to go through the school and get permission to have the ability to transfer.

This is purely a conversation about which of the two things athletes value more, and though both options picked up plenty of votes, the scholarship side was the clear majority.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: How many American Records are going down in Indianapolis?

How many American Records will be broken at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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