USA Swimming Opens Scholastic All-America Team to 9th Graders

The USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Program, which requires students to have success both in the pool and in the classroom, has been expanded to 9th graders for the first time this year.

To be eligible, swimmers must have both achieved a 3.5 GPA for the current academic year and achieve a 2017 Winter Junior Nationals qualifying time in an individual event between August 16th, 2017 and August 15, 2017.

The program uses a special calculation of GPA that rewards a half-point for advanced classes and only considers what it calls “academic courses,” meaning art, band, choir, orchestra, health, driver’s ed, physical education, and other classes are excluded from the calculation.

There are also special qualifications for open water swimmers (they must compete in the Open Water National Championships) and swimmers with disabilities (who must compete at the 2017 Can-Am Open or the 2018 World Para Swimming World Series.

Athletes must apply to be accepted into the program. The Application process runs from June 1-August 15th. More details about how to apply can be seen here.

Official Time Standards:

Full Program Requirements are below, courtesy USA Swimming:


  • Grade completion requirement – applicant must have completed 9th, 10th 11th or 12th grade
  • GPA Requirement – minimum 3.5 GPA for the current academic year
    • A=4, B=3, C=2. If numerical grades are used, the following scale will be used unless the school’s letter grade conversion is given on the transcript: A=90-100; B=80-89; C=70-79. In calculating the GPA no rounding will be used – one decimal place only.
    • Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual credit college level academic courses will earn one half (.5) extra Grade Point. Grades for academic subjects only are calculated – history/social studies, English, mathematics, sciences, foreign languages, computer sciences, visual and performing arts if indicated as academicA grade lower than a C in an academic subject will mean automatic rejection of the applicant. Grades for non-academic courses will NOT be calculated – art, band, choir, orchestra, health, driver education, physical education, and any other class marked non-academic on a transcript.
    • There will be no special status designation for a 4.0 GPA other than for a national champion who also has a 4.0 GPA.
  • Pool Requirements
    • Applicants must have swum an individual pool time equal to a 2017 Winter Junior qualifying time in any individualevent during the SAA qualifying period (August 16, 2017 – August 15, 2018) with qualifying times in SWIMS – list of times are posted on the USA Swimming website. A qualifying time will be available for selection from the SWIMS database during the application process. Only ONE time is necessary and only ONE application is necessary.
  • Disability or Open Water Requirements (for athletes without pool requirements)
    • Applicants must have competed in one of the following meets:
      2017 Can-Am Open – December 15-17, 2017, Charlotte, NC
      2018 World Para – April 19-21, 2018, Indianapolis, IN
      2018 Open Water National Championships – May 11-13, 2018, Tempe, AZ

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4 years ago

This award leaves alot of kids out who are great swimmers and devote a great deal of time to the sport and to the classroom, but they just don’t quite have that national cut yet. USA swimming should give recognition for sectional and/or futures swimmers as well.

6 years ago

may seem liked a stupid question, but does swimmer need to be a member of USA swimming?

6 years ago

Great addition to include 9th graders!

Braden – it would be interesting for SwimSwam to compile a list (or just numbers) of 9th grade SAAs. I am sure there will be much more girls than boys because of the JNat cuts. I saw so many more 14-15 girls at 2017 Winter Jr National West than their male counterparts.

6 years ago

The times are always easier for girls no matter what. Nobody can fight me on this lol!

6 years ago

A GREAT program. Well done USA Swimming.

Caeleb Dressel is god
6 years ago

Bummer! Two years after my ninth grade! Lucky kids that get this opportunity as ninth graders.

6 years ago

August 16 2017 to August 15 2017?

Reply to  Jimbo
6 years ago

What, you can’t bend the fabric of time? Clearly not smart enough to win this award… ; )

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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