College Wrestling Scholarships and Recruiting

What is a Wrestling scholarship?

How to Get a Wrestling Scholarship?

Wrestling programs have some of the smallest recruiting budgets in college. Being strong, being technically proficient, and having a solid record aren’t always enough for a scholarship. Coaches expect scholarship wrestlers to contact them; here’s how we have our athletes contact coaches.

Getting College Coaches at Your Matches

College wrestling coaches are selective in what recruiting trips to take. Video is a must if you want coaches to see you. Make sure you determine which matches will have the most coaches and work your way up to qualify for those matches. Once you do, applying these tactics to your recruiting process can help.

The Recruiting Process for Wrestling

Wrestling recruiting comes down to giving coaches the opportunity to evaluate you over several years and in getting quality results against top competition. You can’t expect a coach to find you just because you are a good wrestler. To open up the doors to your recruiting, you need to work hard at these steps.

Maintain Your Academic Eligibility or Lose Your Scholarship

Meeting the NCAA and NAIA minimums is the first step in the recruiting process. Oftentimes you need more than the academic minimums to get accepted by the university of your choice.

How Good Are College Wrestlers?

These are the general guidelines for what coaches look for in a wrestler. If you fall outside of these general requirements, it will be more difficult to earn a scholarship, but still possible.

General Requirements

  • Top 25 in your weight class and state *depending on state
  • Participates in both high school and summer tournaments
  • State championship competitor
  • FILA Junior National participant
  • Varsity starter
  • Multiple high school tournament wins

NCAA DI

  • All-American
  • All-Region
  • All-State
  • All-League/District
  • State champion or placer multiple times
  • Multiple high school tournament wins

NCAA DII

  • All-State
  • All-League/District
  • Multiple high school tournament wins

NCAA DIII/NAIA

  • All-League/District
  • Multiple high school tournament wins

Number of Scholarships Offered per Team

Not all colleges that are eligible to offer scholarships will choose to do so. For example, Ivy League schools choose not to offer athletic scholarships.

Wrestling is an equivalency sport which means all scholarships are NOT full scholarships, and coaches may divide the total number of scholarships allotted to them between as many athletes as they wish.

NCAA DI: 9.9
NCAA DII: 9
NAIA: 8
NJCAA: up to 16

Number of College Wrestling Programs

NCAA DI: 73
NCAA DII: 52
*NCAA DIII: 87
NAIA: 31
NJCAA: 61
Total: 304

*NCAA Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, but they do offer other forms of financial aid.

What are the Top Wrestling Programs?

NCAA DI: Cornell, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Lehigh, Rutgers, Boise State, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Kent State, American, Illinois, Oregon State, Cal Poly, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Central Michigan, Wyoming

NCAA DII: Nebraska – Omaha, St. Cloud State, Newberry, Augustana, Nebraska-Kearney, Pittsburgh-Johnstown, Western State, Central Oklahoma, Grand Canyon, Minnesota State, Ashland, Upper Iowa, San Francisco State, Findlay, Gannon, Wisconsin-Parkside, UNC-Pembroke, Mercyhurst, Kutztown, Adams State

NCAA DIII: Augusburg, Wartburg, Wisconsin – La Crosse, Coe, Ithaca, Concordia-Moorhead, Saint John’s, Mount Union, Olivet, Centenary, US Merchant Marine Academy, TCNJ, Wilkes, Ohio Northern, York, Wabash, Cortland State, Elmhurst, North Central Illinois, Dubuque, Waynesburg, Brockport

NAIA: Notre Dame (Ohio), Grand View, McKendree, Lindenwood, Missouri Valley, Campbellsville, Morningside, Montana State-Northern, Southern Oregon, Great Falls, Midland, Embry-Riddle, Oklahoma City, Hastings, Simon Fraser, Cumberland, Minot State, Lindsey Wilson, Northwestern, Dickinson State, Menlo

IMPORTANT: NAIA rule changes. You must now register with the NAIA Clearinghouse.

NCAA Wrestling History

Wrestling History

Attending a college wrestling summer camp could be the best recruiting move you could make

Author: David Frank

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