Going from high school to college is not an easy task for wrestling athletes. Just 4% of the US high school wrestlers compete at the College level. With only 10,568 men and just over 500 women wrestlers, getting to respectable wrestling colleges team is quite a challenge.
Getting into a team doesn’t grant you an immediate scholarship. In the NCAA Division I the average team has a 32 wrestlers roster but can offer only 9.9 scholarships.
However, there are some very respectable college wrestling programs, and we will break down the best wrestling colleges with tips on how to get a scholarship.
Top wrestling collages
Before choosing wrestling, you need to know that wrestling is an equivalency sport for NCAA. That means partial scholarships are in play to meet the limit per school. The limit for the Division I is 9.9 scholarship, and the Division II 9 per team. So, the school in NCAA Division II can split scholarships and award 18 athletes with ½ of the support. It’s even worse for women wrestling which is not part of NCAA nor NAIA program.
With 9.9 scholarship per Division, I team, wrestlers, get on average 1/3 of annual college costs covered. While some top athletes get full scholarships, many receive partial, and some none.
How to get recruited
Unlike basketball prodigy, Zion who could choose the college program, for high-school wrestlers things is not that bright. Wrestlers need to meet NCAA and NAIA minimum to get into the recruitment process. There are a few coaches that scout the prospects, and heads of college wrestling programs usually expect wrestlers to contact them. Video is an excellent way to get noticed, but there are also other steps you could take to get spotted.
Not all high-school wrestlers can get into a college program. You need to be top 25 in your weight class and state, participate in high school and summer tournaments, be a state championship competitor, have more than one high school tournament wins.
For NCAA Division one you need to be All-American, and for Division II All-State, while the Division III or NAIA requires All-League/District athletes.
Since wrestling is a specific sport, All-American equals to top eight in your weight class at a national tournament.
Division I is the top-ranked competition with 73 college wrestling programs. Division II has 52, and Division III 87 programs, along with NAIA 31 and NJCAA 61. The amount of effort that athletes need to invest into the wrestling program is about the same as working a full-time job along with the studies.
High level of professionalism in Division I requires the same commitment as with some of other more popular sports. Although the level of competition is not that high in Division III, the amount of time, you need to invest is the same. It could be challenging for students to cope with both hard training and academic obligations.
For successful students athletes, time management is among crucial skills. For those who stumble under pressure, and need help with research or writing an essay, there is an online service Edu Birdy, or they could find writing help on some freelance platforms. The studying part can’t be outsourced, and it’s pivotal to find the balance.
The best college for men’s wrestling
Out of a total of 304 wrestling programs, according to the athleticsholarships.com, the top wrestling colleges are:
Division I: Cornell, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Lehigh, Rutgers and Boise State.
Division II: Nebraska – Omaha, St. Cloud State, Newberry, Augustana, Nebraska-Kearney, Pittsburgh-Johnstown, Western State, Central Oklahoma, Grand Canyon, and Minnesota State
Division III: Augsburg, Wartburg, Wisconsin – La Crosse, Coe, Ithaca, Concordia-Moorhead, Saint John’s, Mount Union, Olivet, and Centenary.
NAIA: Notre Dame (Ohio), Grand View, McKendree, Lindenwood, Missouri Valley, Campbellsville, Morningside, Montana State-Northern, Southern Oregon and Great Falls.
The NCSA sports offered a different list based on analysis of NCSA favorites data from various sources. Here are top 10 wrestling colleges in NCSA ranking:
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Michigan
University of Vidtginy
University of Pennsylvania- Penn
You also can get acquainted with Best Football Colleges in the US, if you start interested in football playing. Whether you’re looking for scholarships or to choose a university to devote your life to, there are a lot of institutions to choose from.
Getting into college wrestling program is tough, and a mere 4% get into men’s college wrestling roster. You need to be talented wrestler, with many tournament appearances and wins, but being good will not be enough. With wrestling not being tier 1 sport, athletes need to contact college coaches and initiate the recruitment process actively. Getting on the team doesn’t mean you will get a full scholarship, but there is an opportunity for the full or partial award.
Guest article written by: Elizabeth Skinner is a freelance author and essay writer with a background in covering educational and cultural topics. Elisabeth’s style is engaging and active in promoting positive ideas. Her mission is to transfer her to know how and rich experience in the form of high-quality articles and blog posts.