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How to Get Recruited for Women’s College Rowing

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Did you know that college rowing teams have some of the largest roster sizes in women’s college sports? NCAA Division 1 teams have an average of 61 women per team and 31 women per team for Division 2 and 3 programs. With 156 varsity women’s rowing programs and large roster sizes, recruits have many opportunities to compete at the college level. But not all athletes will be offered a roster spot during the recruiting process. Women’s college rowing also has a high percentage of walk-ons, and the experience of earning a roster spot differs greatly for recruited athletes and walk-ons. To learn more about the college rowing recruiting experience, NCSA has created a Guide to Getting Recruited for Women’s Collegiate Rowing, which all potential college rowers should read and reference.


Many rowing teams are located at top academic NCAA Division 3 schools and Division 1 Ivy League (Yale, Princeton, Penn, Harvard [Radcliffe], Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, Brown) schools, neither of which offer athletic scholarships. However, recruits can earn an academic scholarships and other forms of financial aid to cover the cost of college.

Division 1 and 2 programs that do offer athletic scholarships typically only award partial scholarship due to budget restraints.

Read more about scholarships and financial aid for women’s college rowing.


When recruiting, college coaches first look at 2k erg times because speed is one of the best predictors of athlete performance. Once they have an understanding of the athlete’s speed, coaches look at technique, which tends to be more difficult to evaluate without seeing the recruit compete in person. Recruits should keep college coaches up to date on their competition schedule to better their chances of a coach attending one of their races. Coaches will also consider the athlete’s physical attributes, specifically height.

To see a full list of what college coaches look for in recruit, check out our rowing recruiting guidelines.


Simply attending a rowing camp doesn’t secure a roster spot or athletic scholarship money, but it can greatly benefit an athlete during the recruiting process. Attending the right rowing camp can help an athlete improve their skillset, gain valuable training, diet, mentality and race tips, and connect with college coaches at their prospective schools. In our guide to getting recruited for college rowing, we have an entire section dedicated to finding the right rowing camp for you.


There are 156 varsity women’s college rowing programs across the East and West Coasts, as well as the Midwest. Additionally, according to the cMax in-season rankings, there were more than 40 American College Rowing Association (ACRA) club teams competing during the 2018-19 season. To help you discover your right college match, we’ve compiled a list of all women’s college rowing programs and even ranked them based on factors such as academics, location, size and cost.

View list of women’s collegiate rowing programs.

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