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College, Fencing and Your Child – A Breakdown of College Acceptance Statistics

College, Fencing and Your Child – A Breakdown of College Acceptance Statistics

One question that we get asked constantly is about the role that fencing plays in helping kids get into college or to succeed in college. Every parent thinks constantly about their kid’s future, right? We certainly do. For most of us that means focusing on how we can make that college dream happen in the best way possible, both academically and financially.

Athletics and college are BIG deal. A tremendous deal. They can be a huge piece of the puzzle.

Fencing is among the best places to be for families who want to get their kids ahead of the game in the college admissions and scholarship process, and the numbers are here to back it up.

Compared to the average of all sports, fencing has a fantastic advantage. The overall percentage of high school students who go from competing in a sport in high school to playing in college is just 7.6% for boys and 7.9% for girls. Fencers come in at a whopping 29.6% for boys and 38.2% for girls!

Compared to the highest ranking sports, fencing also has a huge edge.  According to the 2013-14 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations, fencing has the highest rate of conversion from high school participation to college participation of any sport, and not just by a little but by a wide margin!

Let’s look some numbers for the last school year. In the two tables below (one for boys and one for girls) you will find stats including the percentage of kids that were accepted into the best colleges and universities who went on to compete in their high school sport at the collegiate level. For your convenience we have organized the table in rank order, from sports that are most likely can give you “the best ticket to college” to those that probably will not really help in college acceptance.

* NOTE: if you notice that there aren’t many numbers near the bottom of the lists, there’s a reason! These sports either didn’t translate into substantial progressions from high school to college (far below one percentage point is not reported), or are not sports that the gender participates in heavily (football and baseball for girls, field hockey and softball for boys).

Girls

#

Sport

High School Girls

College Athletes

% of high school athletes competing in College

% of high school athletes competing in NCAA Division I

1

Fencing

1,774

677

38.20%

23.20%

2

Ice Hockey

9,150

2,150

23.50%

7.50%

3

Lacrosse

81,969

10,869

13.30%

3.40%

4

Synchronized Swimming

603

74

12.30%

10.90%

5

Rifle

1,587

189

11.90%

8.70%

6

Skiing

4,541

496

10.90%

4.10%

7

Soccer

374,564

37,760

10.10%

2.40%

8

Field Hockey

61,471

5,885

9.60%

2.90%

9

Water Polo

18,899

1,820

9.60%

3.60%

10

Golf

72,172

6,638

9.20%

3.10%

11

Gymnastics

19,231

1,733

9.00%

6.20%

12

Cross Country

218,121

19,351

8.90%

2.60%

13

Softball

371,891

30,874

8.30%

1.60%

14

Swimming & Diving

165,779

13,679

8.30%

3.30%

15

Basketball

433,344

27,710

6.40%

1.20%

16

Volleyball

429,634

26,570

6.20%

1.20%

17

Track & Field 

545,011

33,197

6.10%

2.30%

18

Tennis

215,737

10,869

5.00%

1.40%

19

Bowling

25,751

1,173

4.60%

1.10%

20

Snowboarding

290

11

3.80%

21

Archery

2,162

73

3.40%

0.50%

22

Wrestling

9,904

294

3.00%

23

Badminton

12,152

150

1.20%

24

Skiing – Nordic/XC

4,863

44

0.90%

25

Beach Volleyball

619

n/m

n/m

26

Cycling

130

78

n/m

n/m

27

Equestrian

1,306

2,295

n/m

n/m

28

Rodeo

143

850

n/m

n/m

29

Rowing

4,242

7,800

n/m

n/m

30

Rugby

322

362

n/m

n/m

31

Sailing

122

648

n/m

n/m

32

Squash

449

n/m

n/m

33

Baseball

1,066

34

Football

1,828

35

Totals

3,089,759

245,181

7.90%

2.30%

Boys

 

Sport

High School Boys

College Athletes

% of high school athlets competing in College

% of high school athletes competing in NCAA I

1

Fencing

2,189

651

29.70%

16.90%

2

Gymnastics

1,995

382

19.10%

16.90%

3

Lacrosse

106,720

13,857

13.00%

2.80%

4

Ice Hockey

35,393

4,360

12.30%

3.30%

5

Baseball

482,629

55,410

11.50%

2.10%

6

Soccer

417,419

37,890

9.10%

1.40%

7

Skiing – Alpine

5,593

495

8.90%

2.90%

8

Golf

152,647

12,292

8.10%

2.00%

9

Football

1,122,024

90,136

8.00%

2.40%

10

Swimming & Diving

138,373

10,893

7.90%

2.80%

11

Water Polo

21,451

1,670

7.80%

2.70%

12

Rifle

2,668

199

7.50%

4.50%

13

Cross Country

252,547

18,217

7.20%

1.90%

14

Basketball

541,054

32,190

5.90%

1.00%

15

Tennis

191,004

10,060

5.30%

1.40%

16

Track & Field 

653,971

33,955

5.20%

1.70%

17

Volleyball

52,149

2,314

4.40%

0.90%

18

Wrestling

269,514

9,756

3.60%

0.90%

19

Bowling

28,121

769

2.70%

20

Archery

2,705

54

2.00%

21

Snowboarding

696

14

2.00%

22

Skiing – Nordic/XC

4,406

41

0.90%

23

Cycling

466

179

n/m

n/m

24

Equestrian

177

49

n/m

n/m

25

Rodeo

123

1,372

n/m

n/m

26

Rowing

2,544

3,091

n/m

n/m

27

Rugby

1,440

555

n/m

n/m

28

Sailing

145

507

n/m

n/m

29

Squash

471

n/m

n/m

30

Badminton

4,436

31

Field Hockey

159

32

Softball

1,436

Totals

4,496,194

341,530

7.60%

1.90%

Reference for stats: http://www.scholarshipstats.com/fencing.html

Understanding the Numbers

OK, so those are a lot of numbers – what do they mean? They mean that if your child is fencing in high school, then they have about a 29.7-38.2% of a chance to be accepted to the best colleges in the US and stay in the sport. So all of the time, effort, (ahem) money that you’re putting into this activity has a good chance of being something that they go on to participate in as part of their college’s team. By comparison if your child (boy or girl) is on the high school soccer team, that chance is more like one in ten. Volleyball and basketball are about one in twenty. Those a great sports, but they don’t carry from high school into college.

There are two numbers in those charts, the percentage of athletes who go on to play on collegiate sports and then the percentage who play in Division I schools. Colleges are divided into divisions – one through three – with the largest and most prestigious schools being Division I and the smaller schools with smaller programs being in the other divisions. The key here is that ONLY Division I and II schools can offer scholarships to athletes. So those sports that have high participation in Division I schools are important if you’re interested in pursuing scholarship opportunities. You’ll notice that fencing has the highest by far in girls sports and ties with gymnastics for the top spot in Division I for boys.

If what you’re interested in is college opportunities for your child, then fencing is the place for you! The numbers are unmistakable incredible.

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1 Comment

  1. Acw

    Thank you for this informative article. I admit at one point I was very excited about the possibility of my kids getting a fencing scholarship. I owe it to John Oliver and Race Imboden’s recent article for drastically changing my view of the NCAA. We’re still a few years away from college, so when the time comes (provided my kids are still serious about fencing), there will be many things to think about.

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