best niche sports for college admissions

Entering into and paying for school can really feel like daunting duties, particularly in at present’s aggressive surroundings. Enjoying a distinct segment sport is one option to give your self an edge when making use of to a school that is likely to be troublesome to get into or a scholarship that many are vying for.

Area of interest sports activities are those who aren’t extensively standard and that may offer you alternatives to bolster your admissions and scholarship functions. Listed below are a number of the finest area of interest sports activities that may enable you get extra bang in your school admissions buck.

Finest Area of interest Sports activities For Faculty


Studying methods to deftly assault with an épée would possibly get you admitted into one of many 46 colleges throughout the nation that provide varsity fencing. Faculties like Harvard, Boston Faculty, Yale, and the U.S. Air Power Academy have fencing. And so they would possibly even offer you a scholarship.

In 2018, the percentages of getting a scholarship for fencing have been 22:1 for males and 13:1 for ladies. Evaluate that to the percentages of 57:1 for males and 43:1 for ladies who need to play basketball. As you may see, alternatives abound in the event you can grasp the blade.

Nevertheless, it’s vital to notice that fencing presents much less potential than it did previously, as Brown discontinued its varsity fencing program for males in 2020, and related cuts could occur at extra colleges sooner or later.


Should you’re on the lookout for a sport that continues to supply comparatively excessive odds of constructing a school varsity roster, lacrosse could be a good selection. There are 645 U.S. faculties that provide varsity lacrosse groups. It’s even potential to seek out junior school lacrosse groups in addition to NCAA groups exterior Division I.

The chances of constructing any school roster as a lacrosse participant are 7:1 for each women and men. In relation to enjoying Division I lacrosse, the percentages are 32:1 for males and 24:1 for ladies. This additionally presents a significantly better likelihood at hitting the sector than you’ll get with another, extra well-known sports activities.

Water Polo

Hop within the pool, and also you is likely to be stunned at the way it may help you get into an excellent school. Cal State campuses supply varsity water polo groups, together with various different colleges, together with Arizona State College, Chapman College, Pepperdine, and the U.S. Naval Academy. There are 125 colleges in complete that provide varsity water polo groups.

However what are the percentages {that a} highschool water polo participant will make the minimize for school? A person has 13:1 odds of getting onto a workforce in school, whereas a lady has odds of 11:1. Making a roster for an NCAA Division I workforce has harder odds, at 34:1 for males and 29:1 for ladies.

The numerous distinction within the probabilities of making a Division I workforce versus a workforce in any of the three divisions highlights an vital issue when contemplating area of interest sports activities for school admissions and even scholarships: Typically, making use of to a smaller faculty would possibly make sense. Even at a non-Division I faculty, you would possibly nonetheless be capable of get a scholarship, albeit seemingly a smaller one than you’d for Division I.

Associated: Finest Extracurricular Actions For Faculty Purposes

Discipline Hockey

Discipline hockey is a sport usually performed by ladies on the school stage. There are 288 colleges which have a varsity area hockey workforce, that means that you simply would possibly be capable of get into faculty in the event you can skillfully deal with a hockey stick. Stanford, UC Berkeley, Georgetown, and Trinity Faculty all supply varsity area hockey groups. Should you’re seeking to set your self other than different school candidates, excelling in highschool area hockey is likely to be a technique to do that.

Ladies hoping to get onto a area hockey roster have 10:1 odds, with 39:1 odds for these hoping to make a Division I roster. There are greater than 6,600 area hockey gamers on the collegiate stage.


Again in 2018, Marketwatch reported that girls had 3:1 odds of getting a school scholarship for equestrian efficiency. For the 2022-23 tutorial yr, there have been 77 colleges throughout the nation that had varsity equestrian groups. The typical scholarship quantity, for many who acquired one, was $16,567 for riders competing for NCAA Division I colleges.

As with many different area of interest sports activities for school admissions, colleges thought of extra prestigious, like Auburn, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Sarah Lawrence, usually tend to supply varsity equestrian groups. Because of this, it’s vital to weigh the scholarship towards the potential price of attendance. For instance, tuition alone at Cornell College is greater than $60,000 earlier than factoring in grants and scholarships. A $16,000 athletic scholarship at a faculty like that received’t make a lot of a dent by itself.

However, a $16,000 scholarship at Auburn College would greater than cowl the price of that college’s in-state tuition price ticket of about $6,300. And it might depart loads of room to cowl the $7,700 wanted for on-campus housing and meals as effectively.


The game of rowing made headlines in 2020 as half of a school admissions scandal wherein sure college students acquired admissions assist by being falsely portrayed as rowing workforce recruits. Different area of interest sports activities, like crusing, have been additionally caught up within the scandal.

The incidents underscored the benefits that area of interest athletes have after they apply to sure faculties. Coaches of sports activities like rowing and crusing could discover it difficult to fill their school rosters. So if a pupil is recruited for these groups, they might have a leg up within the school admissions course of, even when they could in any other case be handed over primarily based on tutorial deserves alone.

There are 152 colleges that sponsor a rowing workforce on the varsity stage, with NCAA Division I and Division II colleges providing scholarships. Curiously, males’s rowing isn’t an official NCAA sport, though it’s nonetheless potential for a male pupil to get a scholarship for being on a crew roster. It’s, nonetheless, an official NCAA sport for feminine rivals. The typical scholarship dimension for an NCAA Division I girl in rowing is greater than $19,700, whereas for males it exceeds $13,500.

In 2018, the reported odds of receiving a scholarship for ladies’s rowing have been 2:1. These odds may need been impacted by the aforementioned scandal, however rowing can nonetheless be a viable area of interest sport for school admissions.

Swimming And Diving

Swimming and diving are sometimes lumped collectively for the needs of admissions statistics. The chances of constructing a swimming or diving workforce at any school are 13:1 for males and 12:1 for ladies. Nevertheless, the percentages of getting a scholarship are 47:1 for ladies and 69:1 for males. These stats point out that swimming and diving could also be helpful sports activities for stepping into a faculty you’re all for, nevertheless it’s far more difficult to review on a swimming or diving scholarship.

With 687 colleges supporting a varsity swim workforce, you’ve the possibility to get into colleges at numerous ranges. There are even scholarships accessible on the junior school stage for swimming. Should you’re on the lookout for methods to economize in school, the mixture of beginning at a neighborhood school and getting a swimming scholarship could possibly be a wise technique.


Don’t neglect about esports whenever you’re contemplating school admissions and scholarships. There are about 170 colleges on the market with esports groups, from the neighborhood school stage on as much as NCAA Division I. On prime of that, there’s reportedly greater than $16 million in accessible esports scholarships.

Should you play “Fortnite,” “League of Legends,” “Name of Obligation,” “Tremendous Smash Bros.,” or different related video games, you would possibly be capable of use your esport ardour to achieve admission or perhaps a scholarship to a school. My son is the captain of his junior school’s League of Legends workforce and has a half-tuition scholarship in consequence.

Backside Line

Sports activities like tennis, basketball, and soccer is likely to be standard, however admission slots and scholarships for these sports activities are additionally extremely aggressive. Should you excel at a distinct segment sport, you may need a greater likelihood of stepping into a school you’re all for, and you would even land a scholarship.

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