Collegiate fencing has existed for a long time, with some of the first university teams coming from the prestigious Ivy League. While there are close to 100 schools offering some sort of fencing program, only about half of those actually have a varsity team, meaning that the number of scholarship opportunities in college fencing are somewhat limited. Of course, only varsity teams can qualify for the national championships, which just like in every other NCAA sport is the highlight of each season.
Even though fencing might be considered by many as an individual sport, collegiate fencing tournaments are run as team events. Fencing teams consist of three fencers per weapon and gender, and schools compete against each other, one on one. However, a fencer’s individual results in college tournaments and at the regional championship are used to select fencers for the national championship. Individual results from fencers from the same team are then combined to determine a team’s total score and place in a respective tournament.
Am I eligible?
Having a high enough GPA or SAT/ACT score is the passport to obtaining a fencing scholarship. Achievements in the sport will count for nothing if you do not fulfill the academic requirements set by the NCAA and the university of your choice. The College Sports America team has the ability and the experience to steer you through the qualification process. It is an integral element of our approach to carefully evaluate and help fulfil your personal potential by working with you to select a university where you can fit in both athletically as well as academically.
As mentioned above, fencing scholarships are limited and difficult to obtain, especially for international student athletes. However, this is where our contacts and the relationship we have with coaches, can really become a huge help. Full scholarships are available and can cover everything, from tuition and books, to your meals and dorm room. So if you are a talented and motivated fencer, looking to combine education and fencing, this might be the perfect option for you and we can help you every step of the way.
Here are some more important facts about college fencing and fencing scholarships:
- Number of NCAA Div 1 fencing teams: Men 21, Women 25
- Number of NCAA Div 2 fencing teams: Men 3, Women 5
- Total Number of fencing teams (all divisions): Men 37, Women 46
- Total number of college fencers: Men c. 650, Women c. 700
- Scholarship limit per team: D1 Men: 4.5, D1 Women: 5, D2 Men: 4.5, D2 Women: 4.5
- College fencing programs with the most national championships: Penn State, Ohio State, Columbia, Notre Dame, Wayne State