Did you know that the NCAA women’s gymnastics competition is only 38 years old? First established in 1982, only six universities have won team titles, while only 11 gymnasts have achieved the GymSlam with only two having achieved it twice – Margaret Mary Nichols (Oklahoma) and Kyla Ross (UCLA).
Such exemplary role models are among the reasons for the enduring popularity of collegiate women’s gymnastics. But with thousands of gymnasts – in the 2015 season, there were 1,418 gymnasts in the NCAA roster across three divisions – it’s a challenge to stand out.
Unlike in most NCAA-sanctioned sports, coaches can start scouting for the most promising gymnasts as early as in the elementary grades. According to NCAA rules, the recruitment process itself doesn’t start until sophomore or junior high school years. But as soon as you start your first day in high school, you can be considered a college prospect.
The early recruitment is necessary for both the coaches and the student-athletes, mainly because of the stiff competition for scholarships. Like all collegiate sports, there’s a limited number of scholarships available for each team. Thus, coaches and athletic directors have to make the difficult decision to identify the best student-athletes, a decision that will mean intense competition between gymnasts.
How can you compete for an athletic scholarship? First, you should use social media to highlight your achievements and keep them updated and relevant. You can create YouTube, Vimeo, and Instagram accounts for uploading videos, articles, and links about yourself and your athletic and academic achievements. Keep in mind that NCAA rules dictate that student-athletes must do well in the classroom and competition.
Second, you must communicate with college coaches through emails to introduce yourself and showcase your achievements. But remember to follow the NCAA rules on when and how to communicate with coaches.
Third, you should have a highlight video. Coaches will then be able to evaluate your skills and game without attending any of your competitions. You should also get top placements at the regional and national competition because coaches look for consistent winners.
Few things to keep in mind during your high school years where recruitment is concerned:
- During your freshman year, you must research 2-3 schools every week – what their admission requirements are, what their gymnastics programs require from athletes, and what type of scholarships are offered, among others. You should also attend camps and showcases. NAIA coaches may personally contact you during your freshman year, but NCAA Division I and Division II coaches aren’t allowed to do so until your junior year.
- In your sophomore and junior years, you have to continue researching schools. You must also fill out recruiting questionnaires, attend college camps, and submit highlight videos. By September 1 of your junior year, you may receive official communication from Division I and II coaches. You may also be allowed for off-campus visits and other recruitment activities.
- During your senior year, you must make official visits to the campus and respond to communication and follow up with coaches. By November, the NCAA’s Early Signing Period allows coaches to sign recruits and offer them scholarships. After this period, coaches cannot sign recruits to scholarships until mid-April. You must then work toward early exposure for the best odds at getting a scholarship!
- Women’s gymnastics is a headcount sport where scholarships are concerned. In Division I, the schools are allowed to offer up to 12 full-ride scholarships or grant-in-aid scholarships. Schools with a full complement of 12 scholarships can only grant them to 12 gymnasts.
But many schools can only offer less than 12 scholarships due to budgetary constraints. In this case, the schools can divide whatever scholarships they have and offer partial scholarships to their gymnasts.
The eight Ivy League schools compete in Division I, but they aren’t allowed to offer athletic grant-in-aid under NCAA rules. But they can offer need-based financial aid on a case-to-case basis. For this reason, Ivy League schools aren’t included in this list of colleges offering women’s gymnastics scholarships.
Division II schools are allowed to offer up to six full scholarships only. But they can decide whether they will offer full scholarships to six gymnasts only or divide the full scholarships in any manner they want. For example, they can have 12 gymnasts on 50% scholarships or 18 gymnasts on approximately 30%-35% scholarship; the total number should only be six full scholarships.
Division III schools, like the Ivy League schools, don’t offer athletic scholarships. That shouldn’t stop you from applying to these schools if you want to compete at the college level.
Take note that the first seven universities have the most women’s gymnastics national championship titles. You may want to consider them first for this reason.
Check-out these page jumps for further information on the best schools with outstanding women’s gymnastics scholarships!
- University of Georgia
- University of Utah
- University of California – Los Angeles
- University of Alabama
- University of Oklahoma
- University of Florida
- University of Arkansas
- University of Nebraska
- Oregon State University
- University of Michigan
- Stanford University
- Louisiana State University
- Iowa State University
- Auburn University
- University of Minnesota
The Gymdogs is the winningest women’s gymnastics team in NCAA history with ten national championship titles, with five of them won in consecutive years (2005 to 2009). These titles are aside from its 16 Southeastern Conference titles. Such a winning streak attracts the best gymnasts to the University of Georgia, aside from its robust scholarship program.
The university’s Athletic Association awards athletic scholarships that cover tuition, fees, room and board, and required textbooks. There are 12 full-ride scholarships offered at any point, too. The association pays the full costs of in-state and out-of-state tuition for qualified gymnasts; the funds used come from private contributions, ticket sales, and revenues from media and corporate partnerships since university, state, and federal funds cannot be used.
There are more than 200 named scholarship endowments that student-athletes can apply to cover gaps between their athletic scholarships and the actual attendance cost. Stacking rules and regulations apply.
If you’re interested, you can complete the Gymdogs’ Women’s Gymnastics Recruiting Form during your junior year. You may also contact:
Courtney Kupets Carter
You may also contact the following person for questions about athletic scholarships:
The dollar figure in your Award Letter from the Financial Aid Office may be different from your expectation of the scholarship amount. This may be due to the NCAA rules about the book stipend and room allowance. The association will still pay for your books and room’s required costs even when their amounts exceed the NCAA-mandated average rate; terms and conditions apply.
Take note that outside scholarships will likely affect your eligibility for athletic scholarships. Be sure to coordinate with Glada Horvat or the head coach if you’re planning to apply or accept non-university-issued scholarships, grants, and financial aid.
The Utes women’s gymnastics team were the first NCAA national champions when the event was first played in 1982. Since then, they have won another eight national championship titles, with four of them in consecutive years (1983-1986). They are also successful in the classroom – in the November 2019 NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report, Utah’s GSR was the highest of the Power Five with a 94% graduation rate within six years after enrollment among its student-athletes.
The University of Utah offers its student-athletes full-ride athletic scholarships for a one-year period, which can be renewed every year but not to exceed the NCAA-mandated five-year period of eligibility. The Athletics Department, nonetheless, can award athletic grant-in-aid on a semester-by-semester basis for sophomores, juniors, and seniors; first-year students student-athletes who have signed their National Letter of Intent automatically have a one-year scholarship.
If you’re in a recruitment phase, you can contact:
Gymnastics Head Coach
For basic information about athletic scholarships:
University of Utah Office – Financial Aid & Scholarships
Student-athletes who receive outside scholarships, or any form of financial aid other than athletics scholarships, should be aware that their athletic scholarships can be jeopardized. Their team’s financial aid limitations may also be affected. For this reason, check with the head coach and the Compliance Office before applying for or accepting outside financial aid.
The Athletic Department reserves the right to renew, decrease or increase, and cancel any athletic scholarship for valid reasons, including those set by the NCAA. The renewal must be made on or before July 1 before the academic year, wherein the scholarship will be distributed.
The Bruins women’s gymnastics team are overachievers – the good kind – with their seven NCAA national championships and 21 Regional titles combined with their top-notch academic record. UCLA’s program attracts elite gymnasts from North America and other foreign countries as diverse as Germany, Austria, and Guatemala!
UCLA’s strong scholarship program is another reason for its attractiveness. Every year, the UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics awards full scholarships to 12 of its female gymnasts, the most allowed by the NCAA. The scholarship is used to pay the student-athletes’ tuition, fees, and room and board, representing the full cost of attendance (as defined by the UCLA Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships).
Every student-athlete on an athletic scholarship is eligible for a maximum of 15 segments. Each quarter of the academic year – fall, winter, and spring – is counted as a single segment while the summer session is considered a one-half segment. UCLA issues a prorated number of segments for transfer student-athletes, depending on the number of full-time terms completed before enrollment.
Most athletic grants-in-aid are awarded and renewable every year for student-athletes still eligible for renewal. But for those who are medically retired or with expired eligibility, the scholarship can be renewed on a term-by-term basis. Their renewal letter will come with a graduation plan for senior students and students with expired eligibility and injury-related retired students.
If you’re interested in becoming a Bruins, you should contact a coach through email or telephone. You may also submit a recruiting questionnaire or ask your coach to communicate with:
You may also contact:
Sr. Associate Athletic Director, Communications
The Crimson Tide women’s gymnastics team holds the record for the most Regional championships – 32 in all, so far – aside from its six NCAA national championships and eight SEC championships. This is one winning team that you should set your eyes on, especially since the University of Alabama has an excellent scholarship program.
The university’s straightforward recruiting process makes it easy for prospects to plan their early entry into the gymnastics program and get scholarships, too. During your freshman and sophomore years, you may receive questionnaires and camp brochures, make calls to the college coaches and make as many unofficial campus visits as you want – both at your expense. But the college coaches cannot return your calls or call you first, not even talk to you personally.
In your junior year, you may receive recruiting materials starting on September 1, but the restrictions on your freshman and sophomore years still apply. You will undergo the official recruiting process in your senior year, including signing an NLI and scholarship agreement.
A full athletic scholarship covers the cost of your tuition, compulsory fees, room and board, and required textbooks. You may also receive additional non-athletic financial aid but only up to the full cost of attendance or a full Pell Grant, whichever has the higher value. The scholarship amount cannot be used for general school supplies, application fees, parking tickets, reference books, late registration fees, and penalty fees, among others.
For questions about athletic scholarships, contact:
Alabama Athletics Compliance
Mal Moore Building
323 Paul Bryant Drive, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
For recruitment purposes, contact:
The Sooners women’s gymnastics team has four NCAA national championships, seven NCAA regional championships, and 13 Big 12 titles. Indeed, the University of Oklahoma is a top choice for elite athletes for this reason, in addition to its generous policies on athletic scholarships. But student-athletes on scholarship have to meet high academic standards, including the minimum number of credit hours enrolled in and cumulative GPA aside from their athletic responsibilities.
A full athletic scholarship covers tuition, mandatory fees related to courses enrolled in, required books, room and board, and other expenses related to attendance. The list of items not covered by athletic scholarship is longer – parking permits and tickets, ID cards and their replacement, long-distance calls including toll calls and connection fees, missed tutor and other learning specialist charges, late fees, and any other item unrelated to your education experience.
The Scholarship/Financial Aid Office within the Athletics Compliance Department works with the Bursar’s Office and the University’s Student Financial Center to ensure that financial aid disbursements are made properly. If you have questions about scholarships, you may contact:
Athletics Compliance Department
You may contact the head coach for recruitment concerns, even about scholarship slots:
You will receive an NLI and a Financial Aid Agreement form after being chosen as an athletic scholarship recipient. You must return these forms with complete details on the specified deadline for the scholarship to be considered binding.
Athletic scholarships have dollar and equivalency values, too. You must then report other forms of financial aid received to the Athletics Compliance Department lest your existing athletic scholarship is subjected to reduction and other applicable actions.
The Gators women’s gymnastics team continues to make waves in gymnastics! Their titles include four national championships – three in the NCAA and one in the AIAW – and nine SEC championships.
Like its Division, my counterparts, the University of Florida offers the full complement of scholarships to its gymnastics team. The recruitment process follows the NCAA rules, including contact with the coaches during your junior year. You may contact:
You may also contact the following for questions about athletic scholarships and student-athlete requirements:
University Athletic Association, Inc.
PO Box 14485
Gainesville FL 32604
Phone: (352) 375-4683 x6022
Before July 1, renewals and confirmation for multiple years of scholarships are conducted by the head coach with each of the concerned student-athlete with remaining athletics eligibility. The student-athletes are informed of the amount in their respective scholarship and must sign a scholarship processing form. The letter of renewal or multiyear confirmation will be mailed out by July 1, the NCAA deadline.
In case of reductions and non-renewals, the Athletics Director approves before the head coach can complete these actions. However, the concerned student-athlete can appeal the decision with the Student Financial Affairs (SFA) Committee.
The Razorbacks women’s gymnastics team have clinched eight NCAA Regional championships, six of them in consecutive years (2008-2013), and the latest in 2018. These athletic achievements highlight that the Razorbacks are also academic achievers – 12 Gymbacks were named to the 2020 WCGA All-Academic team.
The University of Arkansas Athletics Department offers the allowable number of gymnastics scholarships for its women’s team. Incoming freshman and transfer recipients must complete their required final certifications with the NCAA Eligibility Center before their scholarship funds are disbursed. Incoming first-year students must also complete their amateurism and academic certifications. Failure to provide the required certifications will result in delayed disbursements.
Student-athletes can voluntarily leave the gymnastics team, but their respective scholarship will be subject to complete cancellation. But there will be a proration for the time spent as a member of the team. Afterward, the remaining balance for the semester will be the student’s responsibility.
Just as the recipients and amount of scholarships are determined by the head coach, the proration and the renewal, reduction, and cancellation of scholarships are the head coach’s responsibility. For more information, contact Jordyn Wieber.
You may also contact:
Vice-Chancellor and Director of Athletics
Deputy Athletic Director
Athletic scholarships can be reduced or canceled during the academic year, too, with valid reasons including ineligibility for intercollegiate competition, fraudulent misrepresentation, and serious misconduct. Student-athletes in their fifth year may apply for scholarships under certain conditions.
The Cornhuskers women’s gymnastics team may not yet have an NCAA national championship title, but it has Heather Brink, a former all-around national champion, on its side. They have clinched 23 Big Ten Conference championships and boast 163 All-Americans and five individual national champions.
Are you interested in becoming a Cornhusker? You may contact the head coach when the time is right.
You will love being a Cornhusker gymnast on scholarship, too! The people behind the Huskers Athletic Fund ensures that the student-athletes receive the best possible support for their academic and athletic success. Aside from the full cost of attendance athletic scholarships, gymnasts also receive the following support product and services:
- Comprehensive academic support for their entry, transition, and retention as well as graduation, as administered by 15 dedicated full-time staff members and about 100 tutors
- Free MacBook Air
- Access to Husker Bucks, an app that provides a student-athlete with $10/day on Saturdays and Sundays to enjoy the food at Blaze Pizza, Chipotle, and Smoothie King, among other selected restaurants in Lincoln
- Athletic gear on and off the field provided by Adidas
- Individual nutrition counseling and post-workout recovery supplements
- Life skills training and support
- Athletic medicine services delivered by a full complement of physicians, athletic trainers, neuropsychologist, and sports psychiatry consultants
Student-athletes may also avail of Nebraska’s wide range of housing, from residence halls to apartments, as well as access to meals.
The Beavers women’s gymnastics team competes in the Pac-12 Conference and shines in the competitions. While the Oregon State University doesn’t have an NCAA national championship title yet, top gymnasts flock to it partly because of its strong support for student-athletes.
Such support includes an athletic scholarship program available for all eligible student-athletes. The university’s athletic department ensures that the student-athletes receive financial support for their tuition and fees, room and board, books, and athletic and academic success. This is accomplished through the Everyday Champions program.
For high school students interested in becoming a Beaver, you may contact:
You may also contact the compliance staff for questions related to compliance with athletic scholarships and NCAA rules at 541-737-7369.
You can also ask:
Sr. Associate Athletic Director
Think before you ask! You may also submit the Gymnastics Recruiting Questionnaire along with a photo of yourself and a DVD of your current skill level. Be sure to send these items to:
Associate Head Coach
104 Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR 97331
The university also offers several merit-based scholarships to first-year students, continuing students, and transfer students. Many of these scholarships don’t require a separate application, especially for incoming first-year students.
The Wolverines women’s gymnastics team has enjoyed great success with its 16 Big Ten championship titles and 16 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournaments (1993-2008). Plus, its scholarship program allows student-athletes to focus on their academic and athletic achievements instead of on their mounting student loans.
You may contact this office for information about gymnastics grant-in-aid:
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
You can contact the Wolverines head coach for recruitment purposes:
Of course, student-athletes can receive financial aid from their parents or guardians or anybody with whom they are considered naturally or legally dependent.
The University of Michigan allows its student-athletes to receive financial aid in athletic scholarships, too, per NCAA rules. However, the athletic scholarship must not exceed the current cost of tuition, fees, room and board, and books, among another cost of attendance expenses allowed by the university and the NCAA.
Furthermore, student-athletes may receive other forms of aid from sources inside and outside of the university under certain conditions. The allowable sources include SEOG, Pell Grant, merit-based scholarships, and work-study programs. There will likely be conditions to the financial aid, such as the donor doesn’t restrict the recipient’s university choice and no direct connection between the university and the donor. All financial aid must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
The Cardinals women’s gymnastics team is among the proudest in the NCAA despite the absence of a national championship title? The reasons are aplenty, from the worldwide prestige of Stanford University to the robust athletic scholarship program.
Getting into Stanford’s gymnastic program is competitive. The admissions department evaluates each application on an individual basis, and the decision will be based on a matrix of factors including cumulative GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and application packet. The athletics department will also consider these academic factors alongside athletic achievements and potential.
The head coach usually can choose the gymnasts who will be part of the Cardinals, aside from being instrumental in choosing the scholarship recipients. You may contact her for questions related to recruitment and scholarships:
As part of the recruiting process, prospective Cardinal gymnasts must complete and submit the Stanford University Women’s Gymnastics Recruiting Questionnaire. You may also submit other credentials as required by the coaching staff, such as a DVD or link to your current skill level.
For general questions about financial aid and scholarships, contact:
Financial Aid Office
355 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA 94305–6106
The Tigers women’s gymnastic team has shown their mettle several times and came up winners! They have several SEC regular season and Championship Meet titles and finished second in the NCAA national championships (2013-2014).
As a Division I school, Louisiana State University offers two types of scholarships to its student-athletes. First, a full scholarship covers tuition, mandatory fees, required textbooks, and room and board. Second, a partial scholarship covers part of the elements mentioned above, usually expressed as a full scholarship percentage.
The athletic scholarship will only cover at least one academic year but will not exceed the NCAA-mandated five-year eligibility period. You must meet the applicable university, conference, and NCAA eligibility guidelines to be considered eligible for an athletic scholarship.
If you’re planning on applying or receiving financial aid from outside the university, you should report it to the compliance office. This is because there’s a risk that the externally-sourced financial aid can be counted as athletic-based financial aid. In turn, you may exceed your athletic scholarship limits, a clear violation of NCAA rules.
For concerns about scholarship limits, contact:
LSU Athletics Department
LSU Compliance, Athletics Administration Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70894-5095
Contact the head coach for recruitment and eligibility concerns:
The Cyclones women’s gymnastics team continues their mark with four Big 12 Conference championship titles. They have ample support for their academic and athletic success, too, part of the reason for their decision to stay in the university.
Iowa State University makes a deep commitment to its student-athletes in five areas, namely;
- Academic commitment wherein student-athletes are provided with an immersive educational development experience;
- Athletic commitment wherein ISU provides its student-athletes with the opportunity and resources to participate in intercollegiate events where their sportsmanship, integrity, and leadership can be developed;
- Career commitment that allows student-athletes to become successful in their professional endeavors;
- Community service commitment for student-athletes to strengthen their personal development through community participation; and
- Personal development commitment where student-athletes are provided with opportunities for their holistic growth.
The commitment includes athletic scholarships for its female gymnasts! You may communicate with the Athletics Compliance staff or with the head coach for more information on these matters.
Athletics Compliance Address
Jacobson Athletic Building
1800 South Fourth Street
Ames, Iowa 50011-1140
The Auburn Tigers women’s gymnastics team competes in the NCAA’s Division I and the SEC. Most, if not all, of their members, have received athletic scholarships and financial aid during their competition years at Auburn University.
The athletic scholarship money comes from private donations, ticket sales, and other sources of revenue. No federal and state funds are used by the university’s Athletics Department, thus, its self-sustaining nature.
Gymnasts admitted into the women’s gymnastics program must meet university, conference, and NCAA eligibility requirements before being considered for a full athletic scholarship. The competition for both a slot and a scholarship is fierce, with the head coach and other concerned persons considering a prospect’s academic and athletic achievements.
You may contact the Athletics Department for more information:
Auburn Athletics Complex, 392 S Donahue Drive, Auburn, AL 36849
Phone: 855-282-2010 | Tickets: (855) 282-2010
You may also communicate with the head coach at the appropriate time for recruitment purposes:
The university also offers numerous academic scholarships and financial aid opportunities. Use the Auburn University Scholarship Opportunity Manager to make it easier to find the best fit for your needs.
The Golden Gophers women’s gymnastics team has achieved moderate success in the NCAA and Big Ten Conference. But what it’s known for is its fair recruitment and scholarship programs.
If you’re interested in becoming a gymnast for the University of Minnesota, you can complete and submit the recruit questionnaire when the time is right. You may also contact the Compliance staff for concerns and questions about NCAA eligibility and athletic scholarships:
Office of Athletic Compliance
244 Bierman Field Athletic Building
516 15th Ave. SE
Minneapolis, Minn. 55455
You may also read the FAQs page on financial aid or speak with a financial aid counselor. Get in touch with the university at:
One-Stop Student Services
Phone: 612-624-1111 or 1-800-400-8636
You may also apply for FAFSA and other scholarships and financial aid. Just be sure to discuss the best financial aid package in your status as a student-athlete with your head coach’s compliance office staff.
Being a college gymnast is challenging because you have to juggle your academics and athletics, which demands effective time management, among others. Fortunately, being an athletic scholar can lessen your burden since you’re not worrying about getting into thousands of student debt to finance your studies.