Do you have your sights set on becoming a collegiate wrestler?
Do you have your sights set on becoming a collegiate wrestler? The first step to making this dream a reality is to determine what wrestling programs you are most interested in pursuing. To find which programs are right for you, we’ve ranked the top college wrestling programs across the NCAA’s three divisions and the NAIA based on what they can offer you athletically, academically, socially and financially.
NCSA Power Rankings are based on proprietary analysis of NCSA Favorites data obtained from the college search activity of the over 2 million student-athletes on the NCSA recruiting network, U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges, IPEDS graduation rates, and IPEDS average cost after aid.
More than 250 four-year institutions offer student-athletes the chance to compete in men’s wrestling at the collegiate level. When it comes to the top college wrestling programs, the 2019 overall rankings feature well-known schools at the top, followed by more NCAA D1 colleges, five NCAA D2 colleges, 40 NCAA D3 colleges and two NAIA colleges.
Men’s wrestling is sponsored at more than 70 NCAA Division 1 colleges, from large to small campuses across the US. When a program is fully funded, Division 1 wrestling coaches can award up to 9.9 scholarships per team. While this year’s rankings include a mix of Division 1 schools, it’s no surprise to see Power 5 schools leading at the top.
Of the 50 NCAA Division 2 men’s wrestling programs, fully funded programs can award up to nine scholarships per team. While these programs may not receive the same attention as Division 1 wrestling teams, most Division 2 programs offer a similar level of talent and competition, making them a better college fit for athletes.
NCAA Division 3 sponsored sports may not offer athletic scholarships but competing for one of the 100 men’s college wrestling programs at the NCAA Division 3 level has its perks. Many recruits and their families have found that financial aid packages at the Division 3 level tend to be better than athletic scholarships offered at Division 1 and Division 2 schools. Financial aid packages at Division 3 schools can include funding from academic scholarships, grants, work study and more.
Recruits have the option of 50+ men’s wrestling programs at the NAIA level. Fully funded programs can award up to eight scholarships per team, which is usually divided up among a roster of around 30 athletes as partial scholarships. NAIA colleges may not enjoy the same attention as NCAA schools, but you should not overlook these programs. With a little research, you might find that an NAIA program is the right fit for them.
Women’s college wrestling is a growing sport with just 29 four-year colleges offering opportunities to compete. Looking at the 2019 overall rankings, you will find one NCAA D1 school, 13 NAIA schools, seven NCAA D2 schools and eight NCAA D3 schools.