Figure skating doesn’t have to end after high school. In fact, thousands of dedicated figure skaters across the country represent their colleges and universities as they continue to progress through their personal skating journeys ― some even going on to promising post-graduate careers with Team USA.
There are three types of collegiate skating opportunities.
Intercollegiate competitions are governed by U.S. Figure Skating's Collegiate Skating Subcommittee. The country is divided into four conferences: Pacific Coast, Midwest, Northeast and Southeast. The intercollegiate competitive season runs October through March, with two to three competitions held in each conference, concluding with the National Intercollegiate Final, held each spring.
Intercollegiate team skating appeals to lots of skaters because it is a team-driven sport, and individuals representing their collegiate organizations are welcomed and encouraged. For many athletes, the highlight of the season is qualifying for the National Intercollegiate Final ― when athletes from all over the country come together for a cross-section competition.
U.S. Collegiate Championships & Invitational
Started in 1985, the U.S. Collegiate Championships is the longest running of all the collegiate figure skating programs. Each summer, the event welcomes full-time college students from all over the country to participate. In 2022, the competition was expanded to offer an invitational for Excel Free Skate, Short Program, and Solo Dance. Skaters competing in the Junior and Senior combined events have the potential to win a one-time monetary scholarship based on placement.
The competitors find a friendly atmosphere and make lots of new friends who share their love for figure skating. In addition, skaters get a chance to learn about U.S. Figure Skating activities, volunteer opportunities in figure skating, coaching, forming collegiate clubs on their campuses and even try their hand at trial judging.
More information about the U.S. Collegiate Championships can be found here.
Collegiate Synchronized Skating
There are two divisions for college-aged synchronized skaters - collegiate synchronized skating and open collegiate synchronized skating.
A collegiate synchronized skating team consists of 12-20 skaters. Skaters must be enrolled in a university, college or degree program as full-time students, and each member must have passed the U.S. Figure Skating bronze skating skills test. Collegiate synchronized skating teams can compete at qualifying competitions with the opportunity to advance and compete at the collegiate level in the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.
An open collegiate synchronized skating team consists of 8-20 skaters. This team does not have any test level requirements, however all skaters must be enrolled in a university, college or degree program as full-time students. Open collegiate teams may compete at the Sectional Championships but do not advance to the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.
Collegiate Ambassador Program
The Collegiate Ambassador Program was created in 2020 as a way for collegiate skaters to serve in a leadership position and work closely with U.S. Figure Skating staff and committees in order to promote and grow collegiate skating in the United States. They should be dedicated to sharing their passion for the sport with others and willing to give back to their community and sport as whole. They should also act as leaders and role models for young skaters around the country.
There are currently twelve Collegiate Ambassadors, representing intercollegiate teams and collegiate/open collegiate synchronized skating teams from around the country.
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If you are looking for opportunities to skate as a collegiate athlete, use the event search on the Compete page to narrow down events that you might be interested in entering.
U.S. Figure Skating offers a special four-year membership for collegiate skaters. Available for purchase through your home club for $100 ― a 63 percent discount from a full four-year membership, collegiate memberships carry the same privileges as a full membership, including a subscription to SKATING magazine, testing and competition privileges.