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Nicole Chiappa will swim and study business at the University of Delaware.

Behind the Choice: Nicole Chiappa

College: University of Delaware

Sport: Swimming

Major: Business

Why did you pick your major?

I picked business because my dad owns a business and I love that he can be creative and the super hard work pays off. I hope to work with a lot of people and travel as well.

Plans for after college: I’m not sure but I hope to travel. I love my town, neighborhood, and I want to stay close to my family, but traveling has always been something I want to incorporate in my career.

What was your college process like?

I started my college process by contacting coaches that I could swim for. I also then looked at a few schools I would not swim at, in case I decided I did not want to swim anymore. The ones that I looked at for swimming were University of Delaware, Duquesne University, University of Pittsburgh, Binghamton University, Wagner University, UNC Wilmington, and a couple others. The ones I was not going to swim at were Penn State, West Chester University, and Temple. After visiting University of Pittsburgh, University of Delaware, Duquesne, Wagner, Penn State, and Temple, I decided to apply to Delaware, Penn State, Temple, and West Chester. Duquesne and University of Pittsburgh were too far and Wagner was too small for me.

I got into all the schools I applied to, but I had applied for nursing originally. My mom’s a nurse practitioner, so that’s what I thought I wanted to be, but after realizing that it wasn’t the job for me, I switched to business. Delaware was my dream school since the moment I stepped on campus. For out of state, it’s pretty expensive, so I knew I would need to swim in order to get a scholarship. After taking an official visit, I also fell in love with the team. I ended up canceling the rest of my official visits to commit there in the fall. I didn’t need to see any other schools. I knew I had found my home. Some of the most important factors were distance from home, academic reputation, competitive swim team, and a pretty big school. I also knew I didn’t really want to go to school with a lot of people from North Penn, so I basically ruled out Penn State right after I applied.

Applying for schools really put in perspective the value of money. I wanted to go to my dream school but I also didn’t want to come out with much, if any, debt. I also realized that I didn’t want to be completely isolated from my family. The recruiting process for swimming is pretty easy, because you don’t have to put together any tapes like other sports. It’s all based on times which are posted to an app called College Swim, so any coaches can see your results from any meet. Once you have a couple calls with a coach they can offer you an official visit where you go and stay with the team, so I did a couple of those. Swimmers can only take five official visits. I decided that I wanted to swim in college after junior year when I qualified for states in all four of my events. It wasn’t my first time there, but it was the first time I swam 4 events. I love the idea of being part of a team and having a family, it has lessened the stress of making friends. Delaware’s team was extremely inviting and supportive, so that’s when I knew it would be an amazing fit for me. 

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