Strong standardized test scores might seem like the golden ticket to college admission. However, student-athletes are more likely to be academically disqualified by incomplete course work than by poor test scores.
If you're a high school freshman, take note. Your performance in the classroom, even as a ninth grader, impacts your eligibility. Upperclassmen must monitor their academic standing to ensure that they complete all of their core course requirements.
Not all high school classes fulfill core course requirements. You may possess a fine stroke in Intro to Painting or be the rock star of Band class, but such electives are not core courses and don't count toward your requirements.
Complete these 14 core courses: (After Aug. 1, 2013, you must complete 16 core courses. The extra courses must be one additional year of English, math or natural/physical science, and one extra year of a core course from any category listed above, or a foreign language, non-doctrinal religion or philosophy.)
Division III schools don't refer to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Contact the school or university for information regarding policies about admission and athletic eligibility.
It takes a village to support the recruiting process. Every member of your network plays a crucial role in helping you reach your ultimate collegiate destination. Here's a breakdown about the individuals most likely to help you achieve your goals.
Family always comes first in life, and it's no different during the recruiting process. Make sure that everyone involved has a good understanding of it. Plenty of resources are available to bring your family up to speed.
Once everyone is on the same page, create a game plan for scheduling visits to schools, communicating with a coach and completing necessary reports and applications.
Family knows best, so they'll be your most reliable guide to finding the right college fit, keeping you on track and sorting truths from falsehoods along the way. College coaches are looking for high-character recruits. Actively pursing the process with strong family support is a great way to show that you're a studentathlete with values and integrity.
Your high school coach can provide a wealth of recruiting information and serve as a mentor. When you're not practicing or playing hard, use coach to your advantage in the following capacities:
A club coach can be instrumental in maximizing your recruiting potential. Due to his or her deep experience with recruiters, a club coach may have a more expansive network of contacts at the collegiate level.
Furthermore, college coaches' in-person evaluations of high school athletes occur primarily at AAU, club and major showcase tournaments, and they communicate with club coaches during these events.
Use your academic adviser as a source of information for tracking down scholarship opportunities and other sources of financial aid. Your academic adviser is also the point person for submitting official transcripts and SAT or ACT results.
Your teachers can write letters of recommendation for your college and/or scholarship applications. They can also assist you in declaring a major or helping you discover areas of academic interest to pursue in college.
Remember, your academic advisers and teachers won't be chasing after you to complete these tasks. It's your responsibility to seek their help when and where needed to ultimately get the job done.
Recruiting services can be a helpful addition to your support network. But, before you enroll in a service, find a verified and trusted party that will cater to your needs.
Learn about two STACK-approved recruiting services below. You'll also fi nd a list of questions to ask when evaluating a service.
An interactive platform for high-school athletes to connect with more than 18,000 college coaches, beRecruited provides students with tools to research and build profiles and supplies coaches with an expansive database of potential recruits. The easy-to-use platform serves athletes and coaches in 31 different sports.
"College Recruiting Simplified" is the NCSA's stated purpose. The association boasts a team of former athletes, collegiate coaches and national recruiters who help student athletes prepare for the different circumstances they face during the recruiting process. Every student-athlete needs an objective, and NCSA will help you formulate one and create a step-by-step game plan to reach it.
Consider this scenario: you receive a scholarship offer late in the recruiting period, only to discover that you can't afford college. Regardless of the sport you play, the caliber of your skills or the division you're planning to compete in, this could happen.
An athletic scholarship doesn't necessarily mean a "full ride." In fact, most Division I student-athletes receive only partial athletic scholarships. Even for those who receive full athletic scholarships, other college-related expenses can be prohibitive.
For non-scholarship athletes, the financial burden of attending college can be overwhelming. It follows that athletes should make securing the best financial package a top priority when determining their best fi t for college.
Below is a breakdown of financial aid options to help you maximize your financial aid award potential.
Reporting Financial Data
Financial aid strategy starts with determining your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the estimated amount your family can reasonably contribute toward the cost of college.
EFC is based on the following factors:
- Family size (parents plus children)
- Income (before taxes)
- Net assets (savings or other investments)
EFC calculators are available online to help (e.g., visit fafsa4caster.ed.gov). The financial information you report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form ultimately determines your EFC. The formula for aid uses EFC as follows: cost of attending college minus EFC equals amount of eligible need-based aid.
Types of Financial Aid
Need-based Pell Grants
Awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to low-income undergraduates on the basis of need. The maximum amount available per student for the 2010-11 school year is $5,550. The actual amount a student receives varies in relation to his or her financial situation and the amount of support the DOE thinks the parents can provide.
Federally-backed low-interest loans available to undergrads who demonstrate financial need. Many schools distribute Perkins funds on a first come, first served basis, and they may lack sufficient funding for all eligible students. So make it a priority to apply early.
Work-Study provides employment (typically part-time) for student-athletes during the academic year, with compensation rates no lower than the federal minimum wage.
What they are: Financial aid awards based on criteria established by the scholarships' administrators. Common criteria include financial need, academic excellence, civic service and athletic ability. Most Division I and II schools and some NAIA and NJCAA institutions offer athletic scholarships. Division III institutions do not award athletic scholarships.
Most sports (football and basketball are exceptions) are equivalency sports, meaning a school's program has a set number of scholarships to allocate. Equivalency-sport athletes typically receive only partial scholarships.
Keep in mind that plenty of scholarship opportunities exist beyond academics and athletics. For instance, many church organizations and religious groups, employers (yours or your parents'), and social groups offer scholarships on an annual basis.
Seeking an Opportunity to Compete at the D-1 Level?
The best offense is a good defense, and you won't find a better one—make that three—than the service academies of the United States Department of Defense: the United States Military, Naval and Air Force Academies.
These four-year co-educational undergraduate academies are excellent options for students interested in serving their country and receiving a quality education at no cost. All three academies field varsity athletic programs that compete at the Division I level.
The admissions process is rigorous—all require a nomination from a member of Congress—and the daily workload is demanding, especially for student-athletes.
For those attending a traditional college or university, Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs offer prospective student-athletes another financial aid option to fund college or to repay loans.
ROTC programs are available through the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Through an elective curriculum taken in conjunction with required college courses, ROTC cadets learn military and strategic planning skills, professional ethics and leadership development. In return, ROTC programs offer merit-based scholarships applicable toward tuition and other college-related expenses. Most scholarships cover the cost of full tuition in exchange for a commitment to active military service after graduation.
One near-guarantee for service academy and ROTC graduates alike: excellent job opportunities within the Department of Defense upon fulfilling the mandated service obligation. For example, Army Officers may pursue 24 career fields within 17 different branches, including engineering, law, medicine and aviation. Officers are also free to pursue civilian careers.
Antonio Gates: A Recruiting Story Like No Other
Recruiting Support Network
Effective Networking With a College Coach
NCAA Rules & Regs
Make the Most of Your Campus Visit
3/1/2011 | Views: 14
Campus visits provide the best opportunity to gather information about a school and evaluate its athletic and academic programs. Whether official and unofficial, a visit can also be a recruiting game-changer, according to Tom Kovic, founder and president of Victory Recruiting Consulting. Here's how to make the most of your next visit.
|Think of an unofficial visit as a preliminary interview. The NCAA doesn't restrict when you can take an unofficial visit. Depending on geographical location, aim for five to eight campus visits, and balance the trips among Division I, II and III schools.
||The NCAA permits five official visits, starting the first day of your senior year of high school. These visits are funded in full or in part by the college and are permission-based, meaning you must be invited by the program and registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Each visit is limited to 48 hours.
|Start taking unofficial visits after your sophomore year. Summer may be best time to meet with a coach, because it's typically downtime. Don't just show up for a visit; communicate with the coach at least one month in advance, and notify him/her of your scheduled activities while on campus.
||Help the coach with scheduling official visits. As long as you're respectful, don't be shy about suggesting that an official visit could be helpful in making your college decision. Realize though that the coach could potentially decline your request.
|What to expect
|Take a campus tour and attend the school's information session to learn about admission requirements, academic standards and campus life. Based on earlier communication, try to schedule a meeting with coach. If all goes well, you may have 30 to 45 minutes with coach, so be prepared with questions and answers.
||You will most likely be paired with a student host, who will show you around and entertain you during your visit. Expect to attend a varsity football or basketball game. A coach who wants to recruit you will pull out all the stops to promote his/her program and persuade you to commit. Official visits are prime time for scholarship offers.
|Send a handwritten note thanking the coach for the opportunity to visit. State your intent to update him/her about your academic and athletic progress throughout the year. You can also extend an invitation to tournaments and showcases for further evaluation.
||Send a handwritten note thanking coach for welcoming you on campus. If you did not receive a scholarship offer, continue to explore other options. Don't be afraid to ask coach where you stand on the recruiting board.
|If you have time
|Visit a school more than once. Use the first trip for information gathering. During a follow-up visit, sit in on a class, meet with current players and try to get a feel for the daily life of a student-athlete.
||Use all of your official visits, even if you are close to choosing a particular school.
Be fully prepared for any and all situations you might encounter during your next recruiting visit.
- 2 pairs of clean socks
- 2 pairs of boxers/briefs
- 3 shirts: long sleeve, polo or plain t-shirt (layering underneath), button-down (for more formal events) and V-neck or cardigan (to wear over button-down shirt)
- Tie (possibly needed based on trip itinerary)
- Jacket (non-varsity presents a more mature look)
- Jeans (avoid ripped or patched styles)
- Sneakers (a comfortable pair for walking around campus)
- Winter hat (for outdoor wear only; no coach likes a hat during meetings)
- Sleep Gear
3/1/2011 | Views: 18
Literally hundreds of tasks are necessary to achieve your goal of playing at the college of your dreams—ranging from tearing it up on the fi eld to making sure your No. 2 pencil is sharpened at SAT time. And each task, no matter how signifi cant or how small, presents a risk and an opportunity. Use the following checklist to avoid the pitfalls and make yourself the best recruit possible.
Prior to junior year
Set seasonal, yearly and overall high school athletic and academic goals
• Write them down
• Be realistic
• Keep them where you’ll see them regularly
• Assess your progress at the end of each season/school quarter
Maintain good academic standing
• Don’t cut class
• Strive for good grades
• Take advantage of study halls and tutors
• Don’t cheat
• Show respect to teachers and fellow students
• Avoid detentions and suspensions
Identify athletic weaknesses; research safe and effective methods, or professionals, to help you eliminate them
Develop good relationships with teachers who will eventually write your college letters of recommendation
Get involved in extracurricular and volunteer activities
Be aware of your off-fi eld lifestyle and the image it portrays
• Choose friends wisely; avoid troublesome crowds
• Keep online profi les clean
• Avoid drugs, alcohol and tobacco
• Don’t fight
• Don’t break the law
• Adhere to a reasonable curfew
Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss NCAA curriculum and grade requirements
Consider playing multiple sports to develop and display well-rounded athleticism
Maintain poise and sportsmanship at all times. College coaches watch you during competition, even when you are not playing. Always:
• Cheer on teammates
• Respond to referees and/or bad calls in a professional manner
• Interact positively with coaches on the sideline
• Keep your head up. Don’t pout regardless of score or situation
• Avoid fighting
• Celebrate with class
Have all athletic competitions videotaped for future use
Create a filing system to organize athletic awards, newspaper clippings and outstanding achievements
Research the best non-schoolsponsored athletic leagues in your area—club teams, AAU, summer leagues, etc.
Participate in non-schoolsponsored athletic competition
Create a resume that includes academic and athletic achievements
Send initial contact letters to college coaches at schools you are interested in attending
• Find name, address and other information about coach on school’s website
• Express your interest in playing for the program
• Include athletic and academic resume
• Attach a schedule of your games for the upcoming seasons
Create a filing system for materials and info you receive from colleges and coaches
Complete and return all questionnaires
Inform college coaches about camps and clinics you’ll be attending
Attend camps and clinics at schools you are interested in attending
Begin pulling clips and creating a highlight tape
Attend a college competition in your sport
• Contact parents of athletes on the college team’s roster to fi nd out if they’re happy with their son’s or daughter’s experiences with the team
• Observe the way the coach interacts with his team
• Gauge the level of play compared to your ability
Assess your athletic ability
• Talk to your coaches
• Measure yourself against other players at your position in your state/district/conference
• Compare your accomplishments to the high school accomplishments of players on rosters of colleges that you think you could play for
Begin thinking about the academic area of study you might want to major in, and research which schools excel in that area
Solicit information about colleges by talking to:
• Guidance counselors
• College’s alumni
Talk with parents or guardians about:
• Cost and what you can afford
• Academic opportunities and programs
• Their academic and athletic expectations for you in college
Create a target list of colleges in each of the following categories:
• Likely admission
• Safety net
Send follow-up letters to coaches who haven’t responded to your initial contact
Assess benefits of using a recruiting service
Familiarize yourself with the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Athlete
Open a dialogue with your high school coaches about the college coaches who have contacted them about you and the colleges that most interest you
Register, prep for and take standardized tests
Register with NCAA Eligibility Center (must be done by end of junior year)
Schedule and take unofficial visits
• Find time to meet with coaches around their busy schedules
• Bring pen and notepad, and have a few questions ready about the program, the coach’s level of interest and his or her plans to remain at the school during your four years
• Provide coaches with your highlight tape and stat sheet
• Talk to players on the team
• Check out the facilities
• Go to a class in your area of interest
• Keep a journal to list pros and cons of each school and coaching staff after visits
Continue to update college coaches about your athletic successes
Update highlight tape with recent clips
Talk to athletes from your school who now play at the collegiate level. Ask about:
• The level of competition
• How college life and sports differ from their high school experiences
• Any additional advice they have to offer
Update wardrobe with clothes appropriate for meetings with college coaches
Send thank you note after any meeting with a coach
Have high school coach call college coaches to recommend you as an athlete
Prepare a list of questions for coaches when they call (they can call after May 1 of your junior year for football and after July 1 for most other sports). Cover these topics:
• Their level of interest
• Chance of an official visit
• Possibility of a scholarship
• Who they have at your position (height, weight, stats)
• Your upcoming game schedule and the possibility of their attendance
Be prepared for an in-school visit from a college coach at any time
• Have questions ready in your locker
• Dress appropriately at all times
Retake standardized tests if necessary
Avoid senioritis—continue to take challenging courses and strive for good grades
Narrow down schools you’re interested in and eliminate those in which you defi nitely have no interest
Plan and take official visits. Remember, only five are allowed
• Bring pen and notepad. Have questions ready for meetings with coaches (see Communicating with a Coach, page 29)
• Talk to as many players as possible, not just the happy ones
• Go to a class in your field of interest
• Stay on campus
• Always conduct yourself properly
• Keep a journal to list pros and cons of each school and coaching staff after visits
Set time standards as to when you want to take phone calls from coaches
Assess financial needs by talking with parents and various schools’ financial aid offices
Apply for financial aid
Research and apply for alterative sources of funds
Once you begin receiving financial aid offers from colleges, share them with other coaches to improve your final offer
Create timetable for all application deadlines
Ask teachers for recommendations
Calculate your GPA and find out your class rank
Request official transcript from guidance counselor
Ask college coaches to waive application fees
Decide whether to apply early action or early decision
Write application essays early so you have time to edit and perfect them
Complete the rest of applications and mail before deadlines
Narrow college choices to your top three opportunities
Make final decision
Notify all college coaches you’ve been speaking with of your final decision
Contact your new college coach to receive strength and conditioning manual