How can athletics help you with your college search?
The obvious answer is, of course, getting a scholarship. Yes this is true, but more important; being an Athlete can actually help you get into a school that you might not normally get into. For example, perhaps your SAT is 1150, but your looking at schools that require a 1250. The Coach recruiting you can speak with Admissions about your abilities as an Athlete and what you can bring to the school in the way of athletic talent.
When do I begin?
The best time to begin is early, when you start High School, the NCAA will not allow College Coaches to contact you by phone or in person until you complete your Junior Year but you can write and call the Coach if you wish. The Coach can mail you college information during your Junior Year. The Federal Service Academies: West Point, Annapolis, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and U.S. Air Force Academy can recruit you in Junior Year by permission of the NCAA.
Which schools should I choose?
Pick the schools that have the right fit, have your major, size, geographic location you desire and of course is at the level of Soccer where you can perform and most important have the level of play where you can be recruited. Focus on schools recruiting at your level.
How will I know if the Coach wants to recruit me?
Usually what will happen is the Coach will write you then begin to call you, perhaps come and see you play and finally, offer you an official visit to his school. You are allowed five official visits to schools, so be sure your serious about each school you visit.
How can I get the Coach to see me play and when?
This is called networking. You can write, FAX, call and give the Coach your Varsity, Club, and tournament schedules. Mention your team, jersey number, dates, field locations, etc. Varsity Play is very important, but remember that college coaches are busy coaching during that time frame. Also, go to Camp during the Summer at your top choice schools. This way, the Coach can see you up close and personal for a week. Be sure to tell the coach you want to be evaluated for possibly playing in his or her program.
Which camps can you recommend?
I would recommend Camps where you will be challenged. I would also look at College Opportunities, the Magazine for Student Athletes.
Will I get a scholarship?
Perhaps, but most times, Coaches will "package you" which means you may get some athletic money, some academic money and some other types of aid if you qualify. The better student you are, strong SAT's, GPA, the more marketable you will be. Work hard in High School, take challenging courses and don't get Senioritis. Sometimes the reward is not $$but getting into the school of your dreams.
I have a learning problem, I'm not a strong a student. Can I play in college?
Yes of course, there are many opportunities for students that have learning challenges, but be sure you pick schools that offer strong LD Programs.
As a parent, what is the most important question I can ask a Coach?
Most important is to ask the Coach if his school has an Academic Advisement Program, also called tutoring. Our Daughter attended and played at UCONN, I am happy to say that they have a 100% graduation rate among their athletes because of their College Program for Intercollegiate Athletes.
Who will help me?
You best helpers are your Parents, Guidance Counselor, Coaches, as well as talking with those Student-Athletes who have gone before you.
Does Division III mean the school isn't competitive?
Absolutely not, there are many D-III programs that can beat some D-I and D-II programs. Although D-III cannot offer athletic grants or scholarships, they can offer academic and financial aid. Look at the school's academic reputation and the sports program not at the number after it.