Thinking about playing your chosen sport in college? Are you wondering how to make your current involvement in athletics enhance your chances of admission? Here are some guidelines for prospective college athletes.
- Choose a college by following the “broken leg” rule. It’s simple—if you were unable to compete there, would you still want to attend that college? If not, that school should not be on your short list.
- Earn the best grades that you can. Although you may receive letters of interest from very selective colleges, they will not continue in the recruiting process unless they feel you can be competitive academically as well as on the playing field. SAT and/or ACT scores are also critical for these institutions. At highly selective colleges, the required GPA and scores will be far above the NCAA eligibility requirements.
- Be realistic. Ask your coach for his/her honest assessment of your ability to play in Division I, II or III. Check out times or stats of players at the colleges that are of interest to you.
- Be proactive. Start the process early. Research colleges that meet your criteria both for athletics and academics. Include schools with sports teams from at least two different divisions. Complete prospective athlete forms on the athletics area of college websites. E-mail appropriate coaches expressing your interest in their program.
- Market yourself. Don’t count on colleges finding you. Make yourself visible by playing at regional events and showcases. Make unofficial visits to campuses that interest you. Contact the coaches ahead of time and ask if you could meet with them while you’re on campus.
- Register on the NCAA Clearinghouse website by the end of your junior year. www.ncaaclearinghouse.org