(PRWEB) May 12, 2013
High school student athletes are glued year-round to the television as Division I basketball and football games grace the screen. They dream of playing for colleges like Indiana, Florida, Texas and USC. But the reality is that only one in 100 high school seniors will get to play NCAA Division I.
“The student athlete needs to attend a college where he or she is wanted, not put their hopes into a college where they want to go,” states Coach John Scott, president and CEO of Athletic Quest, an expert team of current and former coaches.
Of the 2,200+ colleges in the United States, there are hundreds of opportunities for legitimate prospective college student athletes to play. However, there are unique criteria, including the following four steps in applying for admission.
1. Pick a college or university that’s a good academic fit.
The student athlete must qualify for the college or university based on SAT and ACT score requirements. Another tip: Choose only the colleges that have the desired major.
2. Be able to play athletically at the level of the college chosen.
There are 10 times as many high school athletes who can play at NCAA Division III level as those who can play at NCAA Division I level.
3. The student must like the college and the college must like the student.
The coach must demonstrate regular communication with the student athlete. Part of going “where you’re wanted” is having the college coach show an interest. Conversely, the student athlete must show interest in regular communication with the college coach.
4. The student athlete must be able to afford to attend that particular college or university.
What Constitutes a Good Academic Fit?
SAT and ACT scores are the basis of college admission requirements. Everyone dreams of getting into Stanford, North Carolina or Georgia, but for the majority of student athletes, that will never happen. In order to get into Notre Dame, minimum scores of 31 on ACT and 1320 on SAT in two parts are mandatory. If the student athlete wanted to attend Miami, a score of 27 on ACT and 1190 on SAT in two parts is needed. The national averages, by comparison, for ACT is 21 and 950 on SAT in two parts. The world has become more and more competitive and colleges take these scores very seriously.
From a coach’s viewpoint, what balances out a lower level of athletic accomplishment in the student athlete is a higher level of academic accomplishment. Most important are SAT and ACT scores, followed by GPA.
What does GPA mean?
The most common definition is Grade Point Average. In the real world of recruiting, it also means “Get Paid for Academics" and “Get to Play Athletics”, according to Coach Scott.
What Determines Athletic Level?
How does a student know the athletic level? “If you’re not at least an all-state, all-county or all-American player, you’re probably not a Division I player. If you’re not at least an all-league player, all county or all-state (depending upon state population), you’re probably not going to be a Division II player,” states Coach Scott.
Chris Martinez was a swimmer from Los Angeles, California. He had aspirations of competing in college, but wasn’t sure he could compete at Division I level. As he started to work toward competing in college, the colleges he was hearing from were NCAA Division III or NAIA colleges — not Division I. He came to the realization that he wasn’t going to be a Division I swimmer. Chris, to his credit, worked very hard on choosing colleges with the best academic fit, best environment and offered the most money. He decided on Lake Forest College in Illinois and got $130,000 out of $160,000 for four years paid for.
Part of going where the student is wanted includes being able to get more scholarship money, a fact that people underestimate. “Most people believe that if you play college sports, that automatically equates to a full athletic scholarship,” states Coach Scott. “Actually the opposite is true. Only 2% of all college athletes get a ‘full ride’ through athletic scholarships. However, 40% receive some amount of an academic scholarship.”
The Student Likes the School and the School Likes The Student
How does the student know if he or she is wanted? “The college coach will help the student get 25% to 75% or more of the funding needed for that college or university. The amount will depend upon what they’re able to do and how much they anticipate the student athlete will play the first year,” comments Coach Scott. How is that relevant? Here’s the recruiting rule: “If they don’t fund, you’re done.”“If they don’t fund at least a partial amount of your college education, you’re out because you’re not a high priority to them.”
Another hint: The higher up the student athlete is on the recruiting board, the more proactive the college coaches are in getting the student athlete into their school.
“We help hundreds of athletes every year through this process,” continues Coach Scott, “And we coach them and their parents on completing simple things like submitting college applications in a timely manner — all of which is important to the college coach. Other deadlines include registering with the NCAA and the NAIA eligibility centers, and completing a form for FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. We coach families on these things as well as other steps so that everything falls into place in a timely manner.”
Can a student athlete rely on high school coaches to guide through this paperwork maze? “The reality is that most high school coaches don’t know that these things have to be completed or how to complete all the steps,” says Coach Scott, “Because they’ve never been a college coach. But it’s imperative that all these requirements be in place.”
Is the College Affordable?
Can the student athlete afford that particular college? “If you said to me, ‘Coach, I need a dollar for college, and I said do you care if it’s a dollar bill, four quarters or ten dimes? ‘No’ would be the answer,” says Coach Scott. “This is how college coaches look at scholarship money for their student athletes. At Athletic Quest we’ve identified 15 different types of scholarships at colleges and universities that do not include a student loan as part of the college funding process. Not every college will offer these scholarships, which range from presidential to dean’s list, academic, athletic, diversity, special needs, tuition waivers, and many others types of scholarships. But most colleges will have a few of them.”
Cody Eining, a student from Jordan High School in Salt Lake City, Utah applied at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where they offered him a $25,000 academic scholarship of the $50,000 yearly tuition — which meant Cody and his family had to come up with the $25,000 difference. Before taking the right steps to evaluate where he was within college criteria, he had not heard from any colleges. After Athletic Quest stepped in to help, he heard from 32 colleges. Cody asked his Athletic Quest college coach mentor what he needed to do to obtain more money at Willamette. “We coached him through the process and when he visited the campus, he followed the game plan we had outlined, and asked about other types of scholarships,” reports Coach Scott. “He came back with an offer of a ‘special needs’ scholarship. Cody had no physical or learning disabilities, but the Willamette football program had a special need. They needed a defensive back. They could not call it an athletic scholarship because the college is a Division III school; so they called it a ‘special needs’ scholarship. He ended up getting $38,000 instead of $25,000. That’s a significant difference.”
The student athlete needs to be able to afford the school they choose as part of the high school recruiting process. “No matter who you are, you have to plan on paying for part of your school, unless you’re at an elite major college, blue chip Division I athlete in football or basketball. Other than that, the likelihood of getting a full athletic scholarship is one in 1,000 related to college recruiting,” concludes Coach Scott.
Athletic Quest can be contacted by visiting http://www.AthleticQuest.net or by calling 888.803.5157. Call Athletic Quest for a free evaluation ($50.00 value) or to visit with a college coach recruiter to discuss athletic scholarships.