Tips for Prospective College Student-Athletes
If you are interested in playing sports in college, the information provided here will hopefully give you a guideline to follow. But first, there are a few facts you should know...
- There are more than 2,400 college athletic programs that make up the competitive landscape that is college sports. More than 1,600 of these colleges do not have the name of a state in their title; colleges such as Chapman, Coe, Occidental and Wheaton. All are excellent academic institutions that offer legitimate athletic opportunities and funding opportunities, as well. Look at colleges that have great academics, beautiful campuses, excellent environments and financial funding opportunities as well as good athletic options.
- On a whole, less than 1% of all high school athletes will play at the NCAA Division 1 level. If a student-athlete is “elite,” he will know by his junior season and perhaps earlier than that. Only about 10% of all college athletic programs are at the Division 1 level. More than 90% of all college playing opportunities are at the Division 2 and 3 levels. Expand your view if you want to achieve your dream of playing college sports. There are more than 15 million high school student-athletes in the US and Canada. Only 5% of senior athletes will move on and play college athletics. 99% will not be Division 1 student-athletes.
- More than 40% of all college student-athletes receive some form of academic funding. Academic funding is the best way to receive financial assistance for college. It is important students take the ACT and SAT’s multiple times to achieve the best score possible. According to NCAA rules, your board scores can only go up, they cannot go down. The highest possible score you can achieve will provide you the greatest number of college opportunities available and will assist you in qualifying for financial funding.
- There are more than 2,000 pages of recruiting rules, regulations and guidelines printed from seven different college governing bodies that outline eligibility guidance for the recruiting process. Serious college prospects must sign up with the NCAA Eligibility Center. The notes below highlight items that need addressing in a timely fashion for the collegiate student-athlete process. Involve your coach with the process. Arrange a meeting with the coach, student and parents. A resume, film and list of potential college suitors are a good way to start. Coach recommendations are very important, along with great grades, community service, and part-time jobs. When you look at schools, take a long look at their current roster makeup, along with their schedule. If you play for a school in the New York City area, your trips to games are generally within an hour. If you are at a school, such as Maine, your road trips will be much lengthier. Longer trips mean less time in class. This can impact your grades at college. Use your coaches, guidance counselors and the internet to compile a preliminary list of schools. You will know if those schools are actively recruiting you. As previously mentioned, expand your list to realize your dream. Investigate those schools and narrow your list. Schools and coaches that contact you the most, want you the most. That’s an important aspect once you get to school.Be wary of the college scouting services. Much of what they do, and charge for, can be done by yourself and the school. The following is a timeline taken from the www.ncaa.org site. The majority of questions you have can be answered at this site. Should you have other questions, feel free to contact Mr. Jason Przybysz, Director of Athletics, at 836-7200 ext. 8350
Freshmen and Sophomores
• Start planning now!
• Work hard to get the best grades possible.
• Take classes that match your high school’s List ofNCAA Courses. The NCAA Eligibility Center
will use only approved core courses to certify your initial eligibility.
• You can access and print your high school’s List of NCAA Courses at www.eligibilitycenter.org.
Click the NCAA College-Bound Student-Athlete link to enter and then navigate to the
“Resources” tab and select “U.S. Students” where you will find the link for the List of NCAA Courses.
• At the beginning of your sophomore year, complete your online registration at
• If you fall behind, do not take short cuts. Classes you take must be four-year college preparatory and must meet NCAA requirements.
• Register to take the ACT, SAT or both and use the NCAA Eligibility Center code “9999” as a
score recipient. Doing this sends your official score directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
• Continue to take college preparatory courses. Double check to make sure the courses you have
taken match your school’s List of NCAA Courses.
completing your junior year. If you have attended more than one high school, the NCAA
Eligibility Center will need official transcripts from all high schools attended. (The NCAA Eligibility Center does NOT accept faxed or emailed transcripts/test scores.) The NCAA Eligibility Center does accept transcripts electronically through Docufide/Parchment, e-Scrip Safe, ConnectEdu, NationalTranscript Center and Xap.
• Before registering for classes for your senior year, check with your high school counselor to
determine the number of core courses that you need to complete your senior year.
• Take the ACT and/or SAT again, if necessary. The NCAA Eligibility Center will use the best
scores from each section of the ACT or SAT to determine your best cumulative score.
• Continue to take college preparatory courses.
• Check the courses you have taken to match your school’s List of NCAA Courses.
• Review your amateurism responses and request final amateurism certification on or after April 1
(for fall enrollees) or October 1 (for spring enrollees).
• Continue to work hard to get the best grades possible.
• After graduation, ask your high school counselor to send your final transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center with proof of graduation.