What should prospective students know about intercollegiate sports?

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What should prospective students know about intercollegiate sports?

William Kole
President/Founder No Stress College Counseling

D-I, D-II, or D-III?

As I tell every student, be aware of the commitment at each level. While D-I and D-II offer athletic scholarship money, these levels of competition require a lot more commitment. I often compare this to having a full-time job as you will be expected to perform at a certain level. D-III allows you to play your respective sport at a high level of competition, but also allows you to have the full college experience (i.e. graduating on time, the ability to participate in other social activities, and earning a solid GPA). It is important that student athletes graduate college with a degree and with a solid GPA, as you will likely need to disclose your GPA to prospective employers when seeking that first job! For parents be sure that your child's prospective college coach is emphasizing the importance of earning a college degree, and not just emphasizing what takes place on the field.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

Top Tips for College Bound Athletes

Start early Vince Lombardi said, “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be forgotten.” His words ring true for the college process, particularly for student athletes. College coaches are restricted from contacting players outside of NCAA regulated periods, however, students can put themselves on a coach’s radar in advance of the official recruitment period. Check college websites for “Prospective Student Athlete” forms to indicate your interest in pursuing an athletic career at a specific institution. Grades count, even freshman year grades Even the most esteemed college bound athlete needs to demonstrate solid academic performance. Grades from ninth grade to eleventh grade are used to compute a student’s NCAA core academic grade point average. Students broaden athletic opportunities by consistently working hard in classroom. Take the test, early Standardized tests (either SAT or ACT) are a chief component for attaining academic NCAA eligibility. High school juniors should plan to take the SAT and ACT for the first time in December or January of junior year. Academic eligibility can be achieved prior to the start of a student’s senior year. Early academic clearance enables college coaches to focus on your athletic performance. In addition, familiarity breeds success: taking standardized tests multiple times offers the best opportunity for a solid score. Consider all options Only 2% of high school students earn a college athletic scholarship, though far greater numbers play sports in college. Keep an open mind about pursuing athletics in college. Division III institutions don’t award athletic scholarships, but offer students competitive athletic opportunities balanced with strong academic programs. Select classes carefully All students who play sports and have even the slightest interest in college athletics should select courses carefully beginning freshman year. While your school may count “History of Jazz” for graduation, the credits may not count when the NCAA computes your core academic GPA. Visit egligibitycenter.org to determine if you are enrolled in NCAA approved classes. Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse At the conclusion of your junior year, register with the NCAA Clearinghouse at eligibilitycenter.org. There are four components to completing this registration: submit the online questionnaire, provide payment (fee waivers may be available), submit an official transcript through your high school, and submit official SAT or ACT scores. When all components are received, the NCAA will evaluate you for eligibility.

kathy hicks-freeman
Guidance Counselor Greensboro High School

Intercollegiate Sports

Students interested in intercollegiate sports should become very familiar with the requirements for the NCAA Clearinghouse. Students should register for the clearinghouse and signup to received updated information. They should become familiar with course requirements as well as minimum scores on college enterance exams.

Kirk McNabb
Owner Headstart College Consulting

Prospective student athletes should know ...

College coaches, on average, will recruit up to ten student athletes for every single position they are trying to fill. With the number of athletes graduating and leaving the team each year, many coaches have to, literally, communicate with hundreds of athletes to fill 17, 18 or 19 positions. To accomplish this they rely on what has worked for them in the past – focus on high schools that have supplied athletes to their college program in the past, attend tournaments, games and high school contests close to their college and rely on the recommendations of people they know and trust. With so little time between the end and beginning of a new season, they don’t have the time to randomly visit web sites and view hundreds of profiles of athletes they have no relationship with. They also don’t have the time or resources to send out random emails or mailings. Instead, they focus on student athletes who are recommended to them or who show interest in their team and college. It is also important to realise that only 2% of all student athletes get 100% of their college education paid for by a full athletic scholarship. You need to find other resources available to help pay for college. There are scholarships available to every high school student but you need to know where to apply and what scholarships are legitimate. There is both Aid and Tax Relief for student athletes to use for their college education, Unigo can help you maximize your opportunities to receive scholarships to help pay for you college education.

Corey Fischer
President CollegeClarity

What should prospective students know about intercollegiate sports?

First, it is important to know that there are different Divisions and while you don’t really have to know what distinguishes one Division from another (numbers of stadium seats for examle!), it is important to understand that there are some critical differences between the levels. Division I has I-A and I-AA for football and I for all other sports. This is the most competitive level for college athletics and is highly regulated. As an athlete on a Div. I team you need to expect to devote a considerable amount of time to your sport (consider it as though it were a full time job). Division II is also very competitive and regulated, though there are fewer and fewer DII colleges left. Division III can run the gamut from quite competitive to much weaker, and does not have athletic scholarships, it also does not demand quite as much of a time commitment as Divisions I & II (and I-A & I-AA). Then there are the Club sports. These are teams that compete intercollegiately, but are not at the Div. I, II, or III level. Often the teams are competitive, but also have a lot of fun. Many colleges with a Div. I team in a sport will also have a club level team so that more students can participate in the sport.

Ryan John
School Counselor Bethlehem High School

What should prospective students know about intercollegiate sports?

The time commitment. Intercollegiate sports require you to budget your time wisely as you will be on the road during much of the season (i.e. away games, tournaments) and will be away from campus. Time management is key for collegiate athletes to be successful in the classroom. Your time will also be crunched on campus as you will have practices (sometimes multiple practices per day) often occurring early in the morning and/or late in the evening. That said, the benefits of being part of a team can be very rewarding and you can develop a second family with your teammates if the chemistry is right.

Trevor Creeden
Director of College and Career Counseling Delaware County Christian School

What should prospective students know about intercollegiate sports?

First, you will know you are a Division I athlete if you are participating on the varsity team as an 8th grader or freshman and getting significant minutes. Division I athletes have "freak" qualities. I don't mean that in a scary way, but that these athletes look like a junior in high school as an 8th or 9th grader. Another important piece of information you should know is that there is more than just playing Division I. To play Division II, III and even NAIA athletics is a great accomplishment. I am a big proponent of the NAIA because they can offer scholarships which is something Division III can't. High school athletes need to know though that all of these levels of intercollegiate athletics are very competitive and a great experience. I played NAIA baseball and was amazed at the competition we were facing. The last piece of information is to start early in visiting schools, contacting coaches and attending camps. Do not wait until junior year to figure out that you want to play intercollegiate athletics. If you do, you can rule out Division one because it is too late. The key is that you should always have started yesterday.

Pamela Hampton-Garland
Owner Scholar Bound

Intercollegiate sports and prospective athletes

Students who are interested in being on an intercollegiate team once they enter college must consider many things outside of perfecting their craft. 1) you must begin in your preparation to get noticed by colleges early in your high school and often middle school career by practicing to be above the bar in your area and getting noticed early 2) participate in league sports which have become one of the primary recruiting venues for college athletics like AAU and Upward to name a couple 3) remember that you are talking about "college" athletics so you must maintain adequate grades in school and take the necessary standardized tests 4) additionally, began a video journal of your performances, because schools will want to see more than one game, they will want a video portfolio of what you have to offer 5) you must register with the NCAA Clearinghouse to become eligible to play at the college level 6) finally once you are being considered you must weigh your academic career goals with the schools offerings, keeping in mind that very few athletes make it to the professional level

Carita Del Valle
Founder Academic Decisions

Sports are just like a job

Students need to know playing intercollegiate sports in college is just like having a full time job with all of the time constraints and expectations without any pay! Primarily they are also in school to get an education but one does not happen without the other. So understanding their role in the two opposing sides of university life is paramount.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

The College Athletic Experience: What Level Makes All the Difference

Prospective collegiate student-athletes need to consider the role sports will play in their collegiate experience. At a Division I school their participation on a team will likely be the defining aspect of their college experience, as the commitment to their sport will have a serious impact on their ability to participate in many of the things that are associated with the college experience. The trade-off is the opportunities for scholarships, travel, visibility, etc. that are not similarly available to others. Too, on the academic end, high level athletics can sometimes make certain majors being almost impossible to pursue. In contrast, the experience of the Division III athlete is usually far closer to that of the normal undergraduate and for some that is very important. Ultimately much depends upon what kind of experience a student desires.