By Stewart Brown This article is In a discussion with a group of parents last week I asked about their daughters recruitment process and how they were progressing towards their senior year. One parent told me that his daughter had decided where she wanted to go but the coach’s financial aid offer was not what the family could afford. The family had saved hard in anticipation that their daughter would stay in Texas and attend a state school. Katie had a different idea. Katie wanted to attend a smaller private university in the Northeast. I gave dad the following tips on how to best make it work for his daughter to enroll at the college of her choice and play soccer, and to keep within the family’s budget. Find additional athletic aid: Talk with the recruiting coach. Katie should explain to the coach that she wanted to attend his university and play for him but, even though the scholarship offer is generous, it is not within her family’s budget. Ask the coach if there is any more he can do and explain to him that Katie is exploring additional financial aid opportunities. Find additional scholarship opportunities within the university: Katie should contact the admissions office and ask what scholarships she can apply for within the school and the division in which she wants to study. There may be additional academic, leadership, or privately funded scholarship money available for in-coming students or for enrolled students later in their academic career. I also encouraged Katie to ask about a college work-study program Find additional scholarship opportunities from outside sources: It is estimated that millions of dollars do not get awarded every year that could help fund college educations. The website fastweb.com and the publisher Super College do a great service for students in helping them find outside financial aid. Katie should use these two resources to find scholarships that she is eligible to apply for and complete all applications in a bid to earn more scholarship money for her college education. Caution: Some coaches may promise you increases in financial aid each year (Example: 25% your freshman year; 50% your sophomore year; 75% your junior year and; 100% your senior year) but your scholarship money is renewable every year and even if you have this progressive offer in writing it is not guaranteed. College coaches like to hear that their prospects are putting forth effort to find additional financial aid for themselves and some may reward you for your efforts by finding more money for you too. For more information on the financial aid process go to our Recruitment Resources.