Help for Families Looking for Athletic Scholarship Opportunities
Now that school is underway and fall sports have begun, many families are once again invested in trying to help their son or daughter gain the attention of college coaches so that future athletic scholarship opportunities may come their way. While only about 7% of all high school student athletes will ever play at the college level (this number includes walk-ons and partial scholarships), there are still a lucky few that will earn scholarship money through athletic accomplishments. The following are a few quick tips to think about as your family looks into athletic scholarships:
- Play your best. Obviously the fastest way to earning a college athletic scholarship is to excel in your sport. This is especially true for premier Division I college athletic programs, so if you aren’t exceptionally talented it may behoove you to look at DII, DIII, or NAIA options .
- Test early. For many kids these days it makes sense to take the ACT and/or SAT as early as the start of the JR. year of high school (especially if the child has taken a heavy college –prep course load to that point). The advantage in taking these tests early (assuming the child is prepared) is that it will be one less thing hanging over his or her head, and if the score is a strong score he or she can include it in college applications and discussions with college coaches.
- Promote yourself! Most parents don’t realize that college coaches only have limited windows when they can speak directly to recruits – however, families can communicate and send information whenever they like. Be sure to turn every stone and make it a point to promote all your athletic abilities in different ways, including traditional correspondence, Youtube video uploads, and any other social media that can help!
- Multitask and try new things. While it may not be easy to do, it is important for kids to balance their lives as much as possible and sign up for clubs, activities, and volunteer efforts. Student athletes who show responsibility, leadership, and discipline usually get extra-long looks when compared to their peers, so be sure to help your child round out his or her schedule.
- Keep options open. While it would be great to receive that full-ride DI scholarship, the reality is that very few student athletes are able to do this. Therefore, it is important to keep all options open – which might include small DIII private schools who offer really great opportunities as well!
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