Swimming in College
By Mark Jedow, Head Swimming Coach, Churchill High School, San Antonio, Texas
Original posting in November of 2005
To provide prospective collegiate student athletes and parents with information necessary to help guide them through the collegiate search process.
This Page is and will be exclusively devoted to Collegiate Swimming and is designed to serve as a resource for high school swimmers who aspire to continue competition as they move on to the college or university scene. It contains a great deal of information regarding scholarships and the various levels of NCAA and other Collegiate Athletic Organizations. The information available here must be viewed as being dynamic in that it probably will be revised and updated as required in order to keep the data current. In addition, at the very bottom of the Page, are a number of “Useful Links” to other relevant Web Sites.
Scattered throughout the document are elements underlined in blue. These are active links to various Web Sites, contextually related to the subject at hand.
Links to the Various Sections of this Page
Student athletes and parents as you use this guide here is an interesting factoid to consider: The National Federation of State High Schools Association (NFHS) estimates that over 6.5 million high school athletes are engaged in NFHS-sponsored sports programs annually. This equates to roughly 1.2 million high school seniors each year. Conversely, there are roughly 30,000 NCAA Division I grant-in-aid scholarships available, many of which are not full scholarships. Remember you are a student first and your goal is first to earn a degree not just swim.
The information on this Web Page has been compiled from many sources and is by no means meant to be the only source of information available. Many of the information / data sources used in the preparation of this Page will be found as links at the bottom of the Page.
Levels of Collegiate Swimming
There are presently five competitive levels of collegiate swimming sponsored by three collegiate organizations. A description of each organization and levels they sponsor is outlined below.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit association comprised of more than 1260 schools and conferences. The NCAA membership is divided into three legislative and competitive Divisions (I, II, and III). Colleges select and apply for a classification level that best meets their institutions educational and athletic mission. There are currently 1006 active member schools, 325 in Division I, 270 in Division II, and 411 in Division III. The most notable difference between the divisions is that Division I and II institutions may offer athletic scholarships while Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships.
NCAA Division I institutions are comprised primarily of large schools with enrollments that range from 3,500 to 50,000+ students. College institutions in this classification can, if they choose to, offer athletic scholarships for student athletes. The NCAA sets the number of full athletic scholarships a school can fund. Presently the limits for Division I swimming scholarships are as follows:
Athletic scholarships are limited to one year and can be renewed annually for up to five years out of a six-year period. There is no such award as a four year scholarship. Athletic aid can be increased, reduced or even canceled annually. Programs may offer full scholarships (includes tuition, room, board, fees and books) or any type of partial aid such as tuition only or money for books. The total financial aid package (athletic scholarships, grants, student loans, booster club or civic scholarships) an athlete may receive; cannot exceed the total cost for attending an institution for one year.
Ivy League Conference: Ivy League member institutions include Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale. These Division I programs do not offer athletic scholarships and acceptance to any of these institutions is based on a rigid academic standards. All Ivy League student athletes are rated upon an Academic Index rating scale that each member institution must follow. Students are rated based upon their GPA, class ranking, College Board SAT and ACT Scores, high school course load and community service involvement. Financial aid awards are offered after a student athlete has been accepted on a need-based assessment, which has no bearing whether a student will be accepted or not.
Division I Admission Requirements:
Each student athlete desiring to compete at the NCAA Division must complete a “Certification Process” (See NCAA.org Student-Athlete Section For Details) before they are eligible to be recruited by an NCAA Division I institution. The criteria falls under two main categories: Academic Eligibility and Amateurism Eligibility.
The NCAA currently requires all high school graduates meet the following requirements to be eligible for NCAA Division Sports:
Complete the 16 core-course requirements in eight semesters:
•Four years of English
•Three years of Math (algebra I or higher)
•Two years of Natural Physical Science (including one year of lab science if offered by the school)
•One extra year of English, Math or Natural or Physical science
•Two years of social science
•Four years of extra core courses (from any category above or foreign language, non-doctrinal religion or philosophy)
•Earn a minimum required grade point average in core courses
•Earn a combined SAT or ACT sum score, which matches the core course grade point average and test score sliding scale, e.g., a 3.0 core course GPA needs at least a 620 SAT score.
The core courses listed above are based on an NCAA list of qualified courses, also known as "Q" courses in the NCAA Clearinghouse. School districts a required to submit course descriptions to the NCAA, who determines which courses they will allow to count towards the "Q" core credits above. Not all courses accepted by a state or by local school districts will count towards credits for graduation as courses under the NCAA Clearinghouse.
The NCAA also requires student athletes pass each semester of a course to earn Clearinghouse credit for the requirements noted above. The table just below provides some examples of how a student could pass a course for high school graduation credit but still not receive full credit from the NCAA. Also, the NCAA does not allow a student to re-take a high school class for credit in a high school setting. Each high school course attempt is a one-and-done situation, so if a student fails a course such as English as a ninth grader and has to re-take the class in summer school or as a tenth grader, the NCAA will not recognize that course as credit for the Clearinghouse. Another, different English class will have to be taken and passed in order to earn Clearinghouse credit.
NCAA Clearinghouse Credits versus High School Graduation Credits
|Course||1st Semester Grade||2nd Semester Grade||Final Average||Graduation Credit||NCAA Credit|
|English||65||75||70||Yes||Yes, 0.5 Credits|
|Geometry||69||69||70 Teacher Choice||Yes||No|
|Biology||75||65||70||Yes||Yes, 0.5 Credits|
|World Geography||90||69||80||Yes||Yes, 0.5 Credits|
|Healthy Lifestyles||95||½ year course||95||Yes||No, Not a core class|
|Chemistry||71||80||76||Yes||Yes, 1 Credit|
All incoming student athletes must be certified as an amateur student athlete. With global recruiting becoming more common, determining the amateur status of college-bound student athletes can be challenging. All college-bound student athletes, including international students, need to adhere to NCAA amateurism requirements in order to preserve their eligibility for NCAA intercollegiate athletics. Students must earn their clearance from the NCAA Eligibility Center.
NCAA Division II institutions are comprised primarily of small to medium sized schools with enrollments that range from 1,500 to 15,000 students. College institutions in this classification can, if they choose to, offer athletic scholarships for student athletes. The NCAA sets the number of full athletic scholarships a school can fund. Presently the limits for Division II swimming scholarships are as follows:
NCAA Division II Schools also require students to meet Academic and Amateurism requirements for participation. The NCAA Division II requirements can be found at the following link: NCAA Division II Toolkit. In all cases students need to make sure their academic requirements are properly addressed as a first priority.
NCAA Division III institutions are comprised primarily of small colleges and universities with enrollments that range from 600 to 5,000 students. Division III institutions cannot offer athletic scholarships for student athletes. Financial Aid can be offered on a need-based assessment only and primarily is in the form of academic scholarships, grants and student loans.
Division III Student Athlete Information Website
Coaches and Student Athletes are held responsible for their student academic success at all NCAA Division levels. The NCAA maintains and posts an Academic Progress Rate for most NCAA Institutions which is a searchable database of schools, conferences and coaches ranking how they rate the progress of student athletes towards graduation. NCAA Academic Progress Rate Database.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) is the governing body of intercollegiate athletics for two-year colleges. As such, its programs are designed to meet the unique needs of a diverse group of student-athletes who come from both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds and whose purpose in selecting a junior college may be as varied as their experiences before attending college. NJCAA may offer athletic scholarships for student athletes but are not required to do so.
National Junior College Athletic Association
NJCAA Student Athlete Information Guide
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), is comprised of more than 300 member institutions ranging in size from 400 to 2500 students. Approximately 90% of NAIA schools offer athletic scholarships. Students seeking to participate in athletics will need to be certified through the NAIA Clearinghouse which is similar to that of NCAA.
NAIA Eligibility: The NAIA Eligibility Center will determine your eligibility based on your academic record and additional information you may provide. Here’s how it works:
High School Students: If you will graduate from high school in the spring and enroll in college the following fall, the requirements are simple. High school graduation plus two of the three following requirements:
1. Achieve a MINIMUM of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT
2. Achieve a MINIMUM overall high school GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
3. Graduate in the top 50% of your high school class
Early Decisions for High School Seniors: Students who have completed their junior year of high school with an overall3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, plus the minimum test scores required (18 ACT or 860 SAT), may receive an eligibility decision early in their senior year. To receive an early decision, register with the NAIA Eligibility Center, have your high school send official transcripts to the Eligibility Center and contact ACT or SAT to have your test scores sent directly to NAIA. [NOTE: the NAIA Code with ACT and SAT is 9876].
Transfer Students: If you are transferring from a two or four-year college and have never participated in NAIA sports previously, the Eligibility Center will determine your eligibility based on academic records received directly from the previous institution(s).
Current NAIA Students Participating in Sports for the First Time: If you are a current NAIA student who has not previously competed in the NAIA, the Eligibility Center will determine your eligibility based on academic records received directly from your current institution and any previous institution(s) you may have attended.
Have You Taken Time Off? Some students will also need to provide detailed information regarding their participation in sports outside the collegiate setting. This sort of information will be required if you:
•Graduated from high school but did not enroll in college full-time the following fall
•Did not maintain continuous enrollment in college, e.g., withdrew from college for one or more semesters or quarters.
•Did not participate in collegiate sports for one or more years during you collegiate enrollment.
NAIA Ongoing Eligibility Rules: For students already enrolled in NAIA institutions, your best resource for eligibility information and advice is the respective institution’s Campus Faculty Athletics Representative. The NAIA Official Handbook outlines all association rules governing eligibility
Any financial aid or assistance to prospective students, in money or in kind, except from members of the student's immediate family or from those upon whom the student is legally dependent, shall be administered by the institution under the policies and procedures established by the institution through the regularly constituted committee on student loans and scholarships.
A member institution of the NAIA shall award no more institutionally-controlled financial aid to a student-athlete than the actual cost of: 1) tuition; 2) mandatory fees, books and supplies required for courses in which the student-athlete is enrolled; 3) board and room for the student-athlete only, based on the official board and room allowance listed in the institution's catalog. Further financial assistance to a student-athlete, other than listed above, by a member institution shall be prohibited.
Finding a College That's Right for You
There is a college swimming opportunity available for every swimmer who wishes to compete in college regardless of ability. A swimmer does not need to be the fastest recruit on the team or have national cuts in order to swim in college.
One of the most important things a student athlete should consider when looking at a college is not how good the swim team is, But more importantly, does the collegiate institution provide the student with the best education to meet the career interests of the student as well as provide an environment that will foster a student’s academic, emotional, athletic and spiritual growth? When a student athlete graduates from a collegiate institution will they have the skills necessary for success in our society today?
Top-Ten things that parents and student-athletes should consider when conducting a college search:
1. The institution academic rating. The US News and World Report publishes annual rankings of the best colleges across the United States based upon institution size, class sizes, degree programs offered, graduation rates, professors with Ph.D.'s, alumni support, rate of acceptance into post graduate schools, percentage of incoming freshman that graduate, percentage of students receiving financial assistance and average SAT and ACT test scores of accepted students. Parents are strongly encouraged to review the ranking of any institution their student athlete attends.
2. Student Academics: Does the student-athlete have the grades, course work, test scores and skills necessary to be accepted into the institution as a non-student athlete? This is important to understand. If you are offered a college athletic scholarship, will the student-athlete be able to handle the college course work of your major and still be able to participate as a collegiate swimmer? A very large number of student-athletes have to drop out of college or lose their athletic scholarships because they failed to satisfactorily complete their required course-work.
3. Size of the institution. For many student athletes to find success in college they must consider the size of the school. “Size Does Matter." Are students going to be in large classes of 100 or more students where the professor will never know their name or will the feel more comfortable in school where the class sizes are at a much lower ratio?
4. Location: Where is the institution located? Is the college in a small town, large city, suburb, close to an airport, close to home? What is the climate like during the school year? Is the student athlete from San Antonio going to be able to adjust to life living in Fairbanks, Alaska?
5. Degree programs: Does the college provide a degree and major in a field of study that meets the student’s interest? Does the college offer many majors? The vast majority of students' change their major at least once while in college.
6. Social Life: What kind of social life is available for students? Every college has some form of residential life office that offers students a wide variety of social and entertainment opportunities.
7. Values: Does the institution create an environment that meets your values? Does the institution meet your worship needs such as churches, synagogues, mosques etc? How well is the student-athlete prepared to handle people from different cultures, values, races and gender orientation?
8. Does the College Swimming Program meet the needs as a student athlete? Are you going to be the best on the team? If so, how do feel about that kind of pressure? Will you just be average swimmer member on team and if so what is the coaches’ relationship with the average swimmer in the program? At what level does the program compete and will the athlete have an opportunity to be successful at that level?
9. What is the past history of the program? Is the team rebuilding or already solid? How long have the coaches been at the school? How stable is the coaching staff in term of change? At what level does the program aspire to be? How many incoming first year students swim all four years of college and how many actually graduate?
10. What has been the relationship between the swimming program and college? Is it possible the program may be cut in the near future? Have members of the program had trouble with police or the college administration for failing to follow school policy? What is the team’s overall G.P.A.?
Some student athletes will be actively recruited by collegiate institutions. However, the vast majority of student athletes need to be prepared to sell themselves as a potentially valuable member of swimming team and student body of a collegiate institution. Don't worry if you are not actively recruited to swim. There are plenty of opportunities to compete and get a great education at the same time.
Here are some important things to do:
1. In order for an NCAA Division I or II program to actively recruit an athlete the athlete must have been cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Clearinghouse. The NCAA requires that all prospective student athletes meet a base line educational requirement to be recruited. In a nutshell, your grades in your core classes and performance on national standardized tests do matter. The NCAA has developed a guide to help parents, student athletes and school administrators with the collegiate recruiting process including information on how to apply to the clearinghouse.
2. Since the fall of 2006 the NCAA has required all prospective student athletes to also to have been cleared by the NCAA Amateurism Certification Clearinghouse. "Beginning fall 2006, the NCAA Amateurism Certification Clearinghouse will be the processing center for determining the amateurism eligibility of domestic and international freshman and transfer prospective student-athletes for initial athletics participation at NCAA Divisions I and II member institutions.” [Note: In NCAA Division III, certification of an individual's amateurism status is completed by each institution, not the amateurism certification clearinghouse.]
3. Create a resume which includes your best swimming times, swimming accomplishments and academic awards, community service projects, clubs, hobbies. You should also include a biographical sketch of your competitive history in terms of your swimming background. How long have you been swimming? Are you a year round swimmer? What are your best events, etc?
4. During the spring of your junior year in high school you should meet with your Guidance Counselor to make sure you have completed the appropriate coursework to graduate on time and have taken the correct number of classes to be cleared through the NCAA Clearinghouse.
5. A swimmer should begin making a list of schools that best fit their needs. Often this list might include dozens of schools. The difficult part is narrowing your choice to between 5-10 schools to visit and apply to.
Academic versus Athletic Scholarships
There is often a misperception in the college search process that if you are not recruited or have not been offered a scholarship you must not be very good. That view is completely false. The fact is, most colleges do not have the resources offer every good swimmer a scholarship. Another fact is most colleges do not find out a student-athlete is interested in their program until that student has made "First Contact.” Many families assume that colleges are going to call them first. The reality is most collegiate swimming programs do not have the manpower to search for athletes. Most coaches rely on meet results from large meets such as Sectionals or High School State Championships, prospective student questionnaires and through professional recruiters (not sports agents) whom student-athletes pay a fee to have them send information to schools about them.
With the scholarship limits imposed by the NCAA, most college coaches are going to be looking at a student’s academic ability. The vast majority of swimming student athletes receives financial aid through academic related scholarships, grants and student loans; not through athletic scholarships.
Athletic Scholarship: An athletic scholarship is a one-year contract between an athlete and a Division I or Division II institution. A school can reduce or cancel a scholarship if you become ineligible for competition, fraudulently misrepresent yourself, quit the team or engage in serious misconduct. During the contract year, a coach cannot reduce or cancel your scholarship on the basis of your athletic ability, performance, or injury. An institution may choose to not renew a scholarship at the end of the academic term provided they notify you in writing and provide you an opportunity for a hearing.
Remember a coach cannot offer you a "four year full-ride scholarship." They do not exist! Each student athlete award is reviewed annually. It is important to ask current collegiate swimmers if they are still on scholarship. Parents, it is not uncommon for a college program to offer and renew an athletic scholarship for the first two or three years of college and then ask the student to pay full tuition for the remainder of their college career.
National Letter of Intent: The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is administered by the Collegiate Commissioners Association (not the NCAA). When you sign the National Letter of Intent you agree to attend the institution with which you signed for one academic year in exchange for the institution awarding financial aid, including athletics aid, for one academic year.
Number of scholarships offered per team, per year, by Division: Not all colleges eligible to offer scholarships will choose to do so. For example, Ivy League schools choose not to offer athletic scholarships.
Swimming is an equivalency sport, which means all scholarships are NOT full scholarships, and coaches may divide the total number of scholarships allotted to them between as many athletes as they wish. Swimming and diving normally share scholarship money, which means that they have to divide the scholarship funds in both sports between them. Some swim teams choose not to have a diving team so that they can focus their scholarship money on swimmers.
Visiting a Campus
One of the most important things a student should do is visit a college before deciding to attend. There are two general ways most students visit a college campus: Official Visits and Unofficial Visits.
Official Visits: You are limited to five official visits. On an official visit a school CAN pay for your transportation, lodging and meals. The school can also pay for your parent's meals and lodging. The school may also pay for their transportation provided you traveled by automobile. Institutions may also provide a student host with $30 for entertainment ($20 in Division III) within a 30 mile radius of the campus and may also provide you with and your parents with complimentary admissions to a campus athletics event. Additional tickets may be reserved and purchased at face value by other family members accompanying you on a visit. They cannot provide you with gifts of any kind including photos, t-shirts, etc.
Unofficial Visits: A school may provide you with three complimentary admissions to a campus athletics event on an unofficial visit. A school cannot pay for your meals, lodging or entertainment on an unofficial visit, although you are permitted to stay in student housing with a student-athlete by paying the regular institutional rate (which is frequently zero for short-term guests).
Once a student athlete has narrowed down the number of schools they are interested in, they may decide to contact a swimming coach. One of the best ways to express your interest in a college program is to complete an athletic questionnaire. Most colleges have either downloadable or online requests for information forms on their athletic websites. Most athletes begin completing athletic questionnaires during their sophomore and junior years in high school. Please be aware that college coaches have limitations as to how they may contact you.
Mail (USPS): With the exception of an athletic questionnaire and camp brochure, Division I and II schools cannot provide recruiting materials to you until September first at the start of your junior year. After that date, schools can send you general correspondence, attachments printed on white paper with black ink, business cards, wallet-size schedule cards and one media guide or recruiting brochure. Division I and II schools cannot send you recruiting or highlight videos, or CD-ROM's, though they may show them to you on campus. Division III has no such restrictions.
Telephone: Division I and II colleges and universities are prohibited from calling you prior to July first following the completion of a prospect's junior year. If you received a call prior to July first, that school violated the rules. After July first coaches may call you once per week. Exceptions to this limit are made a) during the five days prior to your official visit, b) the day of an in-person, off-campus contact, and c) subsequent to your national letter of intent signing. Calls may be made by most members of the athletic staff, but not by student-athletes. Division III has no such limits.
Electronic Contacts: E-mail and faxes are considered mail, so they are permissible to juniors. Instant Messaging, texting, social networks and similar services are considered telephone calls and limited to seniors.
Contacts and Evaluations: Any face-to-face meeting between a college coach and you or your parents, during which any of you say more than "hello" is a contact. If no contact is made between a coach and you or your parents, this is considered an evaluation. For all divisions, a college coach cannot contact you off-campus and in person until July first prior to your senior year. During the academic year Division I and II institutions are limited to seven permissible recruiting opportunities (contacts and evaluations) with you, not more than three of them may be in-person, off-campus contacts with you.
Contacts at a Meet: A coach may not speak with you at a meet until the conclusion of your final event and receiving clearance from your high school or club coach. If the meet takes place over a number of days, college coaches will have to wait until the final day to speak with you.
Please note that many coaches do not have year-round contracts and they may not immediately respond to e-mail, especially during the summer months. If you do not receive a response from a coach don't assume they are not interested. Feel free to send a second follow-up email.
Preparing For College Timeline
1. September: Register for the PSAT / NMSQT
The PSAT / NMSQT evaluates:
•Critical reading skills
•Math problem-solving skills
You have developed these skills over many years, both in and out of school. This test does not require you to recall specific facts from your classes.
The most common reasons for taking the PSAT / NMSQT are:
•To receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. You can then focus your preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
•To see how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
•To enter the competition for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (grade 11).
•To help prepare for the SAT, you can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT.
•To receive information from colleges when you check "yes" to Student Search Service.
2. September - October Test date: Review
The Student Guide has three main sections:
1. Test taking help
2. Information about National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarship competitions
3. A full-length practice test
•Review the section about scholarships with your parents.
•Practice now with sample critical reading, math, and writing skills questions.
•Get familiar with the instructions for each type of test question.
•Take the practice test like it's the real thing!
Spending your school years taking challenging academic courses and reading widely is the best way to prepare for the PSAT / NMSQT. The PSAT / NMSQT includes the same type of critical reading, math and writing skills multiple choice questions as the SAT Reasoning Test. Are you ready to give the questions a test run? Pick a section below, and you'll find tips and practice questions with answers and explanations for each type of question.
Sentence Completion questions measure your knowledge of the meanings of words and ability to understand how the different parts of a sentence logically fit together. Practice now.
Passage-Based Reading questions measure your ability to read and think carefully about a single reading passage or a pair of related passages. Practice now.
The math section of the PSAT/NMSQT requires a basic knowledge of number and operation; algebra and functions (though not content covered in third-year math classes--content that will appear on the new SAT); geometry and measurement; and data analysis, statistics, and probability. You may use a calculator to answer math questions, but no question on the test requires a calculator.
Multiple Choice questions ask you to decide which of five choices is the best answer. Practice now. Grid-ins, or student-produced response questions, require you to solve a problem and enter your answer. Practice now.
The multiple-choice questions on writing skills measure your ability to express ideas effectively in standard-written English, to recognize faults in usage and structure, and to use language with sensitivity to meaning. Identifying Sentence Errors questions tests your knowledge of grammar, usage, word choice, and idiom. You are required to find errors in sentences or indicate that there is no error. Practice now. Improving Sentences questions ask you to choose the best, most effective form of an underlined portion of a given sentence. Practice now. Improving Paragraphs questions require you to make choices about improving the logic, coherence, or organization in a flawed passage. Practice now.
Additional Information concerning the PSAT Exam can be found at www.collegeboard.com.
3. October: Take the PSAT and attend College Fair.
During the last two weeks of October most of the area school districts sponsor a college fair where admission office representatives from various colleges will be able to answer general questions about their school as well provide you with literature about what the college has to offer. Gather as much information as you can while attending this event. Get on as many he college mailing lists as you can.
4. November-December: Review your PSAT Scores
Once you receive your scores review them and identify areas of weakness that you need to address / concentrate on in getting prepared for taking the SAT in May. Review your scores with your guidance counselor and get the necessary information for registering for the May SAT and sign up early so you can get your study guide for that test as early as possible.
5. January-May SAT: Prepare for the SAT and plan to visit colleges.
Visit www.collegeboard.com for study guides and practice tests.
A. Make time to prepare for the exam. In January and February find one or two hours each week to focus on improving your vocabulary. Make 3 x 5 flash cards; buy a pocket dictionary; increase reading of news articles and editorials. For example, spend time reading Time Magazine cover to cover and the Express-News Editorial Page, this will help improve vocabulary and aid in skill development for writing.
B. March-April, eight to -ten weeks prior to test: Increase time review time to two to four hours each week. Focus on writing skills. Know how to form paragraphs, proper structure of sentences, use of correct grammar and punctuation. Take an SAT Prep Course if possible. Utilize SAT study guides.
C. March: Spring Break-Plan a family trip to visit a few colleges you have an interest in. This can be a great time for parents and students to get a feeling of a college campus. The vast majority of colleges offer tours year-around. Contact the school in advance about getting a tour of the school.
D. January-May: Research potential colleges. Start completing prospective student athlete forms online or mail them to the school as soon as possible.
A. Study for Semester / Final Exams
B. Take the SAT and report your scores to colleges of interest.
C. Enroll in NCAA Clearinghouses
Enroll in the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse and the NCAA Amateurism Certification Clearinghouse. Your school will be required to submit official transcripts to the Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. Please follow-up with your counselors immediately following the last day of school to make sure transcripts are sent.
7. June - August
A. Find a summer job or internship / volunteer in a potential major field. Log as many community service hours as you can during the summer. This will become more important when applying to colleges and for scholarships.
B. Summer Training: Most Division I colleges will be looking to make decisions on whether to recruit you off the results from your Long Course season after your junior year. If you are considered one of their top prospects the college coaches’ goal will be to sign you in November.
C. Narrowing the field and visiting schools: From October through June you should start receiving mail from the various colleges. When mail arrives begin sorting the information into: Colleges of High Interest, Colleges of Moderate Interest and Colleges of Little Interest. Summer is great time to make visiting colleges a family vacation. However, try not to plan long trips away from training since most colleges coaches are looking at your Long Course performance as an indicator for recruiting. Try to narrow your schools of interest down to 10 to 12 schools and if possible try to visit about half of them during the summer.
A. Plan on retaking the SAT exam in November and adding the ACT exam in either November or February.
B. Review your previous test scores and work on areas that needed improvement.
2. September-October: College Matching
A. Compare your test scores, GPA, and class rank with the colleges of high interest acceptance rates.
B. Second look at your athletic performance/best times and do they mesh with needs of a college program.
C. Review for the SAT and ACT exams.
D. Conduct scholarship and financial aid searches.
E. Take Recruiting Trips
F. Complete early decision application: Some college programs will ask you to apply early decision meaning if you apply early decision and are accepted you are committing yourself to attending that school the following year.
A. Complete college applications.
B. Recruiting trips.
C. November: Early signing period NCAA Division I athletic programs.
D. Begin applying for scholarships and grants
E. Parents start getting data for Federal Tax Return ready in order to apply for FAFSA program. FAFSA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
You must fill out the FAFSA form in order to apply for federal and state student assistance. Many colleges and universities, especially public institutions; also require the FAFSA. The www.finaid.org website section on the FAFSA contains a database of the Title IV School Codes needed to complete the form as well as instructions and tips for filling it out. The section also links to a variety of government sites related to the FAFSA, such as FAFSA Express (a PC version of the form) and FAFSA on the Web (an interactive online version of the form).
A. Complete and apply for scholarships
B. Parents submit and apply for FAFSA program.
C. Last of Recruiting Trips.
D. Take ACT exam if not taken in November.
5. Late February-Early April:
A. Receive acceptance, rejection, and waiting list letters from colleges.
B. Receive Financial Aid information from FAFSA and package offers from colleges.
C. Make a decision on which college to attend.
D. Apply for campus related scholarships and student loans if necessary.
High School Graduation – Congratulations – you made it!
Useful Links and Documents
These are links to collegiate-related Web Sites, etc.
They are diverse and therefore uncategorized and arranged in a random fashion
Some are duplicates of those found elsewhere in the document
|Student Scholarship Search|
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