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Guide for CollegeBound StudentAthletes


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Title: Guide for CollegeBound StudentAthletes

Guide for College-Bound Student-Athletes
  • Prepared by
  • Eastern Athletic Department
  • 2007-08

Dear Parents/Guardians Potential College-Bound
  • In order to help alleviate some college selection
    concerns, the Eastern High School Athletic
    Department has put together this manual to guide
    you in your quest for both a college and a
    scholarship. We believe that it will be of value
    to you. It is the intention of the Athletic
    Department to help you in any way possible to
    plan your future including your participation in
    intercollegiate athletics.

Dear Parents/Guardians Potential College-Bound
  • Your high school coaches are most familiar with
    your athletic abilities, college coaches and
    college athletic programs. They will be the key
    people to work with, and will give you valuable
    assistance. Your guidance counselor will also
    play a key role in the selection of the right
    school for you. They will be able to guide you
    toward a school that best meets your academic and
    career needs. However, the most important person
    in the whole college recruiting process is the
    student-athlete. The average potential college
    athlete must be highly involved in the process,
    taking the initiative of contacting schools and

Step 1
  • The first thing to do is make a list of colleges
    that fit your academic and athletic needs. Next,
    learn the rules of recruiting and then start
    contacting the coaches on your list for
    information about their teams and athletic grant
  • For some fortunate athletes, coaches will contact
    you and sell their school to you. Most student-
    athletes, however, must pursue coaches and
    schools. Don't wait for schools to get in touch
    with you be assertive and visible. If a coach
    hasn't contacted you, don't assume that the coach
    is not interested in you. Many great college
    athletes recruited the schools they attend. The
    following information will help you on your path
    to college.

College Athletics, Admissions, and You
  • College admissions are based on the following
  • grades
  • course difficulty(minimum of 16 academic courses)
  • class rank or percentile
  • SAT/ATC scores
  • activities
  • essay/recommendations

College Athletics, Admissions, and You(cont.)
  • Student-athletes need to do well academically so
    that coaches can help them get admitted. Coaches
    can push for student-athletes that are slightly
    below the schools median, but the bottom line is
    that you need to be close to the schools
    admission standards.
  • Work hard now so that you can attend the school
    you want
  • Remember that everything in high school counts.
  • Some schools have special applications for
    student-athletes - Contact the coach.

At what level can I compete?
  • Four Year Colleges
  • NCAA
  • Division I-scholarship and financial aid for
    athletic ability
  • Division II-scholarships and financial aid for
    athletic ability
  • Division III-financial aid is based on need only
  • NAIA
  • any type of financial aid is allowed and is
    administered by the individual school.

At what level can I compete?
  • Two-Year Junior Colleges
  • governed by the NJCAA (National Junior College
    Athletic Association).Admissions/eligibility
    requirements are not as stringent at this level.
    This type of program is good if-
  • 1. You were denied admission to a four-year
    school for academic reasons
  • 2. You can not afford a four-year school
  • 3. You choose to delay applying to a four-year
  • Remember, it is possible to prove yourself
    academically at a junior college and then
    transfer to a four-year school.
  • When you transfer from an NJCAA school, your high
    school academic record does not count. Your
    junior college academic record will be the basis
    for an admission decision. If you play a sport at
    an NJCAA school, those years count against your
    four years of eligibility at the four-year school
    to which you transfer.

Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Coach
  • How well do you play your sport?
  • It is difficult for you to answer this question
    realistically and objectively. Also, college
    coaches will not recruit you because you think
    you are good or because your parents say that you
    are good. Just as college admissions offices want
    proof (the SAT'S, your GPA, recommendations), so
    do college coaches. Recruiters rely on
    videotapes, observation, your coach's
    recommendation, height, weight, speed, strength,
    and times.

Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Coach
  • The student-high school coach relationship is an
    important one. Seek help from your coach in your
    college search. Right from the beginning be
    honest with yourself and your coach. Set up an
    appointment for a heart-to-heart talk to discuss
    your future. It is helpful to take these steps in
    your junior year to ensure that recruiters
    receive your game schedules and a videotape can
    be prepared. Following are some sample questions
    to go over with your coach

Questions for Coach
  • How good do you think I am?
  • At what division do you think I can play?
  • With what programs are you familiar?
  • Will you contact coaches on my behalf?
  • Will you write a recommendation?
  • Do you have any suggestions for me in my college
  • Can arrangements be made for a videotape?

Info to share with your Coach
  • Tell your coach where you stand academically -
    your scores, your GPA, your class percentile. Let
    your coach know what you might like to major in.
    Also, when college coaches observe your video and
    review your file, ask them if they feel you can
    compete at the level of their programs, if they
    feel you might be on their J.V., etc.

NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse
  • Any student-athlete who wants to participate at
    the Division I or II athletic level must join the
    NCAA Clearinghouse. If you are undecided about
    the division in which you will complete, join in
    order to be safe.
  • I urge you to join in the spring/summer of your
    junior year

ClearinghouseStep 1
  • Complete and send a NCAA Initial Clearinghouse
    Student Release Form to the NCAA Clearinghouse
  • guidance department
  • 1-800-638-3731
  • 50
  • Fee waiver is possible

NCAA ClearinghouseStep 2
  • Have your SAT and/or ACT scores sent directly to
    the clearinghouse
  • When you register to take the SAT or ACTs use
    code 9999.
  • This process is a must!!

NCAA Div. I Academic Eligibility Requirements
  • Qualifier
  • Graduate from HS
  • Successfully complete a core curriculum of at
    least 16 academic courses as follows
  • English 4 yrs
  • Math3 yrs (1 from algebra and 1 geometry)
  • Natural or Physical Science2 yrs (including 1
  • Additional course in Eng., Math Science1yr
  • Social Science2yrs
  • Additional courses4 yrs(any of the above, or
    from foreign lang., philosophy or nondoctrinal

NCAA Div. I Academic Eligibility Requirements
  • Qualifier (cont.)
  • Have a core-course GPA and a combined score on
    the SAT verbal and math sections or a sum score
    on the ACT base on the qualifier index scale.

NCAA Div. I Academic Eligibility Requirements
  • Partial Qualifier- is eligible to practice with
    the team at its home facility and receive
    athletic scholarships during his/her first year
    and has three years of competition remaining.
  • Graduate from HS
  • Successfully complete a core curriculum of at
    least 16 academic courses in the appropriate core
  • Present a core-course grade point average and a
    combined SAT on the partial qualifier index

NCAA Div. I Academic Eligibility Requirements
  • Nonqualifier - is a student who has graduated
    from HS or who has presented neither the
    core-curriculum GPA and SAT/ACT scores required
    for a qualifier.
  • A nonqulaifier shall not be eligible for
    competition or practice during their first year
    and has three seasons of competition remaining.
    Financial aid is based upon need only---NO

NCAA Div. III Academic Eligibility Requirements
  • These requirements currently do not apply to
    Division III colleges, where eligibility for
    financial aid, practice and competition is
    governed by institutional conferences and other
    NCAA regulations.

Qualifier Index
  • Go to the NCAA Eligibility Center Online

Core Courses
  • Definition of a Core Course
  • To meet the core-course requirement, a "core
    course" is defined as a recognized academic
    course (as opposed to a vocational or
    personal-services course) that offers fundamental
    instruction in a specific area of study. Courses
    taught below your high school's regular academic
    instructional level (e.g., remedial or
    compensatory) can't be considered core regardless
    of the content of the courses. At least 75
    percent of the course's instructional content
    must be in one or more of the required areas (as
    listed below) and "statistics," as referred to in
    the math section, must be advanced

Core Courses
  • Courses for students with disabilities may be
    approved even if such courses are taught at a
    level below the high school's regular academic
    institutional level (e.g., special education
    classes) if the high school principal verifies
    (on the core-course forms) that the courses are
    substantially comparable, quantitatively and
    qualitatively, to similar approved core-course
    offerings in that academic discipline at that
    high school.

Some NCAA Rules and Regulations
  • The NCAA has a manual of rules and infractions
    that is 500 pages long. Following are a few rules
    that you should be familiar with. Familiarity
    will help you maintain eligibility and will help
    you in the recruiting process.

Why is it so important to know the rules?
  • If a recruiter breaks a rule while recruiting
    you, you may lose your eligibility for a year if
    you attend the school that violates the rule.
  • Knowing the rules will help in your ability to
    get yourself recruited.
  • You will be better able to make an informed
    decision about which school is best for you

Division I IIRule 1
  • No alumni, boosters or representatives of a
    college's athletic interests may be involved in
    your recruiting (you may not receive letters or
    phone calls). This rule does not apply to regular
    admissions officers or athletic coaches. Division
    II schools allow boosters to mail letters to you.

Division I IIRule 2
  • PHONE CALLS - In all sports other than football,
    no coach may call you until JULY I after your
    junior year (for football the date is August I5).
    After this date, they may call you once a week
    (exceptions a coach may call you more than once
    a week during the five days before an official
    visit, on the day of an off-campus contact, or
    during the National Letter of Intent signing
    period). Basketball coaches can call you once
    after June 20. Beginning in July a basketball
    coach may call you three times in July, but no
    more than once a week.

Division I IIRule 3
  • You or your parents may call a coach at your
    expense as often as you wish. Coaches may accept
    collect calls from you and may use a 1-800 number
    to receive telephone calls from you "on or after
    July I" of your junior year.

Division I IIRule 4
  • Enrolled college athletes may not make a
    recruiting call to you

Division I IIRule 5
  • LETTERS - from colleges, coaches, students, and
    faculty are not permitted until September I of
    your junior year however, you may receive form
    letters, questionnaires and NCAA guides before
    that time.

Division I IIRule 6
  • CONTACTS - A college coach may contact you in
    person off the campus "on or after July I" of
    your junior year. A contact is a face-to-face
    meeting at which you say more than Hello. In most
    sports coaches may contact you three times. In
    football, a coach may contact you seven times.

Division I IIRule 7
  • EVALUATIONS - An evaluation is an off-campus
    activity (such as observing a game or practice)
    used to assess your academic and athletic
    qualifications. In football you may be evaluated
    twice a year in basketball a coach may use any
    combination of contacts and/or evaluations that
    equal five in all other sports you may be
    evaluated a total of four times.
  • For basketball and football there are certain
    dates when contact and evaluations are permitted
    and certain dates when no contact is permitted
    (dead periods).

Division I IIRule 8 - Visits
  • UNOFFICIAL VISIT - You visit the campus at your
    expense. You may do this at any time and as many
    times as your like.

Division I IIRule 8 - Visits(cont.)
  • OFFICIAL VISITS - During your senior year, you
    may have one expense-paid visit to a school. You
    may receive a total of five visits to all schools
    you are interested in. You may not visit a school
    officially more than once. You can't have an
    official visit unless you have given the college
    your high-school (or college) academic transcript
    and a score from a PSAT, an SAT, a PACT Plus or
    an ACT taken on a national test date under
    national testing conditions. Note In this
    instance, the Division I school may use the
    services of the Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse
    to validate your credentials. An official visit
    may not exceed 48 hours. You may receive round
    trip transportation costs between your house and
    the school, meals, lodging, and complimentary
    tickets to athletic events.

Division I IIRule 9
  • GIFTS- You may receive from schools official
    university publications, letters, game programs,
    media guides, pre-enrollment info., a
    student-athlete handbook. You may not receive
    clothing, college mementos, cash, cars, improper
    expenses, gifts or loans.

Division III Recruiting
  • After your junior year you may receive unlimited
    phone calls, letters, etc.
  • Contacts - you may be contacted after your junior
    year and there is no limit to the number of
  • Unofficial visits are the same as for Divisions I
    and II.
  • Official visits are the same EXCEPT you may visit
    an unlimited number of Division III schools.
  • Gifts and monies are the same as for Divisions I
    and II and are not allowed.

  • Is this you?

  • The NCAA defines a recruited athlete as one who
    has been on an official visit, one who has spent
    time with a coach away from a college campus (and
    this visit was initiated by the coach), or one
    who has been called by a coach - on the coach's
    initiative-more than once.
  • Congratulations to you for being recruited. Take
    pride in the fact that coaches are interested in
    you. Being recruited can make you feel on top of
    the world, but it can also make you feel confused
    and pressured. Remember that as quickly as a
    coach shows interest in you the coach can also
    just as quickly pull away from you.

The Recruited Athlete - The following is a list
of suggestions and pointers to help you on your
  • Get your list of schools to 5 or 10, then go
    through the following check list.

The Recruited Athlete - The following is a list
of suggestions and pointers to help you on your
  • 1. Fill out all coaches' questionnaires for
    schools you are interested in. Don't wait until
    they call you or send you another letter because
    they probably won't.
  • 2. Fill out an application (preferably one that
    the coach has sent you and that is stamped so
    that admissions knows that you are an athlete)
  • 3. Review this packet and familiarize yourself
    with NCAA rules.

The Recruited Athlete - The following is a list
of suggestions and pointers to help you on your
  • 4. Make sure you have joined the Clearinghouse.
  • 5. Start thinking about which schools you want to
    visit and remember that you may only have five
    official visits (you may only go on five visits
    that a college pays for).
  • 6. If scholarship and aid packages are being
    offered, weigh out your choices and see which
    schools and scholarships fit your needs. Discuss
    your options with counselors, parents, and

  • Its up to you!

  • If you have your heart set on playing for a
    particular school and the school doesn't know
    that you exist, you need to communicate with the
    coach. Do not leave anything to chance and work
    hard to get recruited. Promoting yourself to a
    school is similar to a job search. Following is a
    list of suggestions

  • At the end of your junior year or in the summer
    before your senior year, write a cover letter and
    a resume and provide a list of references who are
    familiar with your athletic ability.
  • Wait three weeks and if you do not hear back
    follow up with a phone call asking if the coach
    received your letter.
  • Immediately fill out any questionnaires a coach
    sends you and deliver to your high school coach
    any forms that the colleges send you.
  • Send a videotape of a game. Tapes of highlights
    and shots of your running around in your backyard
    are nice but not particularly helpful to college

  • Ask coaches for an application to their school
    and see if it is possible to get a coded
    application that notifies admissions that you are
    an athlete.
  • Send coaches your game schedules with a note
    stating that you hope they can attend a game.
    Also send any updated or changed schedule.
  • Send coaches articles in which you are
    highlighted or that state you made an
  • all-star team. Do not send clippings in which
    your name appears once.
  • If a school is your number one choice, tell the
    coach. Coaches like to recruit athletes who want
    to come to their school.

  • Be persistent with coaches. Be patient with
    coaches. They often hear from hundreds of
    athletes and they want to hear from you, but they
    may not necessarily contact you.
  • If a coach writes back and says that he or she is
    not interested in you as a scholarship athlete or
    as a highly recruited athlete, you may still
    apply on your own and try out as a walk-on.

Choosing a college is difficult, and as a
student-athlete there is a twist added into your
decision process. The bottom line is you want
to choose a school where you feel comfortable
academically. Participation in sports does not
generally lead to a professional career. Keep in
mind that the odds of a college basketball
player's making it to the pros are 10,000-1, and
for football players the odds are 6,000 - 1. Your
future lies in a college education. Therefore,
think hard about what each school can offer you
  • Consider the college's environment the size of
    the school, the location, the student body, the
    student-athletes, etc. You want to spend these
    next four years in a place you like.
  • Athletically, think about in what division you
    would like to play and can play. See what
    scholarships are available, what financial
    packages are offered to you, and what your family
    can afford. Make sure you like the coach, but
    keep in mind that the assistant coach that
    recruited you may move on and remember that
    coaches are not tenured and work on contracts
    that usually last only a few years. Therefore,
    the coach is important, but if that coach were to
    leave you want to make sure that the school can
    make you happy without him or her.

The best way to figure out which school is
right for you is to visit schools. If you are
offered official visits, take them. Make as many
unofficial visits as you need. Meet the team, the
coach, the faculty, and then make an evaluation
based on your visit, not on how many times a
coach called you or whether the media guide
appealed to you. Look at the big picture.
Lastly, talk about your options with your
parents, your coach, and your guidance counselor.
  • Refine your list of schools. This is the time to
    make some serious decisions. Your athletic skills
    will be more fully developed, so you and your
    coach may now be able to make more realistic
    assessment of just where your game will stack up
    for college.
  • Academically, you will have taken the PSAT, which
    gives you some idea of how you will do on the
    .SAT. The PSAT results can also motivate you to
    enroll in a preparatory course for the SAT/ACT.

  • Your life goals will also be more refined at this
    time. Continue to work with your guidance
    counselor to tailor your schedule toward both
    your interests and rise NCAA core-course
  • Be sure that as your list of schools narrows, you
    are aware of specific entrance requirements.
  • This is when you should approach selected college
    coaches seriously. Remember, getting the correct
    name and spelling is critical.

  • Develop a sports resume.
  • Letters to college coaches at this level should
    again reflect familiarity with each program. You
    should tell each coach why you are considering
    that college. You must also go beyond your
    interest in the sports program and explain how
    the school will help realize your overall goals.
    In addition, you should tell the coach how you
    think you could be an asset to his/her program.
    It would be appropriate to inquire about
    scholarships and/or other financial aid at this

  • Get recommendations from your high school coach.
    He/She should tell college coach what you could
    contribute to the program. This goes beyond
    physical skills - work habits, sportsmanship and
    inspiration should all be expanded upon in this
    recommendation. Caution Many college coaches
    feel that high school coaches' letters often are
    sheer puffery. Talk to your coach before he/she
    writes the letter ask him/her to be as specific
    as possible regarding accomplishments and
    potential and to be realistic. Providing the
    coach with a stamped and addressed envelope will
    allow the coach to mail the letter directly. When
    a college coach sees this, he/she is more apt to
    trust the validity of the letter.

  • The college coach's response will be limited.
    NCAA rules prevent him/her from phoning you,
    accepting a collect call from you or making
    personal contact before July I following your
    junior year. They can write you, and there's
    nothing to bar you from talking to the coach
    while visiting the campus.
  • Your high school coach's role does not have to be
    limited to letter writing. He or she will be the
    point person if and when you attract a college's
    interest. Your coach may get phone calls
    inquiring about your progress. Maintaining that
    interest, once expressed, is very important. Be
    sure your coach knows you appreciate the help.

  • In addition to a letter and resume, you might
    also include an unofficial transcript of your
    academic record to that point. This would work
    best if your academic record is impressive,
    otherwise don't send one until it is requested.
  • Keep this in mind - you never know who is
    watching you. Carry yourself at your best at all
    times. Opposing coaches may have key contacts
    with colleges and universities on your list. If
    you haven't impressed everyone with your
    character and behavior, it could come back to
    hurt you.

  • If you will be playing in a summer league or
    attending a camp, be sure to send this
    information to coaches who have expressed
  • During the junior year, if you plan to play
    Division I or II athletics, you must register
    with the Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. Your
    official transcript will be mailed immediately
    following your junior year, so be sure that the
    paperwork is complete by April or May.

  • The summer between your junior and senior years
    is your last chance to showcase your skills at
    sports camps, clinics or in summer leagues. If a
    school high on your list has a sports camp, you
    should attend if at all possible.
  • Again, be sure to work closely with your guidance
    counselor to be sure that you are on track to
    meet all initial eligibility requirements of the

Senior Year - 2
  • Continue to keep in contact with schools high on
    your list. At this point, you should have
    narrowed your list based upon both your needs and
    schools' interest.
  • Be sure to be honest with college coaches and
    always-return telephone calls. Disinterest on
    your part is the fastest way to be dropped from a
    recruiting list. Also, do not string along any
    coaches if you have definitely ruled out his/her

Senior Year - 3
  • You may be offered official visits at this
    time. These trips are limited, but you should
    take advantage of as many opportunities as
    possible. While there, be sure to ask questions
    of coaches, students and athletes.
  • Visiting all colleges on your list is a good idea.

September - October of Senior Year
  • Secure college applications and submit through
    your guidance counselor ASAP. Different schools
    have different deadlines, so be sure to work with
    your counselor to meet all deadlines.
  • Keep college coaches updated on when and where
    you are competing - send schedules. You may want
    to send a video to your top choices. Be sure that
    it is short and to the point. Coaches are too
    busy to wade through unnecessary information.

November - December of Senior Year
  • Retake SAT if necessary.
  • Attend available financial aid seminars if

January - February of Senior Year
  • Submit Financial Aid Form application.
  • Forward senior year grades where requested.

March - June of Senior Year
  • Notification of acceptances and denials.
  • Follow up on applications where necessary.
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