Archive | October, 2015

What are the most important academic factors in the recruiting process? (Part 2)

15 Oct

Your course rigor counts!

Almost as important as your GPA, are the classes you take during high school. Colleges will consider your course schedule otherwise known as your “course rigor” by looking at your school profile. If they see that you have taken the easy route, meaning that you have consistently opted for less challenging classes, that probably won’t work in your favor. This is especially true if you are targeting highly selective colleges who look for students who have performed well in the toughest classes their school has to offer.

This concept shouldn’t be surprise. As a high level athlete, chances are you have consistently looked for a challenging athletic environment in order to develop your game. You know that playing against top competition is key to becoming a top player. College coaches and admissions officers apply a similar logic to your course schedule. They know that if you have taken tough classes in high school, you will be more prepared to meet the demands of college level academics.

Here are three things to remember with regard to your course schedule.

1) Challenge yourself. If you think you can earn an “A” or a “B” in the more challenging class, (Honors/AP) go for it. Colleges are looking for students who show ambition!

2) Get stronger. Taking an increasingly challenging course load, especially during your sophomore and junior years is important. This suggests to colleges that you take your academics seriously!

3) Meet the requirements. In order to compete in D1/D2 athletics, you must meet the NCAA “core course” requirement. Students should meet with an advisor early in their high school career in order to map out a course schedule that sets them up for success. Note that not all courses offered at your high school will count toward the NCAA core course requirement. You can find specific course information for your high school at this link.

Be on the lookout for the final post in this series next week. I will cover academics and standardized tests and how they play a role in the recruiting process.

What are the most important academic factors in the recruiting process? (part 1 of a 3 part series)

2 Oct

Ah yes, fall is in the air. The leaves are turning and it’s soccer season. Life is good! We’re also a few weeks into a new school year and your grades are most likely on your mind…if they’re not, they should be 🙂

I am constantly reminded of the importance of academics. Good grades can determine if a coach wants to begin a recruiting conversation with you. When a coach is trying to decide between two players with similar athletic abilities, the nod almost always goes to the player with stronger academics.

When college coaches are evaluated, their win-loss record is only part of the equation. Of equal importance is their players’ graduation rate. Coaches recruit kids who they know will “take care of business” in the classroom. High performing students help keep coaches employed!

So what are the most important factors for you to consider when it comes to academics? I’ll answer that question in a three part series, starting with the most important…your GPA.

The GPA is absolutely the most important academic factor in the college recruiting process. Coaches and admissions officers put tremendous stock in your academic performance over your high school years. A strong GPA in high school typically indicates that you will continue to do well in college. Here are some key things to remember when it comes to recruiting and your GPA.

#1)  Start strong & finish strong. Freshman year counts! Think “A’s” & “B’s”…if a “C” is in the works, consider hiring a tutor, or taking a lighter course load. Flashing forward, senior year counts as well. Colleges (especially very selective schools) are taking an increasingly closer look at grades during senior year. Don’t let “senioritis” set in!

#2)  Stay steady. Colleges want to see continuous strong academic performance throughout your high school career. If you get off to a slow start, then showing improvement is very important, particularly during junior year.

#3) Shoot for a “3.5.”  A 3.5 GPA is a threshold that many college coaches look for when determining who to recruit. Many schools offer academic scholarships to students who earn a 3.5 or better, and coaches may those scholarships as a lure for their school. It’s also important to note that if you are considering Division 1, Division 2 or NAIA programs, you must meet minimum GPA requirements. You will need at least a 2.3 for NCAA D1, and 2.0 for D2/NAIA.

A strong GPA may open up the dialogue with a college coach, before they ever see you play. Be on the lookout for part 2 of this series on academics, where we will explore your “course schedule”, and why that’s critical in the college recruiting process.