May 21, 2024

Chapter Eight – Are you a Senior in High School? – Don’t Panic Just Yet

Whether you are a senior who has neglected doing any of the things necessary to gain exposure to college coaches or you’re a senior who has done everything right and has simply fallen through the cracks, either way you may still yet have a good chance for an athletic scholarship provided you have the appropriate GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

Make sure that you have registered with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse, taken all the right classes, and have acceptable scores on the SAT/ACT tests.

Many athletes knock themselves out of contention simply because they fail to meet the academic requirements for admission. They mistakenly think that the academic issues will be overlooked if they can run the 40-yd dash in 4.3 seconds.

Though the scholarship opportunities are dwindling fast, there will still be programs that have scholarships left. Here’s why; coaches tend to save some scholarships hoping and waiting for those super recruits who actually end up signing with other schools.

These prospective recruits have indicated verbally that they are committed to signing but at the last minute some of them simply change their minds and actually sign on the dotted line with another school.

Additionally, some coaches just haven’t located the talent they need yet. Both of these scenarios are good news for you no matter which category you are in. If you are a senior who is a late starter, get aggressive and very aggressive right now. You have zero time to lose. Make a list of at least twenty schools that offer your sport where you would be interested in attending and playing.

Call the coaches on your list and let them know that you are interested in their programs. Tell them that you think your talents might benefit their programs. Ask them what you need to do to be considered for their programs.

You can also E-mail, send introductory letters, and resume marketing packets as outlined in the previous chapter. Use any method you can to get yourself into their recruiting systems: do it now! do not wait any longer.

Contact people who already know you. Talk with your high school coach, athletic director or any other individual in the community who might have contacts with college coaches or who might have played sports at the collegiate level.

Ask them to assist you in your campaign to get an athletic scholarship. This is not the time to be shy. You will very often be pleasantly surprised by what people will do for you when you ASK. Typically, most Division I schools know one year ahead of time who they will be recruiting for a particular year.

Therefore, generally speaking, you will have better luck locating and securing a scholarship at this late date at a Division II, Division III, NAIA, or NJCCA school.

Some of these schools offer many of the same benefits that the Division I schools offer. The end result will be the same: you will receive a college education. If you are a senior who has followed all the advice in this guide and you still haven’t landed a scholarship, now is also the time for you to look at other options.

First, you’ll need to re-adjust the focus of your recruiting campaign. Now is the time to broaden your search to include the Division II, Division III, NAIA, and NJCCA schools.

Keep in mind as you search that there are still many coaches all over the country that are still looking for eligible talented people to fit their programs.

These coaches are under as much pressure to find good recruits, as you are to find the scholarship. There are more than 1700 colleges and universities in this country with athletic programs, and you’ve contacted only a very small percentage of them.

Stay optimistic and don’t give up. Just make a new list, which includes a couple of schools where you’re sure to get in and start the whole process over.

First —- Make another list of 50 -60 schools where you would be interested in attending and playing. Place phone calls to the coaches at the top 10- 20 schools.

Second—- Send introductory letters to the coaches at all 50 -60 schools. Send the letters even if you’ve already called the coaches.

Third—-Wait for 1-2 weeks to hear from the coaches, then call and follow-up on the letter you sent.

Fourth—-Fill out and return all questionnaires sent to you. Return them with a resume packet and, if requested, a video.

Last—To keep yourself in the minds of the coaches that have shown any interest in you, send monthly updates of newspaper clippings, athletic and academic achievements, and awards.

Other Options: Since you are starting so late, you will probably have to be a little more flexible and also think of other avenues to reach your goals.

For example, a Division I school wants you, but cannot give you a scholarship for the upcoming year, would you still want to go to that particular school enough to secure a government grant or pay your own way for that first year?

Would you consider being a walk-on the first year and hope for a scholarship the second year? Or, would you rather go to a smaller Division II school and receive an athletic scholarship immediately?

The walk-on does not receive an athletic scholarship. If your goal is to play college level athletics at a powerhouse school, this is certainly the more difficult and challenging road to take, however, it is one way that many, many athletes have chosen to start their college athletic careers and many of them have gone on to become star athletes.

Without question, walk-ons have to work harder to prove themselves. All walk-ons are given the chance to show the coach what they can do.

Also, a walk-on usually practices with the team, receives first choice of classes, and preferred housing. When considering the walk-on option, ask the coach about future scholarship opportunities provided you prove that you’re team material. Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, however, the coaches at these schools often know of handsome academic scholarships and grants you might be eligible for.

These schools are usually smaller, private schools with an environment totally different from the large university schools. Some of you might be happier attending and playing in this type of setting. Another viable option is the JUCO (Junior College) route. Consider playing for a community college the first year or two. Some of these schools do offer athletic scholarships.

Click on athletic scholarship information. If not, tuition can usually be paid for with government grants. Some of the grants cover everything including room, tuition, and books. Additionally, many JUCO’s offer work opportunities. Junior colleges do not deserve the negative perception that many people have about them. They are not the last ditch chance for dummy’s to get into college.

In reality, they are basically a place to get your first two years of college, earn an associate degree, or get a 2-year certificate.

They also offer an opportunity for you to participate in your sport at an elite level. Use this link to search for junior colleges: If your dream is to play at the Division I level, the JUCO option provides a setting for you to improve academically and athletically.

Some four-year athletic programs can see your potential but they want you to have time to grow an inch or two, gain more strength, or possibly they want to see a more advanced level of maturity.

For a variety of reasons, they may want you, but they want you a year from now when you’ve had time to mature physically and emotionally and when you’ve had more time to refine your athletic skills. The Division I schools often use the JUCO athletic programs much like the major leagues use their farm teams. As with the four-year program, you will need to be proactive in your search for an athletic scholarship at a JUCO. They too do not have the budgets to recruit extensively and will welcome your introductory phone calls and materials.

If you are talented enough to play at the Division I or II level but need a little seasoning, you will more than likely be real asset to a JUCO program.

If you’ve already passed the college entrance exam, you will be eligible to transfer to a four-year college and receive an athletic scholarship the next year. Finally, if you’ve reached your senior year in high school without securing an athletic scholarship, you may want to consider hiring a listing, recruiting or scouting service.

Many are reputable, quick, and effective. Since time is of the essence at this point, using one of these services may be the answer to your problem. They already have on file the names and addresses of all the college head coaches and they have the staffing and expertise to quickly prepare professional, detailed resumes.

Some of them may also have valuable contacts at many colleges and universities and may even know a coach who is looking for your particular talent. These services will take your unique information, prepare your marketing package, and have the package delivered to every coach you designate. At this late date, you’re in a bind and this strategy will save a lot of time and energy and will also greatly reduce your stress level.

Again, do your homework on these services and make sure they can deliver what they promise. Talk with other people who have successfully used the service. Don’t be afraid to ask for references.
Chapter 1|Chapter 2|Chapter 3

Chapter 4|Chapter 5|Chapter 6

Chapter 7|Chapter 8|Chapter 9

Chapter 10|College Sports Recruiting

Additional Resources

College Athletic Scholarship|College Basketball Scholarships|Baseball Scholarships| How to Get Recruited For College Football|Volleyball Scholarships|Softball Scholarships|

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