Frequently Asked Questions

1. Has college recruiting changed during the past 10 years?
2. When should I begin the college recruiting process?
3. If I want to play sports in college, where do I begin?
4. What are my chances in gaining a college athletic scholarship?
5. Can college prospects qualify for grants other than athletic scholarships?
6. Are Division 2 and 3 athletic opportunities abundant?
7. Why should I consider D-1AA or D-3 “non-athletic scholarship” colleges?
8. What are verbal offers of athletic scholarships?
9. How can I prepare and execute best for the college recruiting process?
10. How will a professional advisor help me succeed in college recruiting?

1. Has college recruiting changed during the past 10 years?
Indeed! The recruiting process has accelerated to the point where top prospects are receiving verbal scholarship offers from college coaches as early as their freshman year in high school. The recruiting pool in all sports is highly competitive and therefore preparation for the college search for athletes should begin early and include a strong information and educational base to NCAA procedures.

2. When should I begin the college recruiting process?
The NCAA defines a prospective student-athlete as “one who has begun classes for the ninth grade.” For the majority of college prospects, a good time to launch your effort is at the beginning of your freshman year in high school. To begin, make a robust effort to understand NCAA recruiting procedures, time-lines and your role as part of the process. The “educated” prospect and family will have a greater chance in reaching their goals.

3. If I want to play sports in college, where do I begin?
If indeed you plan to “get out of the gates” and begin the recruiting process early, I suggest engaging in what I call the “exploratory stage” of the recruiting process. This can be a fun, family project that will eventually evolve in to a more detailed and focused effort though the high school years. Begin with a self-assessment to identify operatives (academic area of interest, sports level, size of undergraduate population, geographic location etc.) that are important. From here you can begin to grow a group of colleges and universities that potentially meet your needs. Spend time on school websites to develop an understanding of their programs and general philosophy.

4. What are my chances in gaining a college athletic scholarship?
Currently over 400,000 student-athletes participate in college athletics and approximately 25% are “athletic scholarship” athletes. The rule of thumb for college coaches is simple: The prospects that bring the greatest potential strength to the program have the greatest chance in obtaining an athletic scholarship.

5. Can college prospects qualify for grants other than athletic scholarships?
Financial aid comes in many different forms and athletic scholarship is just one example of “grant” that is available to prospects. Student-athletes can qualify for additional financial aid (academic, leadership, community grants) that can help reduce the family contribution to a college education. Embracing the nuances of financial aid as part of the “exploration stage” of the college search is critical.

6. Are Division 2 and 3 athletic opportunities plentiful?
Yes. D-2 and D-3 sport opportunities are in some cases even more abundant than D-1. For example, if you do a comparative analysis between roster sizes of D-1 and D-3 sports programs, on average you will see larger participation numbers with D-3 programs. This means “opportunity!”

7. Why should I consider D-1AA or D-3 “non-athletic scholarship” colleges?
Where there are no athletic scholarships available in D-3 sports and most of the D-1AA programs, these colleges and universities, for the most part are extremely select academic institutions. That aside, gaining a diploma from these institutions can, upon graduation, position prospects strongly in their chosen career of choice.

8. What are verbal offers of athletic scholarships?
The recruiting landscape is very competitive in the college ranks and college coaches are under tremendous pressure to advance their programs to the highest level. The “verbal offer” of athletic scholarship is an effective, but “non-binding” tool college coaches use to help drive top prospects to their program early in the recruiting process. Every college coach has different needs and unique time tables they use when identifying and closing on scholarship offers. The rule of thumb is simple…The stronger the prospect, the earlier the verbal offer.

9. How can I prepare and execute best for the college recruiting process?
Think of the college search not as a chore but as an adventure. Take time and make the effort to grow a complete and informed understanding of recruiting procedures and protocol. Assemble a team of people (parents, coaches, counselors) who each play a pivotal role in the process and can contribute to the success of the quest. Plan methodically, organize efficiently and execute passionately.

10. How will a professional advisor help me succeed in college recruiting?
Think of an advisor as a coach…And a good coach will have the best interest of the athlete in mind when preparing him or her for a championship season! A good coach will not hesitate to “crack the whip” in an effort to motivate, encourage and drive his athletes to the highest level to help them reach their goals. Similarly, a successful college recruiting advisor will assume a strong leadership role in defining concrete objectives and time-lines, while making every effort to clearly understand the goals and needs of each family he advises.