One of the biggest decisions you are going to help your high school athlete make is, “What college is the right one for my athletic child?” This article will provide you with some thought provoking ideas and factors that will help you make the right college choice for your child.
Begin by taking all the colleges you are considering and write each school’s name on the top of a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle of the paper. While completing the following exercise you will be using a rating system using the numbers 1 through the number of colleges you are interested in attending. For example, if you have narrowed your choices down to six colleges, you will be using the number 1-6. On one half of the page, write down the following question. On the other half, the answers. After you are done answering all the questions for each college, rank each school at the top next to the school’s name.
Questions to answer about the colleges you are considering for your athlete:
1. How does each college rank academically on other college rating scales? There are numerous helpful online college rating programs. Here are three examples: NextScholar.com, A2zcolleges.com, HowToGetIn.com
2. Which college has the most to offer in your area of interest? Have each college send you or when you visit the college pick up a department or course offering of classes that are offered in your area of interest. Ask the admission office which courses are taught by “full professors.” Many are taught by graduate students. Does the college allow undergraduate students to take graduate classes in this area? What are the course requirements?
3. Which school diploma will give you “the most bang for the buck?” Another way of asking this question is: “What college on your list will provide the best job opportunities after graduation?” The college admission office should have job placement statistics. The college coach may also be able to help answer this question. Most good college coaches know what happens to their players after they graduate.
4. Speaking of graduation, what percentage of the college’s athletes graduate. What is the average number of years that the college athletes complete their desired major(s)?
5. What type of academic support does the college offer for athletes?
6. What is the average class size at the college?
7. How did you feel about your college visit? What was your first and last impression? Did you feel comfortable and was it a good “fit?”
8. Are you capable of graduating from this college? Are you smart enough? Are you motivated to complete the workload required to graduate? Be honest!
9. Finally, does the college athletic sport you want to participate in at this have an opening for you? Ask the coach where he/she sees you on their position list. Where do you rank on this list? How much playing time (if that’s important to you) are you going to earn or receive? Of course, there are no guarantees even if you are fortunate enough to receive a scholarship.